And so, ask progressive advocates for single-payer solution, “Why would we settle for half-measures when the reform we need is just as plausible?”
Seem Verma, President Donald Trump’s administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), came out swinging on Monday against the public option—a plan backed by some centrist Democratic presidential contenders—calling it and Medicare for All “equally dangerous.”
Verma’s remarks calling for an expansion of the current for-profit healthcare system came during a keynote speech at the Medicare Advantage Summit in Washington, D.C.
They are unsurprising, given her record of seeking to strip away healthcare “protections and provisions for vulnerable people,” and, more recently, calling a single-payer plan like Medicare for All “bad” and “scary.”
Deploying a standard GOP talking point, Verma said Monday, “we need government to be more hands-off.”
She expressed concern over “the proposals we have seen to upend healthcare in America, particularly Medicare for All and the public option.” Picking up on an accusation she’s levied before, Verma said, “These proposals are the largest threats to the American healthcare system.”
A Medicare for All system, she falsely asserted, would boot every American “into a system where Congress and bureaucrats make decisions about their care.” Repeating the administration’s narrative, Verma said Medicare for All would “harm seniors’ access to care.”
“I view a public option and Medicare for All as equally dangerous,” she said.
According to supporters of Medicare for All, the stated opposition by Verma—like that from Republicans, corporate interests, and even centrist Democrats like 2020 candidate Joe Biden—shows that it makes no political sense to fight for the less transformative public option when a true single-payer plan is achievable.
As the Physicians for National Health Program put it:
A world in which Congress ignores corporate opposition and passes a public option is a world in which Congress could be pressed to enact #MedicareForAll. Why would we settle for half-measures when the reform we need is just as plausible? https://t.co/7MAj2fe2tj
— PNHP (@PNHP) July 22, 2019
Verma framed potential passage of a public option, a plan put forth by Biden, as tantamount to passing a single-payer system.
Access will be compromised for patients, and reimbursement cuts in the public plan will shift more pressure to employer-sponsored plans to make up the difference, driving up costs for 180 million Americans with private insurance. Make no mistake—the public option is a Trojan horse with a single payer hiding inside. It would use the force of government price setting to crowd private insurers out of the marketplace altogether, and achieve the true policy goal of a government-run single payer healthcare system.
Those comments echo industry talk points like the ones put out by the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.
In a statement last week in response Biden’s proposal, PAHCF’s executive director Lauren Crawford Shaver said, “Unfortunately, Vice President Biden’s proposal for a new government insurance system through a ‘public option’ would undermine the progress our nation has made and ultimately lead our nation down the path of a one-size-fits-all healthcare system run by Washington.”
The corporate Democrat-aligned group has been waging a propaganda blitz against a single-payer system, though, as Public Citizen recently noted, they are not alone in their efforts, with other groups recently boosting their spending on such efforts as well.
Those efforts, though, seem to have done little to dampen voters’ enthusiasm for ditching the current for-profit system.
A straw poll released Monday by Democracy for America showed that Medicare for All was one of two top priorities—along with the Green New Deal—among the group’s more than one million progressive members heading into the 2020 presidential election. It has broadbacking as well; other polls have shown a majority of Americans supporting such a healthcare system.
Is Trump is right? Is there ‘something going on’ at Fox News?
President Donald Trump denounced Fox News after the network released a poll showing him lagging behind the four current frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"Fox has changed, and my worst polls have always been from Fox. There's something going on at Fox — I'll tell you right now," Trump told reporters Sunday in New Jersey. "And I'm not happy with it."
The president went on to list which talent on the Fox News roster he was pleased with, while also suggesting that the hosts of the presidential debates could be determined by who treats him most favorably.
"Fox was treated very badly by the Democrats — very, very badly having to do with the Democrats and other things. And I think Fox is making a big mistake," Trump added. "Because you know, I'm the one who calls the shots on the really big debates. I guess we're probably planning on three of them. And I'm not happy with Fox."
Plastic snow falling in the Arctic
Plastic pollution has reached one of the most remote places on Earth: the Arctic. That is according to two separate studies released last week which found tiny plastic particles, known as microplastics, in Arctic snowfall and frozen within the sea ice.
A study by German and Swiss scientists found that snow falling in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard contained as many as 14,400 particles of plastic per litre.
They said it was likely the particles were being blown in from populated areas thousands of miles away, before being trapped in snow and falling to Earth.
He ‘knows where lots of Trump bodies are buried’: Ex-Mueller associate says president’s latest dissension spells trouble
President Donald Trump has reportedly fallen out with a decades-long friend, private equity real estate investor Tom Barrack, who is currently the focus of a federal investigation into how the money from Trump's inaugural fund was raised and spent.
On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner laid out a key reason why Trump may want to distance himself from Barrack at this point:
Televised hearings are in our future (can’t come soon enough). Tom Barrack knows where lots of Trump’s bodies are buried (figuratively speaking), inaugural committee bodies and others. Let’s hope Barrack is already quietly assisting prosecutors. https://t.co/BlgsiaX0YP