ChrisWeigant.com

The One Problem "Medicare For All" Must Address

[ Posted Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 – 16:50 UTC ]

Bernie Sanders made some news today as he unveiled his most recent version of a "Medicare For All" bill in the Senate. Notably, four of his competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination in the Senate signed on to his bill (this is notable because normally this wouldn't happen -- normally each candidate would put out their own version and argue that theirs was superior to all the other candidates' efforts). Sanders has long been a champion of single-payer health care, of course, and his is the strongest voice on the issue mostly because he almost singlehandedly pushed it to the fore in the Democratic Party. Four years ago, it was considered (sneeringly, by most "serious" Democrats) to be "too radical" an idea to ever happen. Now, it is so mainstream within the Democratic Party that each presidential candidate is measured by whether they support Medicare For All, or merely some weaker or more incremental version. That is a sea-change, and one that Bernie should rightfully be proud of.

But having said all of that, I'd like to put aside all the personality politics today to discuss the core idea itself and one of the key selling points that Democrats are going to have to eventually make, if it ever is to become a reality. There are plenty of selling points that will need to be made to convince enough Americans that Medicare For All is the best way to go for it to become a political movement, most of which I'm going to ignore today to concentrate on one central issue instead. Most of the other fearmongering about Medicare For All can be successfully countered with some version of a very easy answer: "Go ask your parents/grandparents if they like their Medicare, and then ask them if they'd give it up to return to private-sector health insurance." That's a pretty all-encompassing comeback to most of the demonization of Medicare that is sure to come from the other side.

Already, Democrats have made incredible progress on the question of whether Medicare For All sounds like a good idea to individual voters. It now polls much higher than ever before, and its increasing popularity is indeed why it is no longer considered a "radical" idea, because it has been so successfully mainstreamed. All Republicans have left to run on is "Obamacare is evil! We will get rid of it!" -- which might have worked for them in 2010 or 2014, but has worn pretty thin these days (it certainly didn't do them any good in the 2018 midterms, that's for sure). Democrats, on the other hand, are competing among themselves to champion various ideas for making America's healthcare system better, not worse. That's a long-term winning strategy, when stacked up against the dearth of ideas coming from the GOP.

But Democrats' success in regard to popularizing the concept of Medicare For All is still fragile. This is mostly because the concept has yet to be fleshed out in several important ways. Bills like the one Sanders introduced today are helping to define exactly what Medicare For All might eventually look like, but it is such a complex subject that there is a lot to understand about what will change for the average American. And every single perceived weakness will be loudly exploited by the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent by the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry lobbying against Medicare For All. Again, most of these attacks are pretty easy to counter by explaining the basic facts (and reminding people that their parents love Medicare), but there is one key part of the picture that even Democrats like Bernie have not adequately explained yet. And it's a tricky one, because any legislation changing the system will have to adequately address, or else millions of workers are going to wind up getting screwed.

The biggest sales job Democrats are going to face in this discussion is to convince Americans that we can indeed afford Medicare For All. This is easier to do in the abstract than in the specific, but eventually people's actual financial circumstances are going to have to be addressed. In the abstract, Bernie explains that Medicare For All would be cheaper than the system we have now, and would guarantee better outcomes for less money spent. But the other side is going to use two scare tactics to hammer home fears of higher prices.

The first of these will be: "You're going to lose the health insurance you now enjoy!" This will be directed mostly at people who get health insurance through their employer, which is most families in America. The second scare tactic is going to be: "Medicare For All will send your taxes through the roof!" This is the important one to counter, and so far even people like Bernie Sanders have shied away from making a solid case for how this needs to work.

Let's take an example employee. [Note: I should point out that the numbers in this example don't really matter, so please don't quibble about whether any of them are realistic enough or not. The concepts involved are what really matters, while the numbers are just there to show how an individual worker may see these changes happen.] Say a professional employee makes $100,000 a year (again, I chose this number only because it's nice and round and easy to work with). Every year, the worker pays various taxes which add up to $25,000. So their net takehome pay is $75,000. That's what they're used to, so that's our baseline.

What this worker may be unaware of, however, is that his employer pays $15,000 each year to purchase his heath insurance. The worker may be unaware of this because it largely is a separate transaction from his salary. It is not "deducted" from his base pay, it is spent over and above what he is paid, meaning the worker is never really made aware of this money being spent on his behalf. This is due to the historical weirdness of employer-based health insurance in this country. During a post-World-War-II wage freeze, big businesses had to come up with some other way of sweetening the pot to entice new workers to join. So they started offering health insurance as a benefit. This benefit was never taxed as income, even though it really should be (it is compensation, just like salary). So workers never see the amounts spent by their employers on their health insurance itemized on their income taxes at all, at the end of each year. This leaves them unaware of the true costs of health insurance to their employers.

In essence, our example worker is actually making a total compensation package worth $115,000 each year. Out of this total, $15,000 goes to the health insurance company and $25,000 goes to taxes, leaving the worker with $75,000 to spend. Again, this is our baseline.

But what would happen under Medicare For All? Rather than the middleman of the insurance company, the equation would be simplified overall, but (more importantly) to the worker it would change radically, on each and every pay stub. Let's just use the easiest example at first -- if Medicare For All is a one-for-one substitution for what the worker is paid now. If the employer is fair-minded (more on this in a moment), then the worker will get a "raise" as the system transforms away from private health insurance. His new base yearly pay will be $115,000. But to pay for Medicare For All, the government will tax these earnings an additional $15,000. This means it is a total wash for the worker -- they're making $115,000, they will be paying a total of $40,000 in taxes, leaving them with the same $75,000 to spend.

As a side note, this is where the demonizing will be happening from the opposition, because they'll be screaming to this worker: "Your taxes went up sixty percent -- a whopping $15,000 -- due to those tax-and-spend Democrats!" Well, yes, but it didn't affect his takehome pay one bit.

Now, there are two big issues with our perfect one-for-one example. The first is that, according to Bernie Sanders, the entire system will become cheaper than what it is today. So perhaps the taxes needed to cover everyone with Medicare For All will work out to only $10,000 for this worker, rather than the $15,000 his employer currently pays each year to a private company. In this case, using the above math, the worker would actually get a raise in pay, because from their $115,000 base salary, they'd only be paying $35,000 in taxes, leaving them with $80,000 to spend -- a $5,000-a-year raise. Or their employer may pocket the difference and just raise the worker's pay to $110,000 instead.

This is really the biggest unaddressed issue with the entire concept of Medicare For All -- what would be required of all the employers. After all, employees are currently unaware of that $15,000 spent each year on their behalf. It doesn't appear on their paychecks, it is not deducted from their base pay, so few workers bother to understand how much their employer is actually spending for their healthcare. As far as the worker is concerned, this health insurance benefit is "free."

What this really means is that the employers would not be under pressure from the workers to make that initial pay raise when the system switched over. Why not just keep the worker's salary at $100,000 and just pocket the whole difference in order to add that $15,000 to the company's profits? If this were allowed to happen, then the worker would suddenly get hit with an unreimbursed new tax bill of $15,000, meaning their takehome pay would drop to only $60,000 a year (or $65,000 a year, if the new system saved money). That is what the opponents of Medicare For All are going to use as political leverage, which is why Democrats really need to address this particular issue in no uncertain terms.

Any successful Medicare For All plan will have to find a solution to this potential problem. It will be hard to explain to average workers, who are mostly unaware of the true costs of their health insurance to their employers. Some sort of mandate will be necessary to absolutely guarantee that workers don't get screwed in the process. The new taxes for the Medicare For All system absolutely must be covered by the fact that businesses won't have to pay for health insurance benefits any more. They simply cannot be allowed to pocket the difference as pure profit, plain and simple.

Most Democrats have so far shied away from specific detailed plans as to how Medicare For All will be paid for. This is understandable, since it is the easiest part of the plan for its opponents to attack politically and it is also one of the most complex parts of the plan to fully explain. Which is why Democrats are eventually going to have to make this case, complete with a guarantee that millions of people won't suddenly get a big cut in their takehome pay while business owners make out like bandits.

Politically, though, this may not be seen as necessary right now. Democrats have already done a stellar job of popularizing the overall concept of Medicare For All. The Republicans and the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry likely won't launch a full-fledged attack on this concept until it threatens to actually become reality -- which would mean a Democrat in the White House and a Democratically-controlled House and Senate. To state this another way, this argument may not even happen until after Democrats successfully use the issue to get elected. If this turns out to be the case, it will mean postponing the whole explanation of how the new system is going to work on the nuts-and-bolts level in everyone's paycheck until the grand political battle happens in Congress.

But sooner or later, this discussion needs to happen. The issue of how each individual worker will be financially affected is going to have to be adequately addressed. For the time being, Democrats are making the case in the abstract that Medicare For All will be cheaper than what we have now. As a "big picture" argument, it's a pretty good one. It counters the scaremongering of: "Medicare For All will cost $35 trillion over ten years!" by pointing out that it might indeed cost that much, but currently we're on track to spend $50 trillion under the current system. But such large abstractions don't translate to how every worker's paycheck will change.

It's understandable that Democrats want to delay this conversation, because as mentioned it is a complex subject dealing with costs that workers today are unaware of. There will be a learning curve, in other words. And the other side will be making false claims throughout that discussion to scare the pants off everyone, just like they did with Obamacare. But sooner or later, this will become the central hurdle that Medicare For All simply has to clear before it can ever actually be enacted.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

51 Comments on “The One Problem "Medicare For All" Must Address”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    This may be your best column yet! The cryptic nature of employer provided insurance is often overlooked. The employer doesn't really pay for insurance, the employee does. You can negotiate for salary, you can shop for a job with better health care, but I I have never heard of anybody asking for better insurance coverage at the yearly performance rview. Everbody I know just asks for a bigger salary, maybe a bit more vacation time. Maybe I was too low on the food chain to see it, but I wasn't all that low.
    I did notice my salary increases lagged my insurance copays throught my working days.

    One other thing. Medicare is great, but it's much better if you've known your doctor since grade school. Same thing basically applies to lawyers, auto mechanics...

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Yes, the big potential problem would be if employers decide to just keep the dough they now pay insurers and people are suddenly hit with a huge increase in taxes instead of it being a wash, or a decrease.

    Given the ACA has had to go through multiple trips to SCOTUS as GOP-scumbags claim this or that isn't "constitutional" I'd expect a major fight over whether the Feds can mandate employers to not just keep the money.

    Obama went to a lot of trouble to try to make the ACA SCOTUS-proof (before the court was stacked with GOP tools and rapists) - so 2020 Dem POTUS could go that route - but what would happen if GOP SCOTUS rules it unconstitutional when, 5 minutes after M4A passes the GOP goes to court? Whether it's ACA or M4A - the GOP has shown zero interest in citizens having healthcare and we have no reason to believe they wouldn't try to destroy M4A the first chance they get - if not through Senate/Congress, then through the courts. Courts, I might add, Traitor McConnell is busily stacking with unqualified corporate toadies as I write.

    Dealing with the shift-over is a big challenge - but not the only one.

  3. [3] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The transition from private, for-profit medical care to socialized medicine in the U.S. should have taken place 75 yrs ago. At this point in our history, I fear it's beyond the scope or the ability of democratic institutions to bring such to pass.

    The infamous "vested interests" (physicians, hospitals/clinics, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance companies) will fight it tooth and nail, spreading so much bribe money around Washington as to make the transition impossible.

    Before this battle is over, we could well find ourselves wishing we were governed under a benevolent dictatorship rather than a democracy.

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The rest of the highly developed countries in the World get, on average, somewhat better quality health care outcomes than the US, but, on average, at about half the cost....and unlike the US, access is near universal. Every one of them does it in a different way, and they all work better, in terms of health outcomes, than our system.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-spending/u-s-health-spending-twice-other-countries-with-worse-results-idUSKCN1GP2YN

    What is wrong with US? If I were to hazard a guess, it's habituation to institutionalized corruption. Bad habits are hard to break.

  5. [5] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Opt-in Medicare might be an easier route, and could be phased in. For example, the age for enrollment could be progressively lowered, all newborns could be eligible, pre-natal care could be included.

    It's worth pointing out that most socialized health systems have some kind of accommodation with private insurance and private medicine, whether by requiring insurance and subsidizing it, or by permitting people to use private insurance instead of or in addition to the public system.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    How Far Left Is Too Far Left for 2020 Democrats?
    Or is that question beside the point in the Trump era?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/democratic-candidates-primaries.html

    Apparently, there is no such thing as "TOO FAR LEFT" for 2020...

    That's great.. Do ya'all honestly believe you are going to lure Trump voters to vote for the Left when the Left is so far Left it can't be seen from the Center-Right???

    I encourage ya'all to go as far Left as you possibly can...

    Guarantee a Trump landslide in 2020.. Yea.. THAT'S the ticket...

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    There are dangers for both parties is these trends, Lelkes argues, citing a 2015 study of House elections, “What Happens When Extremists Win Primaries?” by Andrew Hall, a political scientist at Stanford.

    Hall found that when a more extreme candidate beats a moderate in the primary

    the party’s general-election vote share decreases on average by approximately 9—13 percentage points, and the probability that the party wins the seat decreases by 35—54 percentage points.

    Yea.. Don't worry about electability people. Vote for the most extreme Left candidate in the primary you can..

    It'll work out...

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    But what have swing voters been hearing from Democrats, since switching their votes in the midterms over to the Dems? Socialism, anti-Semitism, resistance, more investigations. Not exactly a platform for re-election.

    And the congressional Socialists led by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez are even threatening mainstream Democrats with primaries. Yup, replacing moderates in swing districts with left-wing democratic socialists is surely the way to expand the majority. Suburbanites are clamoring for them. Higher taxes is just what hard-pressed suburban voters with lots of responsibilities are seeking.

    The public face of the party today is far removed from what created a solid group of freshmen in suburban districts. And they have been bombarded with a lot more than just slogans. Ocasio-Cortez, who pulled down about 15,000 votes in a Democratic primary in a safe district, is world-renowned now for the Green New Deal — just a little program to nationalize the energy industry while promising guaranteed incomes for all; its price tag has been put at $93 trillion. It’s Ocasio-Cortez who drove Amazon out of New York, not understanding that the tax breaks for the company would have come from 10 times the tax revenue that the new jobs would have created, or that their absence blows a $27 billion hole in future budgets. Comically, she thought you could spend the $3 billion on other things.

    The other new face of the party has been Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who spread her anti-Israel positions by expressing anti-Semitic tropes about how Jews in America have divided loyalties and how Jews have bought support for Israel with “Benjamins.” Despite most voters believing Omar should be off the House Foreign Affairs Committee with these views, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has kept her on this prestigious assignment while passing over moderates.
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/437969-obama-had-it-right-a-circular-firing-squad-is-on-the-way

    This is today's Democrat Party..

    I think it's really cute ya'all actually think ya'all have a chance in 2020.. :D

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    And to highlight the utter stoopidity of the Democrats...

    “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
    -Rep Illan Omar

    So, "some people did something" IE brutally murdered almost 3 thousand innocent men women and children and then CAIR was formed??

    Gods, this pitiful excuse for an American can't even get her FACTS straight..

    CAIR was founded in 1994 in response to growing anti-Muslim discrimination and Islamophobia across the nation.
    https://ca.cair.com/about-us/history/

    Omar is a perfect fit for today's Democrat Party...

  10. [10] 
    John M wrote:

    [8] Michale

    "This is today's Democrat Party..

    I think it's really cute ya'all actually think ya'all have a chance in 2020.. :D"

    I think it's really cute yer still pushing the SAME line that worked out so well for y'all in 2018 when Republicans LOST 40 House seats to Democrats in the biggest LANDSLIDE since Watergate. :-D

    Please continue to be so delusional about yer chances of not receiving the same kind of SHELLACKING again. :-D

  11. [11] 
    Kick wrote:

    Julian Assange arrested in London. Right. On. Cue.

    Who knew counterintelligence could be so complicated?

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think it's really cute yer still pushing the SAME line that worked out so well for y'all in 2018 when Republicans LOST 40 House seats to Democrats in the biggest LANDSLIDE since Watergate. :-D

    Yes, some Trump voters figured they would give Democrats a chance and see if they actually learned how to govern...

    What did Democrats give them?? Endless investigations. Anti-Semitism... Hysterical Accusations... Oh yea and the 93 TRILLION dollar New Green Deal that gets rid of airplanes and cows and fossil fuels and pays people who are too lazy to work..

    Yea.. Democrats have a chance in 2020... :^/

    Who ya gonna run JM???

    Buttagig??? Yang??? Harris!!????

    BBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Ya'all don't even have a viable candidate..

    And you think you are going to win!!???

    That's so cute...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, JM... If things were the same as they were 6 months ago, you would have an argument.

    But we have the FACT that Omar is an Anti-Semite, Occasional Cortex is a totally brain-dead moron, the Green New Deal is an albatross around the Democrats' necks...

    And, oh yea..

    PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEEN UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY EXONERATED WHEN IT COMES TO RUSSIA COLLUSION!!

    So, yea.. Think you have a chance in 2020.. It amuses me.. :D

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Maybe it should have titled "One problem with passing medicare for all" as the problem with passing medicare for all seems to be the current system we have now.

    I know you picked for your example a nice round number of a $100,000 salary, but it was a poor/incomplete choice for explaining the concept.

    If everybody made %100,000 a year we wouldn't need to have this discussion because everybody could afford to buy their own insurance.

    What aboot an example of people making $25,000 a year and/or the people that don't get employer-paid health care benefits?

    An employee making $25,000 or $100,000 a year without health insurance pays the same income tax on their $25,000 or $100,000 as someone earning the same amount with employer paid insurance, though there may be some credit for those without insurance for out of pocket Obamacare expenses. The businesses and employees paying SS taxes on the salary with health insurance pay the same SS taxes as those paying the salary without health insurance.

    How this issue is approached depends on whether the Democrats want to represent citizens and businesses benefiting from the current system or the people currently getting the short end of the stick.

    One way to help determine who a candidate/legislator will represent is who finances their campaign.

    The candidate/legislator that finances their campaign with contribution in aggregate amounts that can only be affordable for those that are making $100,000 are more likely to represent those that are benefiting from the current system than candidates/legislators that finance their campaign only with small donors that can only afford small aggregate contributions- if they can afford to make contributions at all.

    This is of course the one problem with every problem we don't seem to be able to solve. That is not a hard concept to understand.

    But for some reason it is a concept that is too hard to discuss. It would be nice to know why it should not be discussed as it is the key to reaching a solution for so many problems that are dragging us into the abyss.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Assange, Perennial thorn in the side of the Obama Administration, has finally been arrested in the UK...

    I wonder if Obama and his minions will give President Trump credit for this... :D

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Opinion: Why Last Year's Trump-Russia Pulitzer Was No Prize
    By Tom Kuntz, Editor, RealClearInvestigations
    April 11, 2019

    What a difference a year makes. With the announcement of the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes set for next Monday, last year's award to the New York Times and Washington Post for Trump-Russia coverage is already looking like a crumpled first draft of history lofting in a high arc to the dustbin. It's eclipsed by the double-whammy of the Special Counsel’s finding of no collusion with the Kremlin and Attorney General William Barr's disclosure this week that he'll investigate spying by federal authorities on the Trump campaign.

    Eclipsed and how. But the deep flaws in this honored coverage, instrumental in pushing the collusion narrative, shouldn't be overlooked just because it's been overtaken by events, or many journalists would prefer to move on, or because President Trump calls it "fake news." The flaws reveal broader problems in reporting this continuing story and journalism in general.

    The prize went jointly to the two publications for 10 articles apiece reporting on Trump-Russia developments throughout most of 2017, the chaotic first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/04/09/why_last_years_trump-russia_pulitzer_was_no_prize.html

    The "prestigious" Pulitzer award winning story was a hoax....

    That tells you all you need to know about the sad state of the Left Wing "news" media...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    But we have the FACT that Omar is an Anti-Semite, Occasional Cortex is a totally brain-dead moron, the Green New Deal is an albatross around the Democrats' necks...

    OK, OK....

    The first 2 are not facts but rather opinions based on facts...

    My bust...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news..

    Scientists put human gene into monkeys to make them smarter, human-like
    https://www.brecorder.com/2019/04/11/488194/scientists-put-human-gene-into-monkeys-to-make-them-smarter-human-like/

    Yea, I think they made a movie or two about this..

    Didn't work out very well... :^/

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Monkeys must be really stupid if human genes make them smarter.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Monkeys must be really stupid if human genes make them smarter.

    Heh

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/04/1862/1048/ny-post-front.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    If Democrats want to lose and lose big in 2020, just let morons like Ilan Omar have free reign... :^/

  22. [22] 
    Paula wrote:

    Yesterday I was hearing that Blotus had a 55% approval rating which shocked me.

    Turns out that's a FOX State-TV-for-Morons/Traitors lie. They flipped his approval/disapproval ratings.

    The approval was at 43%.

    The motto of the right: "Lie about everything".

  23. [23] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    michale

    English is strange - The King cannot "rain", the weather cannot "rein", and you cannot give the horse (or Ilan Omar) free "reign".

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    “If you’re a US media star who has spent 2 years claiming to be so concerned about press freedoms over Trump’s mean tweets about your friends, but don’t raise your voice in protest over this grave attack on press freedom, take a hard look in the mirror,”
    -Glenn Greenwald

    Once again, I can't argue with GG over this. He calls it perfectly...

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    English is strange - The King cannot "rain", the weather cannot "rein", and you cannot give the horse (or Ilan Omar) free "reign".

    I stand corrected...

    But I figured "reign" fit in well with the Democrats DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO monarchy attitudes... :D

    "Ooo Nice recovery..."
    -Genie, ALADDIN

    :D

  26. [26] 
    Paula wrote:

    AOC tweets that every time some rightwing jerk on FOX or GOP Sen/Cong does some anti-Iman statement or fundraising pitch calling her a terrorist death threats against her (AOC) and her staff spike.

    Fucking GOP "leaders" literally, specifically and maliciously ginning up threats against Dems. And the top GOP leadership, when they aren't helping, do nothing.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yesterday I was hearing that Blotus had a 55% approval rating which shocked me.

    Actually, it's a 53% approval rating..

    But why let FACTS ruin a perfectly good hysterical rant... :D

  28. [28] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    But why let FACTS ruin a perfectly good hysterical rant...

    You mean like the FACT that that was a wrong number?

  29. [29] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The trouble with 'medicare for all' and other such schemes is that it's just all so much pie in the sky until we rid ourselves of Trump.

    Tell me how you're gonna galvanize voters. Tell me how you're gonna shut him down.

    Tell me how you're gonna get us out of THIS first, before I decide on my next course, eh?

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    You mean like the FACT that that was a wrong number?

    Or wrongly heard number...

    "We can't discard the possibility just because we don't happen to like it.."
    -Martin Sheen, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

    Regardless, President Trump's approval rating is higher than Congress' and higher than the media's.... :D

    Sucks, don't it... :D

  31. [31] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Regardless, President Trump's approval rating is higher than Congress' and higher than the media's...

    Really?!! Low bar. Next you'll be telling us he's more popular than Dentist visits.

    Believe what you want, only about 43% of the public is with him at any given time. He really ought to be more careful.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really?!! Low bar. Next you'll be telling us he's more popular than Dentist visits.

    Yea?? And YOUR Democrats are LESS POPULAR than Dental Visits..

    Kinda puts it all in perspective, eh? :D

    Believe what you want, only about 43% of the public is with him at any given time. He really ought to be more careful.

    As opposed to LESS of the public is with Congress or your News Media...

    Think about it..

    When it comes to President Trump, your Democrats in Congress and your Leftist News Media, PRESIDENT TRUMP IS MORE POPULAR!!! :D

  33. [33] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Uh-huh. Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it through the day.

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    why does everybody hate on dentists?

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Uh-huh. Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it through the day.

    Which fact do you dispute??

    That President Trump's approval numbers are higher than Congress'??? The media's???

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    why does everybody hate on dentists?

    Ever read the novel, THE DENTIST??

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16153287-the-dentist

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    medicare for all is complex. pie for all is simple, and good for dentists.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    ------- GOP "leaders" literally, specifically and maliciously ginning up threats against Dems. And the top GOP leadership, when they aren't helping, do nothing.

    Is that language, left out here, really necessary in the comments section of this decent blog?

  39. [39] 
    Paula wrote:

    [38] Liz: fuck yeah.

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Paula, that's too bad. I guess I just wish that you cared as much about this blog as I do.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Yes, the big potential problem would be if employers decide to just keep the dough they now pay insurers and people are suddenly hit with a huge increase in taxes instead of it being a wash, or a decrease.

    I'm not sure what employers pay to insurers and then decide to keep affects what a person pays in income tax but, wouldn't any modest increase in taxes to pay for universal healthcare be more than offset by not having to pay for 'basic' healthcare?

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By 'basic' I mean what's covered in Canada, for example, which excludes vision care, dental care ...

    (which actually should be basic but isn't and represents how the US could make universal health incurance better than ours or even the greatest in the world but, I digress)

    … and a handful of other items without any co-pays or other ridiculous aspects.

  43. [43] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    (which actually should be basic but isn't and represents how the US could make universal health incurance better than ours or even the greatest in the world but, I digress)

    That's interesting Liz. I'd always assumed that Canada's healthcare paid dental. So I guess that there is room for improvement!

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    29

    The trouble with 'medicare for all' and other such schemes is that it's just all so much pie in the sky until we rid ourselves of Trump.

    Did he just say "pie"? Cue the maestro. ;)

    Tell me how you're gonna galvanize voters. Tell me how you're gonna shut him down.

    Amen, brother.

    Tell me how you're gonna get us out of THIS first, before I decide on my next course, eh?

    Balthasar is correct, of course. No "pie" until we finish our dinner! ;)

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    34

    why does everybody hate on dentists?

    Maestro... how did the mention of "pie" not cue you!? ;)

  46. [46] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    37

    medicare for all is complex. pie for all is simple, and good for dentists.

    Now, you're talking. Pie is good for everything. I like the pie idea. :)

  47. [47] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    40

    Well, Paula, that's too bad. I guess I just wish that you cared as much about this blog as I do.

    Oh, for fuck's sake! According to Elizabeth Miller, "you are part of the problem (general disrespect) that plagues this site."

    Why are you not taking the very excellent advice of Elizabeth Miller and just keeping the fuck quiet when somebody posts something you don't like? It's not the first time you've made the claim, but could you please finally allow yourself to divest yourself of the ridiculous idea that you somehow "care more" about this blog than anyone else? It's fucking pathetic.

    Why can't people just ignore what they don't want to read here by people they don't like without always making a big issue out of it.

    If you (generic you) can't do that, then you are part of the problem (general disrespect) that plagues this site.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/09/14/ftp500/#comment-127106

    Fuck yeah! :)

  48. [48] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    I like (and agree with) you, Elizabeth.

  49. [49] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The New Yorker has been printing the F word and F word derivatives for many years now. If Eustace Tilley can let 'em rip, I think we can say the Trinity of F, F-ing and F-er have been mainstreamed in respectful print. As I recall it, the introduction of color printing by the NYer was more controversial to their readership than the colorful language. Language shifts, including vulgarity.

    The constant uptempo drumbeat of ad. hom rhetorical falacies with divisive intent is what makes the comment section such a slog on any given day. The F'n' slogging has gotten a lot worse in the last few weeks. Deal with wood rot before you worry about the color of the paint.

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    rdnewman,

    I guess that makes two of us. Chris doesn't seem to mind the foul language for the sake of foul language, or otherwise, so why should we.

    I have better things to read, though.

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    49

    Now that right there is man who totally gets it... 100%... very good form, sir... quite right! :)

    Also, I was unaware that Canadians were allowed to vote in these here United States? ;) *joking*

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