Editorial: Democrats pushing for socialized health care

In a speech in Illinois this past week former President Obama called “Medicare for all” a “good new idea.”

He said, “It’s harder for young people to save for a rainy day, let alone retirement. So Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas like a higher minimum wage, they’re running on good new ideas like Medicare for all, giving workers seats on corporate boards, reversing the most egregious corporate tax cuts to make sure college students graduate debt-free.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders actually has such a bill pending that would nationalize and socialize the U.S. health care system and claims he has 16 Democratic senators supporting it. Sanders has argued that the United States spends almost three times as much on health care per capita as the British, who have a socialized system.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said in August she supports an eventual move to a “Medicare-for-All” but that it is not immediately plausible.

“I applaud the concept, I understand what they’re trying to do at the end of the day, which is get us to the day where we have health care that everybody has and they can afford,” she said in an interview with the online news site The Nevada Independent. “And what it looks like, you can call it whatever you want, but we’ve got to take incremental steps along the way and bring everybody along.”

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller meanwhile is said to be leaning toward supporting a move by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who would take money spent under the Affordable Care Act and give it to states in the form of block grants.

As for Medicare for all, a recent George Mason University’s Mercatus Center study found Sanders’ plan would add $32.6 trillion to federal spending in its first 10 years and costs would steadily rise from there. Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

The proposal also would amount to a roughly 40 percent cut across the board in payments to doctors and hospitals, a devastating blow to the economy. With rural hospitals already going out of business, image how many more would have to close and how many doctors would retire or change professions.

As if the costs were not enough, that aforementioned British socialized health system earlier this year was forced to cancel 50,000 non-emergency surgeries due to hospital overcrowding. Emergency room waits were said to be as long as 12 hours.

You don’t have to pay as much for something you don’t get.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

Obama calls for Medicare for all. (Getty Images pix)

 

Unprincipled: It matters not what is said, but who is saying it

Harry Reid is demanding an apology from a Louisiana Senate candidate for saying Reid runs the Senate like a plantation, but when Hillary Clinton said the same about the House eight years ago, Reid defended her remarks. Reid talks out of both sides of his mouth.

Bill Cassidy (E&E photo)

Bill Cassidy, a Baton Rouge Republican congressman, was quoted by E&E Publishing as saying Reid “runs the Senate like a plantation. So instead of the world’s greatest deliberative body, it is his personal, sort of, ‘It goes if I say it does, if not it stops.’ (Louisiana) Senator (Mary) Landrieu’s first vote for him to be re-elected means that every other wish for a pro-oil and gas jobs bill is dead. Reid will never allow a pro-oil and gas jobs bill.”

In response, Politico quoted Reid as saying, “With all of the things going on in America today, that’s fairly insensitive. That’s really insensitive. Very insensitive. And if there were ever a statement that deserved an apology, this is it. Big time.”

But he had a different tune in 2006 when then-Sen. Hillary Clinton told a mostly black audience in Harlem that the House “has been run like a plantation, and you know what I’m talking about. It has been run in a way so that nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard.”

Reid shrugged off the comments by saying, “I didn’t listen to the speech, but no one can question her civil- and human-rights credentials. They’re the best.”

It is not what is said, but who is saying it.