I should probably not waste time on this, but I was a fan of Kamala Harris. Her ending her candidacy while still in fifth place in the polls and if in a long slide, has me disappointed. As it is, given her declining polls, lack of money, and reportedly internally divided campaign staff; her chances of actually getting the nomination had fallen to effectively zero. It is actually an act of class on her part to get out of the overly crowded Dem field.
In light of the recent sharp decline of Warren as well who is now running #4 among Dems, we now have three white males on top. As it is I confess, I favored both Warren and Harris over all three of them and the rest as well. How is it these problematic three whilte males are on top (I reocgnize that especially supporters of Sanders and Buttiegieg will dispute this and may well show up here to properly correct me and tell us of their virtues, and they as well as Biden do have virtues)?
I am going to put it out there: I think both Warren and Harris, especially the latter, have been held to a higher standard as women and Harris more so as a minority woman, than the white males. They are not allowed to make any errors or even appear to make an error. The white males can bungle and have serious issues, but hey, not a problem, or at least not a fatal problem. They can go on for the next day.
Something that played a role in the decline of both Warren and Harris (and Warren may yet make a comeback) has been their effort to overcome the split among Dems over what to do about health care. Both of them initially, or at least at some point, signed on to the “Medicare-for-all” label for a single payer government run health insurance system that would eliminate all private insurance, following Bernie’s lead from 2016 and maintained now, all of this being part of a fight over who was the “most progresive” candidate. Of course, neither Warren nor Harris could beat Bernie for that title, and Bernie’s true believers have stuck with him, even if his support has not expanded.
As it is, “Medicare-for-all” is a label that is not great if one looks at it closely. That is because, frankly, Medicare by itself sucks. It is crappy coverage. Pretty much everybody actually on Medicare also has supplemental private insurance of some sort as well. So in fact this was a misleasing label for what really should probably be called “Canadian-style single payer.” But this is a minor point.
The more important point was all the polls showing that while a majority says they support “Medicare-for-all” when asked; if one adds “with all private insurance ended,” the support has always plunged. Most people have private insurance and most of them like their insurance or are afraid of losing it. So both Harris first and then Warren tried to deal with this, tried to deal with this, only to fall on both of their faces.
So first it was Harris, saying while she was for Medicare-for-all, she would not immediately abolish private insurance. It was a bomb. Both sides dissed her. Big surprise, same thing happened when Warren and not unreasonably also sought a middle way of going slowly on Medicare-for-all. Ironic as it is, I think both of them took reasonable positions, but they have been political disasters. As it is, I think this internal Dem arguing over this issue is just stupid.
On the matter of Harris, I am now too late to mount a defense of her on the the other matter that she got hurt badly on. Well, a further matter was what put her briefly on top; that her attack on Biden on the race issue in the first debate was overdone and problematic as people came to think about it, and her attack failed to move African Americans away from supporting Biden. But the matter that really hurt her was the attack by Tulsi Gabbard, near the end of the second debate, of her record as a DA and AG, and she never really recovered from that.
Here is where I wish to mount the defense I now feel guilty of not making publicly earlier, especially as I was aware of the response. I think the reason Harris did not respond clearly in the debate is that Gabbard’s attack was filled with so many false or misleading statements that Harris could spontaneously, in the time given, respond to all of them. As it is and in the very next day, Gabbard was shown to be full of it, but that report involved subtleties and complications which was simply not picked up widely. It became unknown, with the publicity being that Gabbard had successfully exposed terrible problems with Harris’s record. She was not perfect, so, bring on the white males!
I have reason to believe I shall not get this link right, but it can be tracked down on Politifact from Aug. 1, 2019: Were Tulsi Gabbard’s attacks on Kamala Harris’ record as a California prosecutor on target?. Even so, let me lay out the points made in it.
So Gabbard made a string of accusations. The one that actually sticks to some extent is that Harris was in a hypocritical position given that she admitted to having smoked pot but was putting pot smokers in jail, while later supporting legalization. Well, of course she was enforcing the law, but apparently there was a dramatic decline in the arrest rate on this during her time as AG, from 817 in the first year down to 137 in the final year. She was accused of not allowing new evidence to be applied for Kevin Cooper. That did happen; but it happened before she was in office, and was done in by people she had no control over. She was accused of supporting the and tightening punishment of famillies, but that was lower level officisls and she made them stop. Another issue involved raising cash bails. This was put in place while she was DA in SF by certain judges for violent crimes. She was not responsible for this and in the Senate supported reducing bail. The bottom line is that almost all of what Gabbard accused her of was either exaggerated or just plain false. But, hey, a black woman cannot make any mistakes.
One positive here is that I think this may raise the chance Harris might become VP nominee. If Warren gets the nomination, it wll not happen: two women is too much. Biden might not pick her, both because he may still be angry over what she did in the first debate and also does not need her to increase his support among African Americans, and he also may need to pick Warren more so to unify with the left wing of the party. But for Both Sanders and Buttigieg and especially the latter, she looks like the obvious VP pick. We shall see.
BTW, one reason I have been for her is I know her dad who is a retired Post Keynesian Stanford economist. Donald J. Harris of Jamaica originally, whom I had in grad school and greatly respect. Ironically he and his daughter fell out during her campaiign over the pot issue, when she jokingly replied to an interviewer,
“Of course I am for pot legalization; I am a Jamaican,” which her old man did not appreciate at all.
Can’t recall where I heard or read this but “There’s always room for mediocre men, but very little for superior women.”
She really didn’t establish a theme for her candidacy other than she’s ambitious and smart. That didn’t sell.
Keep it to the message of the post. I am leaving this here as your remarks demean yourself by the very nature of them. I advise you to lose this sphere of rhetoric. I have a low tolerance for it.
Did, I open a door for you??? No . . .
The link works and I did some editing. It is a good post.
As an old white guy I am not sure how to respond about the problems experienced by candidates of color or women, but while Harris did not inspire me I found her to be a top tier candidate whose attack on Biden hurt her more than helped her. My wife—who certainly agrees that women face a double standard—thought the attack was shrill and mean spirited even if demonstrated for everyone that Joe is over the hill. In my fantasy successor administration, Cory Booker is Vice President, Harris is Attorney General and Mayor Pete is Secretary of State. That still leaves the top spot empty and while I like Warren I am very worried that she might be one of the few candidates Trump can beat. At the end of the day their are a clear majority of people who disagree with Trump on virtually all issues but there are a chunk of them who will have a hard time trusting her on health care and taxes. If they just stay home and the young people stay home, Trump still loses, but that is not what happened in 2016.
Terry, 2016 was the year of the agrarian uprising after the commodity supercycle ended. Young people did not stay home. Older black men did.
I really don’t think you get that election at all. Now we are on the edge of the auto bubble popping triggering a new financial crisis. 2020 has its own story. One of excess that again needs stopped.
I look forward to your defense of Marianne Williamson. Have you seen how the media has treated her? Oh, but that’s justified. Got it.
The best way to mitigate risk is to have the biggest risk pool as possible. Every insurance company knows this. The best way to spread out our healthcare costs is to have 1 pool. Rep Jayapal clearly dismantles the public option route with her interview with Van Jones.
It isn’t only maximum mitigation of risk; it’s also maximum coverage. If enough people don’t want to lose their private insurance, single payer isn’t going to happen. Public option might. Having that happen would probably result in nearly universal coverage (assuming subsidies). Having nothing happen (should Trump and a Republican majority in the Senate be reelected) would result in no improvement and perhaps backsliding.
“I look forward to your defense of Marianne Williamson. Have you seen how the media has treated her? Oh, but that’s justified. Got it.”
She was treated as if she had no pertinent qualifications or experience and had incredibly loony ideas about the way the world of reality works. And that is accurate.
Someone should be considering, and investigating, the extent to which the attacks on Warren in particular for trying to find a middle ground are “false flag” operations — even foreign ones. During her ascendancy, many perceived Warren to be the one quick enough and best prepared to take on Trumps’ infantilism.
Harris is a corporate Democrat. Her candidacy stands for nothing a person can identify outside of “vote for me.” Ditto for Pete B.
2020 is what 2016 should have been if the DNC/Clinton machine hadn’t rigged the primary: an election on issues.
Any candidate that doesn’t have a clear stance on issues that relate to, a) ending parasitical rent seeking on the backs of earned income in general, and b) fighting for Medicare for all in specific, is just a politician, in the worst sense of the word. Kamala Harris is a politician. Who cares if she is a woman or black. I care about her position on issues and her character.
Welcome to Angry Bear. First time comments and commenters always go to moderation for review to weed out spam, spammers, and advertising.
Unless Medicare is fixed, it will be too expensive for individuals by the time you factor in Part B, Part D, Supplemental, and the inherent waste. It is a model of what could work if improved upon. Bernie’s plan is not single payor as it uses ACOs to administer the plan and make payments as well as set budgets for hospitals and nursing care. Those two points (payments and budgeting) are prerequisites for Single Payor.
Other countries across the globe have universal healthcare. If your ibectios are technical, then let the technicalities work themselves out when the plan unfolds. Since the real obstacle is political and not technical, it’s easy to see that you are not in favor of universal coverage that is free at the point of use. This is the corporate Democrat boilerplate position: say no and find reasons later.
The truth of it is that modern establishment Democrats are actually the old Rockefeller Republicans of our grandparents era. Angry Bear should take a look in the mirror, as should all establishment Democrats.
Thanks for replying though. I’m sorry if I am speaking sharply.
Psst, speaking sharply?
We are not talking about Universal. I am talking about single payor which will lead to universal. Bernie misses the mark and once again we will have commercial healthcare through ACOs and the insurance industry dictating what healthcare prices are without revealing costs. In the interim to single payor, Kocher and Berwick suggest paying healthcare 120% of Medicare pricing. Even that is a big giveaway. Today the number is 190%. In Michigan No Fault went from whatever (no transparency) to 220%. Do you think I was silent on this?
Sure there is political influence to this, the same as there was for the PPACA with keeping Pharma sacrosanct. When WHO comes back and states with evidence much of the R&D costs are recouped in 2 to 5 years (median) due to sales exceeding costs, and the ICER looks at the 7 drugs which had the largest increases in pricing over two years without delivering new value to the patient, society, healthcare, care, etc.; it is time to bring a bit of reality to the application of healthcare as similar issues can be found with most of healthcare in the US.
This argument pushes aside the politics, the neoliberalism, and nationalist views for the reality of today. I can not make t any plainer and there are others like myself who will hold their feet to the fire.
I should not have to defend this and you should know my or the points. Did you have a different word for ibectios (slang?)?
There isn o doubt who Peter is, he just left out the K.
ibectios = objections when typing on an iPhone while in transit.
Your criticisms of Bernie’s plan make a good case to nationalize healthcare. Return on investment and efficiency (towards maintaining profit) are antithetical to healthcare.
I don’t know the details of Bernie’s plan, but since he is the only one pushing for wall to wall universal coverage that is free at the point of use, I support him.
Your arguments don’t push aside the politics, since they function as an obstacle to universal healthcare. If you re-stated your arguments to function as suggestions for improvements to Bernie’s plan, then you would be avoiding politics.
Let me ask a direct question: do you want to see universal healthcare for all in America now? Do you want to eliminate profit from policy decisions for healthcare?
Which side of the issue do you stand on? If you want these things, then why don’t you write to the Sanders people?
“I don’t know the details of Bernie’s plan,”
Then learn them before you advocate. I am well known for writing on healthcare, (pharma, etc.). Do a search on healthcare at Angry Bear.
Wrong. The difficulty isn’t technical. That is an excuse. The difficulty is political. FDR wanted to do this, but was prevented because of politics. JFK wanted to do this, and would have encountered the same wall of naysayers like yourself had he lived.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. You do not want universal healthcare for all that is free at the point of service. If you did, you would frame your arguments differently and you would see through insincerity of candidates like Kamala Harris.
The New Democrat is finally becoming extinct. Time to return to the New Deal. Technocrats are not able to solve problems. You advocate more of the same. America is disgusted with that.
Sorry, Run. Your type of Democrat is no longer finding a home with Americans. You belong in the Republican Party.
To your earlier comment, this is what I said in return;
From where you arrive at your comment is strange. The issue is cost versus prices. No program will succeed without having a handle on the former before assessing and setting the latter. The savings from such will result in far lower costs in the delivery of healthcare. The argument that taxes will be too high is premature without such an assessment. Get to the root cause.
Over the last year, I have pointed out such issues in cost versus prices in multiple posts using data from JAMA, NEJM, ICER, Health Affairs, WHO, etc. It is painfully obvious what is occurring in the healthcare market place. Each source I mentioned has pointed out the increase in price versus cost.
Warren opened up a can of worms before knowing the answer.
Bernie uses ACOs which will increase cost resulting from overhead and inflate prices for healthcare. The present model makes great use of ACOs in it. The intent of the ACO was to create efficiencies in the delivery of healthcare. Instead it has been used as a focal point for the consolidation of healthcare in various markets. Competition (HHI) in markets has decreased with the buying up of hospitals, clinics, etc. in various key markets which forces insurance to deal only with them if their plans are to be accepted.
Instead of using ACOs to pay hospitals and set budgets for hospitals, clinics and nursing homes; the model must have a single payor or the government to set those budgets for each hospital and pay hospitals etc. for treatment. That is only two of the necessary needs to establish single payor.
Your lack of knowledge on the topic will only delay the implementation of single payor.
Peter, do not waste my time. This is not Economists View.
I am not wasting your time. You make good points. Your criticism of Bernie’s use of ACO’s, if accurate, is valid and worth pursuing. Towards that, I need to ask about what you say at the end:
“Instead of using ACOs to pay hospitals and set budgets for hospitals, clinics and nursing homes; the model must have a single payor or the government to set those budgets for each hospital and pay hospitals etc. for treatment. That is only two of the necessary needs to establish single payor.”
What would be your recommendation to replace or fix Bernie’s ACO’s? Could you give me a link to one of your articles?
I write little on Single Payor. My time is spent on the costs of healthcare.
If you wish to read on Single Payor (or Single payer), google, Kip Sullivan who is leading the charge for single payor in Minnesota. We have a running conversation going as I read his commentary. One article stands out: Why the Bernie Sanders Bill Is Not Single Payer
If you wish to read what I have written, click on Healthcare at the top of the Angry Bear page.
Ok. Thanks for the conversation and the Kip Sullivan link.
At this point, I expect the Democratic ticket to be Biden-Harris. Yes, Harris stumbled. She also recognized it and didn’t burn any bridges. I was hoping to see a Harris-Buttegeig ticket, if only for the irony. Trump getting taken apart in a debate by a much smarter black woman, and Pence getting taken apart by a genuinely religious guy who happens to be gay. It won’t happen, since I do not expect Trump to manage a second term.
You get one or the other name. not both please.
If we were establishing a health care system from a purely private one like existed a century ago in the US, I would probably support a single payer system, although according to the WHO the best run systems in the world, such as that in France, are mixed private-public, with the public part dominant and them being universal. But we are not starting from scratch, which means we have to deal with the reality of going from what we have to whatever we might want to have. That is why it becomes simply imperative to recognize that when voters are asked if they support a Medicare-for-all that immediately ends private insurance, only about a third do so.
Therefore when you declare that Dems who do not agree with you on this “will no longer find a home with Americans.” Looks to me that on this you are delusional, no matter the virtues of the plan. It is not going to find a home with Americans in its strong form, and any Dem running on it will probably not find a home with them or in the White House either. Sorry.
Barkley, polls that frame the issue with questions like “Are you willing to give up your private insurance in order to get Medicare for all?”, are deliberately misleading.
It is like asking a cancer patient, “Are you willing to give up your chemotherapy in order to be cured of cancer?”
The question is framed in such a way as to imply the change to Med4all results in a loss to people who have insurance. It is misleading because it is a poll that wants to be used for political purposes. You don’t see that because you don’t want universal coverage.
Sorry, the delusional one is you. You are a member of a declining population of affluent Americans who are socially liberal. I recommend reading Thomas Frank’s book, “Listen, Liberal.”
This battle of liberalism that is cosmetic only vs. real left wing changes happened on Paul Krugman’s blog in 2015 and 2016. You are still living in Krugman’s universe. Notice how insignificant he has become? This is a trend that will continue. The impeachment fiasco is another nail in the same coffin. You don’t realize it, but American Liberals are very similar to Weimar Liberals leading up to Hitler. You are paving the way for a potential catastrophe.
Barkley has a point. This comes from a lack of education by the advocates of Single Payor and both sides poisoning the well. People are worried about higher costs and taxes. Solve the problem and minimize the issue and you have a start to Single Payor.
Here is Kocher and Berwick om the topic: “While Considering Medicare For All: Policies For Making Health Care In The United States Better“
With all due respect, I am not sure what Barkley’s point is. Your comments to me earlier educated me on the shortfalls of Sanders’ plan. The criticisms are serious. The need for single payer such as what PNHP recommends is very real. There is a categorical difference between infrastructure and the goods and services in commerce. On top of that there is a moral component to healthcare that separates it from all other things.
Concern for costs is good. You and others are right to have this concern. My worry is that it is an excuse to keep the status quo intact. This is unacceptable to a growing number of Americans on the right and the left.
Kip writes for the PNHP also.
If I gave you all the drug prices, what would you do with them then? Deming reached the same conclusion in a different area when asked a question. In LSS and when you reach a perceived conclusion in manufacturing, you still have to explode the direction it pointed you too. If a pair of EpiPens were $600 and they cut the price to $300, are you satisfied? The mechanism cost ~$25 and the meds a few dollars more. What is an equitable price then?
Why was the EpiPen TEVA generic rejected by the FDA a few years back? Because it could not be used in the same manner when following Mylan’s instructions for the Mylan EpiPen. Does it matter? According to Mylan and the FDA it does as a part of the new and approved patent extension for the mechanism.
WHO did a 100+ page paper on cancer drugs. They found R&D costs were recouped in 2 to 5 years (dependent upon cost) and surpassed by leaps and bounds by sales. #1 drug Humira and #2 in Rituxan which cured me for now. All that mouse DNA in it gave me a liking for cheese (just kidding).
WHO again and Doctors Without Borders found each country pay different prices. Katy Athersuch, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Senior Policy Advisor – Medical Innovation & Access, “You Can’t Negotiate Blindfolded.”
Unknowns for now. I want the information so we can cut the prices to a fair and equitable return. I still have to finish this post as well as EpiPens. Much of my time in manufacturing was spent discovering the costs of parts and negotiating their prices and then improving the throughput.
Barkley has a point.
Run (and Barkley),
I didn’t read Barkley as Run did. I agree with run’s concerns for cost. If Barkley is aligned with this, then we are all in agreement. What caused me to write what I did was the “100 years ago” argument, which is what slave owners used to justify keeping the status quo. We all know how that ended.
I want to leave you guys with 2 short political/political-economy news videos. One is from a new YouTube news program featuring Krystal Ball formerly of MSNBC. The other is a short video by Ricard Eskow, who was a speech writer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign and has worked extensively in the healthcare industry.
Krystal Ball is telling the viewers (today, December 11th) that the demographics of the Democratic Party are changing, returning to their working class New Deal roots. Young voters under 35 are the majority of voters as of 2018, and this will only grow. They want economic change, not Liberal rhetoric.
Richard Eskow says in the beginning of his video what was clear to me in 2008 – that we are marching towards a showdown between the left and the right. The face of the right has been changing before our eyes, with both parties making up what we call the right. The left is emerging as the movement by and for working class people.
Thanks for talking to me in the thread – both of you. I will do my part to spread Kip Sullivan’s message.
This has now scrolled off-screen. A couple of final points.
I support single payer over our current system in US, but fear it is not politically salable right now, certainly not as an immediate full replcement of the current system. Heck, poor Obama could barely squeak his much milder and market oriented plan in even with 60 Dems in the Senate. There will be nowhere near that many after 2020 electtion even with the best possible outcome.
There is a problem with the slogan “Medicare-for-all.” It is that Medicare as it exists is not good insrance and nearly everybody on it has supplemental private insurance. Single payer is potentially good, but it will not resemble current Medicare because of the inmadequacies of current medicare.
Finally, in fact I think the system in France really si better than the single payer system in Canada, although it may be harder to get a system like the French one than to get a single payer one like Canada’s.
More generally, I think it is a waste of time and effort and just a big distraction for the Dems to get into all sorts of detailed debated about one plan versus another when it may be hard to get any of them passed, even with a Dem president and a Dem majority in the Senate. All this debating over these plans just plays into Trump’s hands, who is out to gut even mild-mannered Obamcare.