Pre-Debate Contest: Guess which one of Sanders’ past or present policy positions or legislation he supported that Clinton will misrepresent most outlandishly tonight [Updated!]
UPDATE: To see the winning Clinton claim, read my my comment to Robert Waldmann’s post above.
Last week when Chelsea Clinton made he now-infamous statements about Sanders’ single-payer healthcare insurance plan—specifically, the one he proposed as a bill in 2013, but presumably a blueprint for the one he plans to propose—I wondered how Sanders had managed to enlist her in the service of his own campaign. Most memorable was the part about the horror that would be life without private healthcare insurance and the stripping of healthcare insurance frommillions and millions and millions of people by providing universal, comprehensive, and nearly identical insurance to all American citizens and legal residents.
To refresh your memory, she said (among other things):
Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the [Children’s Health Insurance Program], dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance. I worry if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we’ll go back to an era — before we had the Affordable Care Act — that would strip millions and millions and millions of people off their health insurance.
But in my opinion, that wasn’t even the oddest part of her trip down the rabbit hole. This was:
Sen. Sanders wants to devolve the authority to set up state health insurance programs to individual state governors. Now maybe if I lived in a place like New Hampshire, with your governor, I would feel okay about that. But if I lived in a state that had a Republican governor, particularly a Republican governor who already turned down Medicaid expansion matching funds, I don’t think I would be comfortable, right? Because I don’t want to live in a country that has an unequal health care system again.
Sooo, I said when I read that, Chelsea Clinton wants to move to France. Or Canada. Or Scandinavia, or Germany, or Thailand. Or one of the many other Western-style democracies that has an equal health care system. Which is what she will have to do under this country’s current system if she feels that strongly about not wanting to live in a country that has an unequal health care system.
Sanders’ 2013 proposal no more gives the states the option to join or decline to join the program than does Obamacare—the program Chelsea and her mother champion and want to preserve rather than move to a single-payer-healthcare-for-all system—give states the option of participating in the state-based marketplaces that have minimum coverage requirements and mandate acceptance of patients irrespective of preexisting medical conditions. The Medicaid-expansion option that states have under the ACA has no analogy in Sanders’ 2013 single-payer proposal. Chelsea was parroting her mother on this bald misstatement.
And having no healthcare insurance is not the same as having healthcare insurance. Unless of course the medical care you need is not covered by the insurance you have, because the deductibles and co-pays under your employer-provided insurance or under the policy you bought through a state marketplace under Obamacare for a premium low enough that your employer or you could afford it, means (unlike more comprehensive plans that others have but you do not) that you must pay those medical bills yourself.
Apparently, Chelsea Clinton doesn’t get out much these days.
But then, neither, it appears, does her mother, who has claimed repeatedly, including in comments in defense of her daughter’s odd statements about Sanders’ single-payer concept, that the only expenses—the only money people pay—that actually matters to them is money paid to the government.
No other expenses count as money—as loss of income or as other expenditure that actually effects your and your family’s financial bottom line and therefore standard of living. Money paid to UnitedHealthcare or Anthem Blue Cross in premiums, and to hospitals, physicians and medical labs in co-pays and deductibles, don’t count. That’s not money paid to the government, see. So it’s wayyy better to pay more for less-comprehensive coverage to private insurance companies, and still be financially insecure about medical expenses, than to pay less money in healthcare costs to the government and be financially secure about medical expenses. Because, y’know … the government.
Which—I wish Sanders would point out—is exactly what Clinton says. Again and again. Just like the Republicans do.
Hillary Clinton should get out more, too.
Okay, Clinton of course doesn’t want you to realize that that’s what she’s saying. She wants you to think she’s saying that the large price tag for Sanders’ plan is in addition to private insurance premiums and deductables and co-pays. But her own daughter says that Sanders wants to end private insurance. Clinton should check with her daughter. Best to get the story straight.
What Chelsea Clinton did, in other words, is highlight the two reasons that her mother’s campaign is flailing: that the candidate sees even issues as important to people’s lives as the costs and breadth of healthcare coverage as something to mislead about as a campaign tactic, and that at bottom she, like Republicans, believe that the only thing that matters as personal or family expenditures is the amount paid to the government. And according to a New York Times report today, Bill and Hillary Clinton both believe that the mistake Clinton and her campaign made is that they didn’t begin these tactics months before they did. (Shucks! The public loves to be played like toys about really important things. Why didn’t our consultants figure that out earlier? What are we paying them for?!)
So, buckle your seatbelts, folks. What will the biggest sleight of hand, the most outlandish assertion or inference about Sanders’ policy proposals, be?
We’ve already had the Denmark-isn’t-a-capitalist-country-and-it-would-be-a-grave-mistake-and-unAmerican-to-emulate-them thing in the first debate, which sort of backfired when in the days following that debate the news media was filled with articles about Denmark’s vibrant capitalist economy, large number of small businesses, and high level of innovation.
We’ve had the no-industry-except-the-gun-industry-has-immunity-from-strict-liability-for-criminal-use-by-a-customer misrepresentation about the gun-manufacturer and gun-retailer legal immunity statute that Sanders voted for in 2005. Actually, no other industry is strictly liable, in any state under state law, under such circumstances, a fact that got little media attention but enough, apparently, to cause Clinton to stop making the claim.
And there was, of course, the he-told-ME-to-stop-shouting-even-though-I-wasn’t-shouting-because-I’m-a-woman dust-up. She didn’t accuse him of supporting legislation that would arrest women for disturbing the peace when they speak, but she came close to it.
In addition, of course, to the Sanders-is-coming-for-your-healthcare-insurance-and-is-out-to-lower-your-standard-of-living stuff. Denmark! Somalia-level healthcare coverage! Bankrupting the country because the $10 trillion (or whatever) currently spent annually on healthcare in this country WILL EVAPORATE upon enactment of Sanders’ single-payer plan, and so won’t be available to pay instead for the single-payer plan.
How about Denmark-level healthcare coverage? For less than what is spent annually in this country for our current Swiss-cheese sandwich. Which is what Sanders is proposing.
My bet is that one of tonight’s treasures will again be on the gun-industry immunity law, along the lines of a message to the media last week by Clinton Campaign chief John Podesta. Podesta conflated manufacturing with sales. Specifically, the level of control that the fast-food industry has over the content of the food it serves, and the level of control that gun retailers have over their customers’ later use of the purchased gun.
But there’s still time for you to enter this contest. Okay, not much time; I should have posted this earlier. But for all you very quick thinkers, that should not be problem.
The prize is an interview with the Clinton Campaign for a job as a campaign consultant. The job will pay well, I’m sure.
It seems that the issue of details does seem to matter. The Clinton campaign had asserted that Bernie wanted to have the “single payer” program financed half by the feds and half by the states and administered by the states a la medicaid. Bernie didn’t dispute that but apparently changed his proposal (the original having been constructed by Clinton from various pieces of legislation he had introduced over the years) to one in which all of the funding would come from the federal government. I thought Hillary made a good point in the debate by arguing that reopening the healthcare debate in a fundamental way at this time would probably be detrimental to working on improvements to the affordable care act. Essentially, she seemed to be saying that progress has to be incremental instead of “revolutionary”. I know you don’t agree but I think she’s right. Bernie’s idea isn’t going to fly in the foreseeable future because of the Congress and, as Hillary pointed out, even with a “filibuster proof” majority in the Senate in the first two years of the Obama administration, they couldn’t get a public option. At some point, reality has to figure into the proposals of the candidates.
“financed half by the feds and half by the states and administered by the states a la medicaid.”
Seriously? I know Republican Michigan State Senator “I am sick to my stomach with the expansion of Medcaid” Joe Hune who helped to bring us Flint and voted to prevent local officials and public administrators from explaining voting initiatives would relish this. Remember and before the Medicaid expansion in most states, most single adults were excluded from Medicaid by states. If you were married and with children, you could have your benefits cut if you were not looking for work. This is not going to go away and forcing states to do anything they will not want to do will either end up in court or not get done.
“Single Payer” is not a magic bullet in controlling the cost of healthcare. Saying the states and the federal government will pay for it translates into you and I paying for it. You and I paying for it does not control the cost of healthcare. Shout it all you want; but, we will be having this discussion again after it is implemented. As one of the experts and I discussed:
Healthcare Insurance is not the cost driver and is just the messenger.
With a prize like that , I think I’ll pass. Besides , as I listened to the debate tonight , I noticed that whenever Clinton spoke , I couldn’t hear a thing. I guess my brain must’ve been shutting down the auditory circuits , for self-protection. Or maybe my cat was hitting the mute button. Whatever , it worked for me.
I must admit , I get dismayed when Bernie goes into his neocon-like , tough-guy foreign policy mode. What is with his repeated rants about Assad gassing his people ? Assad is no saint , certainly , but the Ghouta sarin gas attack is far more likely the work of the rebels , assisted by Turkey , as a ploy to make it appear that Assad crossed Obama’s “red line”. Bernie should know this , and he should know that many of his supporters know it , and that the last thing they want is another propaganda-spouting war-monger in the White House , like Bush , or Obama , or Clinton.
C’mon Bernie. We want REAL change this time.
Clinton’s pandering to Saudi Arabian financiers of ISIS is disgusting.
Iran’s most notorious terrorist act was oust the CIA terrorist Shah installed by a CIA coup in 1953.
Now she wants to rearm Sunni terrorists to fight other Sunni terrorists.
I don’t know about you but the more debates I hear the less I trust my government to do what it needs to do. I do not trust them with my health care as the cost always rises and always gets passed to the customer somehow. I do not trust them with my gun rights. I do not trust them or Wall St.with my savings. I do not trust them with my water. I do not trust them with any thing because all government agencies are broke and corrupted. No Sam I do not like green eggs and ham. Creating another huge bureaucratic government health agency makes me cringe because many will find a ways to game the system (as they already do) and corrupt and exploit it. The middle class will stuck with another huge bail out again. Without competition there can be no efficient gains. The government does not currently have, practice or believe any Lean principles in any of its agencies that will allow another major restructured government agency to work.
Whoaaaa, there, Jack. The Clinton campaign did NOT claim that Sanders’ 2013 proposal would be financed in part by the states. Nor did that plan include any such thing. Clinton and her daughter claimed, falsely, that the 2013 proposal permitted the states to refuse to establish the mechanism that the law would require states to establish that would administer the system within the state. But the 2013 proposal included exactly what the ACA includes: a system by which the federal government would administer the system for the state if a state refused to set up and administer one.
The proposal was similar to the federal government’s establishment of insurance marketplace technology in states that refused to create their own. Chelsea Clinton’s reference to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion was an outright misrepresentation, but not about how the plan would be paid for; just about whether a state could refuse to participate. They could not.
So, yes, Jack. Details certainly matter. And your misunderstanding of the 2013 plan in a key respect shows how really pernicious Clinton’s and her daughter’s sleight of hand was intended to be, and is.
And I think it is very, very important for the Sanders campaign to call Clinton out for her misrepresentation last night that her and her daughter’s representations about the 2013 plan were accurate. They were lies, pure and simple. As was her claim about it, again, last night.
This pattern of Clinton’s is despicable.