THE COHEN COLUMN--The person we will support for president in 2020 is the person who will actually introduce a single payer Medicare-For-All bill in the US Senate NOW!
We've been asking you to call Bernie Sanders to force him to do it. Here are his numbers again.
Washington, DC: 202-224-5141
Burlington, VT: 802-862-0697
St. Johnsbury, VT: 802-748-9269
The reason why we have been calling Bernie out, in particular, for the last week is because he expressly promised, months ago, that he would introduce such a bill. And then one of our participants emailed and asked, "Hey, what about Elizabeth Warren, she's for single
OK, fine, so what about Elizabeth Warren? Where is HER single payer health care bill? She has phone numbers too, you know, and here they are:
Washington, DC: 202-224-4543
Boston, MA: 617-565-3170
Springfield, MA: 413-788-2690
We hear frequent talk from various Democratic politicians expressing support for single payer, the ONLY practical solution to fix our runaway national health care expense debacle.
A recent article in CityWatch argues that the best solution is “Universal Health Care”. Unfortunately in our passionately capitalist country if that were to happen Armageddon would already be two days old - or it will happen when Senator Chuck Schumer rescinds the carry interest exemption for Wall Street hedge fund managers.
So introduce a bill in the Senate already, even if it's only a carbon copy of the existing HR676 in the House, and then we'll know who is for real, and who is not. But of course, that is precisely why it has not happened yet, so that nobody has to actually be put on the spot, like the 20 plus members of the Democratic PROGRESSIVE caucus who STILL have not sponsored even HR676.
The Republicans are now saying they have to pass some kind of health care repeal on their own, because otherwise they might have to, heaven forbid, perish the thought, anything but that, work with the Democrats.
Except that they ARE working with the Democrats, they are doing it right now, and have been doing it since at least 2009, they just won't admit it. And what they are working TOGETHER on doing is to block any move towards single payer.
When the original Affordable (so-called) Care Act (ACA) was being considered in 2009, the Republicans demanded the right to put forward amendments, a number of which were included in the bill, presumably on the theory that it would win Republican support. So how many Republican passage votes did those legislative concessions win?
None, nada, zero, zippo. Not one Republican voted for the final bill. Not one.
The whole thing was a doomed right wing idea from the outset, derived from a proposal by the reactionary Heritage Foundation, modeled on the plan implemented in Massachusetts by then Republican Governor Romney.
So why won't the Republicans admit they LOVE they basic idea of Obamacare?
Why the brick wall political opposition?
We just answered our own question. It has all been just politics, a charade founded in ugly racism, nothing but a move to use the bill as a punching bag of hatred against our first "black" president. If anything, those amendments were just an attempt to sabotage the chances of the bill to ever work.
And that is why even now the Republicans have nothing to offer but ANOTHER "market" based PRIVATE health care system, only ensuring more gouging profits for the health care special interests. That is why in all the time since 2010, despite all their campaign talk about repeal
and replace, until a couple weeks ago they never went public with a proposed "better way" in black and white on paper, because they in fact have no improvement to offer.
That is why the Democrats, for their part, despite admitting for years that the ACA had problems, and lamenting about it, had never actually proposed any specific changes to fix it, not even one time.
The two party political fight in Washington over health care is as fake as a cable TV wrestling match. It may in fact be the case that Trump's biggest credential to referee this fight now is his World
Wide Wrestling connection. It's nothing but a bipartisan tag team of BOTH major political parties working TOGETHER to beat up on the interests of the people, a perfectly scripted harmony of gouging all the rest of us.
And that is why, when we demand that somebody actually introduce a single payer in the Senate, as we are doing now, all we have heard so far are crickets.
And until somebody actually does, as a first concrete step forward, as far as we are concerned they are all in on it. ALL of them. The total BS stops here.
Who will it be? Who will now demonstrate their real leadership? Who will be the next president of the United States?
Remember the answer is always: VOTE
(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and a contributor to CityWatch.)