Georgia demoted McConnell; what comes next?

Joe Biden will begin his presidency with a legislative majority in both the House and Senate for the first two years of his presidency.

Democrats need to take a lesson from the Republicans who have proven themselves wholly unfit to govern, and use that majority to its full effect to put out a full and complete repudiation of McConnell and Trump’s legislative policy.

First priority, after correcting the COVID Vaccination rollout, should be appointing an Attorney General who will investigate and prosecute the crimes committed by the Trump administration.

Second priority should be addressing their assault on the judicial branch of government through impeachment, where possible, of his appointments and by adding seats to the Supreme Court bench to eliminate the Republican majority and the power of the three Trump appointed Justices.

While all that is happening, rebuilding the CDC, reconnecting with the WHO and UN, treating white supremacy militias as domestic terrorism cells, releasing the caged immigrants and returning their abducted kids back to them, rejoining the Paris Accords, police reform, and ending funding to the border wall should all be taken care of.

Improving the ACA and working toward a single payer health care system needs to begin. 

A national minimum wage that provides a living wage, tied to inflation rates needs to be established.

And, the government needs to make a massive commitment to national infrastructure including job training and placement programs to create and fill the jobs necessary, not just to repair and maintain the current infrastructure, but to also upgrade it for the future.

Biden may not be the progressive I wanted, but he is an improvement over Trump, he will assemble a competent cabinet and empower them to lead without heavy handed micromanagement, and he will sign the bills put in front of him by a Democrat majority congress.

This means he will be as progressive as the Congress we, as voters, give him.

So, while we expect him to get to work on repairing the damage of the McConnell/Trump era, we need to get to work on the 2022 midterm elections to provide him an even stronger congressional support system to write the policies and create the budgets we want signed by the President.

The incredible work to drive record breaking voter registration and turnout to defeat Trump and flip the Senate was just the first step, not the end game. Don’t sacrifice the momentum. This is our opportunity to truly start checking and correcting our #Culturalinertia.

Reality Check

Time for some real talk.

Regardless of your political viewpoint, regardless of its origin, COVID-19 is real.

We had an opportunity in the early part of this year to minimize its spread and the death toll.   For a variety of reasons it would be counterproductive to list here, we — as a nation — failed to do so.

People are sick and suffering across the country as a result.  Hundreds of thousands have died, and very likely hundreds of thousands more will.  Many of those who survive will have long lasting health issues.

Regardless of the outcome of the current election, we are faced with an important reality check.

We only have a few options to choose from:

Option 1:

Issue a three go four week national stay at home order, limit interaction to deliveries and pickups cleaning things before handling them, and essentially kill off the virus by eliminating its ability to transfer to new hosts.  This will not save those already infected, it will save the largest possible number of us though. This is the fastest path to economic recovery.

Option 2:

Do nothing, reopen everything, allow the the virus to achieve maximum infection and death rate and then those lucky enough to survive without long term health concerns as a result attempt to return to normal.  Our health care system cannot handle the burden of this option
Countless additional people will die due to the lack of available space, resources, and medical staff to save them. Our consumer economy cannot survive the loss of that many consumers.

Option 3:

Continue a half-assed piecemeal approach with varying reactionary steps being taken in different regions while people travel back and forth through them defeating the purpose of such measures.  Our health care system cannot handle the burden of this option
Countless additional people will die due to the lack of available space, resources, and medical staff to save them. Our consumer economy cannot survive the loss of that many consumers.

Where Does That Leave Us:

Both options 2 and 3 result in continued suffering and death, collateral damage, an overburdened health care system, and long term economic devastation that will not begin to reverse until a safe vaccine is developed.

With the combination of our for profit health care system and the anti-vaxxer movement in our nation, that vaccine will still not likely be available to enough people that will take it to effectively achieve the goal of herd immunity without all the suffering and death caused by the illness.

The only viable option available to us, truthfully, is option 1. No other option saves as many lives or saves the economy (not just the stock market values) as quickly. Options 2 and 3 will take years before they have run. their course.

We will need leadership with the courage to make the call and the willingness to enforce it.

If we choose wrong, you or someone you know will suffer direct consequences. Everyone will suffer the indirect consequences.

Let’s Discuss “Medicare For All”

People on both sides of the political isle are making a big deal out of the sudden Democratic support for Bernie Sander’s annual “Medicare for All” bill.
This is something he has proposed almost every year since he’s been in Congress. This is the first year the party is showing support for it.
First let’s look at this bill from the Democrat’s perspective:
Nobody in the party expects this bill to pass through a Republican majority in both the Senate and the House to reach the Oval Office for signature by a Republican President.
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For Democrats, this current bill’s only purposes are to force Democrats to decide if they’re going to align themselves for the 2018 midterms with the populist progressive base that rose up within their party last year or that entrenched corporatism of the health care lobbyists and their deep donor pockets.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Warren, Booker and others are aligning with Sanders, while Pelosi and her camp are still for maintaining the ACA as is instead of using it as a launch pad to something even better. Even Clinton, today, came out against the Medicare for All bill, and Sanders who introduced it..
The folks at Fight For Healthcare are even keeping a running list of which Democrats have supported the bill and which have not along with the tagline:
“If your senator isn’t supporting medicare for all, call & ask them “Why not?”
But for anyone that’s been following along with the political climate for the last few years, there should be few if any surprises on that list.

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For the Republicans, this is a perfect opportunity to continue the intentional conflation of socialized medicine with Socialism.  It will serve as their own rally cry for 2018, as they scream:
“How can we afford it?”
“Who’s going to pay for it?”
“Where’s the money going to come from?”
“Not my taxes!”
But this is nothing new either, we already have decades of proof from the Nixon era on, but especially since the advent of “Reaganomics.” that the price tag for compassion is far to steep for Republicans to tolerate.
So let’s take a moment to answer those questions, because the Democrats, including Sanders don’t seem to be doing a great job of doing so in a coherent and meaningful manner.
From a fiscally conservative standpoint, how can we afford not to?
If the populace had access to Medicare for All for fundamental care, it would immediately eliminate the need for ACA subsidies for health insurance assistance, all of which could be instantly diverted to this pool of money as well.
It would lower the cost of actual health care through nationally negotiated single payer rates.
It would eliminate the necessity for mandatory insurance penalty taxes from the ACA.
It would eliminate the need for employers to carry insurance plans for their employees, as well as the necessity to pay the employer portion of the premiums for those plans.  This would allow them to free up money to pay higher wages or hire more workers, both of which boost the economy.
It would eliminate the need for employees to pay exorbitant health care premiums for care they can’t afford to use anyway because of the massive deductibles.    This would in essence give a net income raise to all of our citizens as their disposable income would greatly increase each month as a result.   Thus making a living minimum wage, a lower requirement for employers to shoulder.   Consider how significant a portion health care and health care insurance play in the current cost of living in our nation.
That release of corporate obligation in health care would also free employers over any concern due to religious objection as to what care is available to their employees.
It would also allow for the closure of quite a few corporate welfare tax loopholes over health care expenses.   The proceeds from which could be diverted into the funds for Medicare for All instead of back to the corporations.
It would eliminate the requirement for “in network” insurance limitations and confusing variable fees for the populace.
It would make insurance valid anywhere in the United States without having to absorb those out of network fees.  Thus making the workforce more open to relocation and travel as well as making leisure travel more likely for people have avoid it for due to concerns over availability of care.
It would lead to people pursing the use of more preventative care to avoid illness instead of focusing on reactive care only after they become ill.   This will mean that employees will require less sick days and health will be less of a factor in creating non-productivity due to untreated chronic illness at work.

The availability of preventative care for all would greatly lower the risk pool for more expensive medical needs.

It wouldn’t take a significant new additional Medicare tax on income for people and/or businesses to cover it, and that new would be more than offset by both the individual savings of the people and their employers.
Finally, it wouldn’t even end the Insurance business as many will ask you to believe.
Even now, those on Medicare can pursue additional supplemental insurance for elective procedures and other issues.   There is no reason those options will not continue, and continue to be quite lucrative for the companies that offer them.
  • A healthier populace.
  • Increase in Net Income for everyone (for many the difference between poverty and middle class) as a result of lifting insurance costs
  • Increase in corporate profits for all businesses already carrying health insurance for their staff for the same reasons, leading to more profits, the ability to hire more or pay more, as well as increase marketing and reinvestment in the company
  • Economic boost from businesses investing more and populace with more disposable income.
  • Removal of insurance as a middle man to prevent care, so insurance can become a supplement for add-on and elective services.

 

How can we honestly accept that not moving to Universal Health Care is the fiscally conservative option?

Finally, there is the wild card in this entire political battle over health care.

 

 

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While Trump campaigned heavily on ending the Affordable Care Act — that dreaded ‘Obamacare’ — but he also mentioned more than once the promise that he’d improve health care and get everyone covered with better care.
If the bill does make it to his desk, I give it a better than 50-50 chance that he signs it, because doing so allows him to claim he ended ‘Obamacare,’ while also punishing all those Republicans who have openly disparaged him throughout his campaign and presidency.
It will play right into his narrative of being an outsider.
And the change will directly benefit every one of his own personal business interests.