Clinton’s sleight of hand in her health-care argument with Sanders

MinnPost photo by Brent Moore
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking at Friday night's at the Humphrey-Mondale dinner at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

The DFL’s annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner Friday featured presentations by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The two presidential candidates made basically no news. Sanders said exactly what he always says, which I’ve written about plenty.

Clinton’s message tends to vary a bit more from week to week, which is a small gift to journalists. The version delivered Friday night in St. Paul contained no real news but it represented the current state of her argument why she, and not Sanders (although she seldom mentions him explicitly), should be the Democratic nominee for president.

The last time Clinton and Sanders debated, I described what makes Sanders a “radical.” You could easily use Clinton’s St. Paul address to illustrate why she is a liberal seeking incremental change that, she argues, is more achievable than the kind of radical change Sanders advocates. (In fact, the word “achievable” is part of her pitch. She prefers the word “progressive” over “liberal,” but let’s skip a long discussion of that.)

Her presentation in St. Paul was loaded up with slightly oblique remarks that translate to: Bernie is a dreamer, but he can’t deliver. I’m a pragmatist who can. Bernie is a radical, but America is not open to radical change. I’m a pragmatic liberal who will find ways to make practical, achievable progress toward the goals that all liberals share.

This message takes various forms, and it’s impressive how many ways there are to phrase that message without mentioning Sanders by name. For example, here are two from her St. Paul remarks:

“I don’t make promises I can’t keep.”

“I’m a progressive who actually likes to make progress.”

These statements and others like them are part of her standard speech nowadays. I don’t suppose you need my help in decoding them, but they amount to: Bernie is promising things he can’t deliver. Bernie will swing for the fences, but he will strike out. I will hit singles that keep the progressive rally (that Barack Obama started) going.

Vivid illustration

The most vivid illustration, of course, is on the health-care issue. Sanders advocates a change from the current complicated, mixed system to the relatively simple but radical idea of a single-payer system that would guarantee health care for everyone — “as a right” (as he always says) — at government expense, paid for by progressive taxation.

Clinton considers that too radical and not “achievable.” She advocates several smaller changes to expand and plug holes in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) so that we would creep ever-closer to the ultimate liberal dream of an America in which everyone has access to affordable health care.

She certainly may be right about that. Before the advent of the current Era of No Compromise, that argument would have been quite persuasive. There is a legitimate question about whether it applies as well now.

Pretty much every Republican in Congress is committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act and would have long since done so if not for President Obama’s vetoes. Is there reason to believe that on the next round there will be Republicans open to supporting an expansion of Obamacare? I know of no reason to think so.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at the Humphrey-Mondale dinner Friday night.
MinnPost photo by Brent Moore
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at the Humphrey-Mondale dinner Friday night.

Is it reasonable to think that, in 2016, Democrats will win the White House and control of both houses of Congress so they can pass the Clinton-favored expansions of Obamacare without any Republican votes? It is certainly considered possible that the Democrats will win the White House and take back a small majority (but not a filibuster-proof majority) in the Senate, but I know of no one who believes a Democratic takeover of the House is possible.

It is also possible that Republicans will maintain control of both houses of Congress, which is why I have argued that “the top priority for any voter with a liberal Democratic bone in his body should be to retain Democratic control of the veto pen.

I feel confident that both Clinton and Sanders would use the veto pen, if necessary, to prevent the repeal of Obamacare. The next question is which of them is more likely to win. The strong conventional wisdom is that Clinton is the more electable one. I am agnostic on this.

‘Defend Obamacare’

Clinton has at times implied, but not explicitly stated, that if Sanders was president, he would allow the repeal of Obamacare because he prefers single-payer, and that would be a disaster for those who have gained health insurance.

But that’s crazy. And she implies it only obliquely now, as you’ll see in the remarks below, when she says that she wants to “defend Obamacare,” adding: “We’re not gonna plunge this country into some contentious national debate where we’d have to go from zero percent to 100 percent.”

There’s a problem here, to the degree that she seems to imply that Sanders would sign a bill repealing Obamacare (for which, by the way, he voted) if the legislation did not include a replacement program that was closer to his dream of single-payer. I note that she stops short of ever saying that explicitly, but it’s implied in statements like “we’d have to go from zero percent to 100 percent,” and several other things that she says regularly.

There may be some things that can be done to expand the reach of Obamacare with executive action, as Clinton has sometimes implied, although if that’s so it isn’t clear to me why Obama hasn’t already done them.

In truth, it’s likely that if either Clinton or Sanders is the next president, Obamacare will neither be repealed nor expanded much and that next steps will await the result of future elections.

With that in mind, and with apologies in advance for any small errors in transcription, here is an extended excerpt from the closing moments of Clinton’s St. Paul speech, which I hope will be somewhat decoded by the context above.

It begins with a discussion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), for which Clinton has long claimed a share of credit, although her role was mostly behind the scenes because she was first lady at the time (1997) it passed. Here’s the excerpt of Clinton’s St. Paul speech:

I said look, we gotta figure out how to make progress. As much as possible. So I got to work, with Democrats and Republicans, to find common ground. To provide health care to the most vulnerable among us, our children. We were able to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which now is a lifeline for eight million kids across America.

I never gave up on the dream of universal health care in America, not for a second. And eight million kids, as great as it was, wasn’t everything we wanted. But It was real. It was achievable. It made a profound difference.  And I couldn’t bear the thought that we would leave children without health care even a single day longer than we had to.

That’s why I was thrilled when President Obama passed and signed into law the Affordable Care Act. That has been a goal of the Democratic Party since Harry Truman. And it’s helping so many people right now.

We have 90 percent coverage. Ten percent short of universal coverage. No more denials for preexisting conditions. Young people up to the age of 26 can be on their parents’ policies. Women no longer pay more for our insurance than men. And no more lifetime limits.

So yes, I’m gonna defend it. I know how hard it was to accomplish. I want to do everything I can to improve it. Get the costs down. Make sure we get to 100 percent coverage. And rein in drug prices. I want to go right at the drug companies. Requiring them to negotiate lower prices with Medicare and going after predatory pricing, which we have seen in the last months results in price increases of four, 5,000 percent, overnight.

I learned from my family and my faith to try to do as much good as you can, for as long as you can, for as many people as you can. When you see people hurting, maybe unjustly, and you think you can help them, you’ve got to do it. Especially when you’re someone who’s had blessings. Yes, who’s been knocked down but has been able to get back up.

That’s why I say with all my heart: We’re gonna build on the Affordable Care Act. We’re not gonna start over. We’re not plunging this country into some contentious national debate where we’d have to go from zero percent to a hundred percent. We’re going to take on those drug companies. We’re going to take on those costs. And we are finally going to achieve universal coverage.

So yes, we’re gonna do all of that. Because so many people and families depend on us doing that. That is the path forward. Not a divisive debate about the shape of what could be done, a whole system, that will stop us in our tracks, create gridlock and not move us forward.

Here’s my promise to all of you: I will work harder than anyone to actually make changes that improve lives. Together we will build on the progress we’ve made under President Obama, to break down all the barriers that hold America back…

So yes, I will build upon the progress that’s been made. Because I am a progressive who actually likes to make progress.

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Comments (27)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/16/2016 - 08:56 am.

    I remain

    …undecided, for the usual reasons that many a commenter here has already laid out. Both candidates want my vote in November, so there are machinations and partial-truths going on in both campaigns. It’s the nature of the beast. One speaks more to my heart, the other speaks more to my head, and since Minnesota doesn’t have a presidential primary, but instead relies on party caucuses that require registration as a party member – something I want to avoid (been there, done that, didn’t care for it) – I’ll sit out the first round, at least this time. I can easily support either of the Democratic candidates over the increasingly mean-spirited, misogynistic cabal on the Republican side.

    • Submitted by Roy Everson on 02/16/2016 - 07:03 pm.

      FYI

      You don’t have to be a party member, only have the intention to vote for the party whose caucus you attend.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/16/2016 - 09:03 am.

    In that it entirely likely that a President Clinton or Sanders will face a majority opposition House and Senate, the key issue is how they will govern in light of the facts on the ground.

    In the end, little will be accomplished unless there is some game-changing disaster that unites the country.

    So the question is which person do you want as the international figure-head and the person who spearheads and manages reactions to the run-of-the mill international crises.

  3. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 02/16/2016 - 09:59 am.

    Finally

    It’s about time someone in the media call out HRC on these two points.

    First, the “I’ll get it done” nonsense. Obama thought he could reason with the GOP, and kept it up way too long. Now, we all know better. She needs to be asked point blank about how she thinks she’ll be received by GOP House & Senate majorities.

    Second, it is non-sense to suggest that Bernie throw out the ACA with nothing to replace it immediately,
    .
    HRC has gotten a free ride on both of these for too long.

  4. Submitted by Jim Million on 02/16/2016 - 11:07 am.

    Yawning or Fawning? [edited to typo]

    HRC has developed a loyal and intractable cadre of followers over at least 25 years. She “deserves” the nomination in those minds; she’s worked and fought for it, fought for her deluded destiny more than anything else. Eric nicely notes her absolutes:

    “I don’t make promises I can’t keep.”
    “I’m a progressive who actually likes to make progress.”

    This space is filled with mostly sensible comments from many who clearly seem to disagree with HRC.
    So, I humbly ask readers to evaluate these quotes with their own particular metrics of understanding.

    I honestly have always viewed the HRC saga as one of her own personal sense of entitlement, couched, however, in rhetoric of gender entitlement to bring others to rally and support her, whether they understand her egocentric motives.

    Consequently, I have always used her own monogram in reference: HRC, always ironically in the sense of “Her Royal Clinton.” Now you know.

    I very much appreciate that Eric’s followers seem to be strong Sanders supporters, some with substantial foundation for their affinity. For me, that’s the healthiest aspect of many of these threads: the firm adherence to valid philosophical dispositions. As long as thinking is ordered and rhetoric civil, I continue to value those positions.

    So…will serious readers please comment on this article in ways that reveal elemental concerns of character, honesty, and specific attributes of HRC?

    I’d like feedback from Eric’s sensible “usual suspects.” I believe we all should object to dissembling.

    Thanks, all….

  5. Submitted by Jim Million on 02/16/2016 - 10:57 am.

    Afterthought

    Once again, the photo fits the thesis: The face clearly demonstrates disagreement.

    If the right arm and rigid hand rose straight up from her side, we see the body language of rejection/abeyance.

    If that outstretched arm came laterally from the podium, we see dismissal.

    Long ago I learned the revelations of body language, intended and subconscious. Public speaking taught me the use of gestures in formal discourse. Acting classes revealed the more subtle meanings of this language as keys to character and characterization.

    Long before this topic became a populist game.

    • Submitted by C.S. Senne on 02/16/2016 - 01:37 pm.

      Body Language Analysis

      And Bernie’s photo analyzed says what?

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 02/16/2016 - 02:08 pm.

        Which one?

        One recent shot shows him as benevolent and kind, with arms and hands in a rather priestly pose of benediction.

        One prior to that displays an aggressive predator, perhaps, with somewhat crazed eyes and outstretched arms with claw-like hands. That one I sent to a friend, asking:
        “Would you allow this man near your granddaughter?”

        Editorializing is not limited to prose.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/16/2016 - 03:53 pm.

          This is nonsense

          There is no such thing as a universal ‘body language’.
          This differs from person to person, and for a given person, from situation to situation.
          If you knew enough to draw conclusions about someone’s behavior from their ‘body ‘language’, you wouldn’t need it.
          Please refer me to a peer reviewed study that demonstrates the predictive validity of ‘body language’.

  6. Submitted by Tim Smith on 02/16/2016 - 10:58 am.

    lesser ot two evils but…

    Every Democrat for the last 30 years running for any office has promised to take on big pharma, but will the big donations they have made to Hillary (along with big health insurance company donations she has received) make her beholden to them and make it easier to be a minimalist? It also helps her I embrace Barack more then you embrace Barack narrative.

    Love the usual pandering ” No longer will women pay more than men!” that is BS, in Minnesota we did away with gender rating 20 years ago. In States where it was still allowed, women paid more than men at some ages and as they paid much less at others. At the least it was break even if you were covered long term.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 02/16/2016 - 11:16 am.

      Good Example

      HRC continues to use self-engineered cliches from her first campaign of 1991.

      One would think she might at least check back with her publisher–United Health–and her ghost writer, Lois Quam. Those entities well know the history.

      More old clothes and cliches from Grandma’s Attic…

  7. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 02/16/2016 - 11:46 am.

    Fully Implememted?

    Has Obama care been fully implemented?

    If not, why are they not the Dems fighting for the full implementation and its mandates of Obama care before the election?

  8. Submitted by Michael Friedman on 02/16/2016 - 12:13 pm.

    Single payer within Obamacare

    The key issue for those concerned about improved health care is that the ACA — according to what I heard — allows after 2017 for states to receive a waiver in order to experiment with other delivery systems that meet the objectives of universal care. It was on this basis that Vermont developed plans for a statewide single payer system, and why Senator Marty and Representative Hayden continue to offer such legislation in Minnesota.

    If Bernie cannot get national single payer past Congress, we can be pretty confident he will not get in the way of any state applying for a waiver to use this ACA provision.

    But will Hilary deny states the option with the same misleading accusation that it would undermine Obamacare?

  9. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 02/16/2016 - 02:55 pm.

    HRC approach: Let’s nibble at the edges of our…

    …biggest problems, and God forbid we should ever go straight at the root of those problems, because basically, they’re not going to change. So let’s not waste our time attempting fundamental change. It’s simply not going to happen.

    This is a philosophy and approach which is guaranteed to self-fulfill, in all the biggest issues before us:

    1. Health care. Nothing she proposes will change the fact we have the most expensive health care system in the world while producing some of the world’s most modest results. Her “let’s fiddle here, let’s tweak there” cannot accomplish fundamental change, EVEN IF the Republican House went along with her.

    2. Wealth and income disparities. The financial support she gets from the most well-off, the big PACs, and the financial industry, and average donation size (vs. Mr. Sanders), shows the confidence those parties have that she will protect their interests. No quid pro quo needed here – she is one of them.

    3. War policy. What is there in her history or current positions which would lead her to keep us out of future conflicts, or to avoid deepening our involvement in current conflicts?? She offers a flotilla of incremental schemes and artifices as her solution to the Mideast quagmire. When has she ever decried the national catastrophe of our Mideast policy, and sworn she would never allow our foreign policy to damage our country again?? She hasn’t because she can’t – she is one of the authors of the “regime change” mentality which has destabilized the entire region and has been fully on board with it, all the way.

    Nibble at the edges, but make no fundamental change is what “getting things done” means in her messaging.

  10. Submitted by Paulne Wahl on 02/16/2016 - 02:53 pm.

    If only we’d listened

    If we had just followed Hillart’s lead in the early 90s we’d have had long ago the healthcare that Bernie wants now.

    • Submitted by Howard Miller on 02/16/2016 - 03:42 pm.

      leader without portfolio

      Hillary Clinton served as “First Lady” in the 1990’s …. a title without a job description, compensation schedule, set of accountabilities, or government portfolio to manage. She chaired a private conversation about how to restructure health care in the United States, but left out Big Pharma and the AMA – the two biggest stakeholders in health care aside from patients. The conversation face-planted as Big Pharma put out horribly misleading ads to undermine what ever they discussed and concluded … and nothing resulted.

      People didn’t follow the leadership of informal leader Hillary Clinton then. They could have, but it didn’t fly. It took a guy who pushed hope for America – Barack Obama – to break through, expand US medical care coverage for the first time since Medicare and Medicaid were established. A lot of people ridiculed President Obama for taking on health care reform – Rahm Emanuel strongly discouraged him from pursuing it. But because Obama thought big, hoped for a better future, he made something happen that the chattering class had declared impossible.

      Now Hillary promises not to try for anything new, just conserve “Obama’s legacy”. That means that high insurance deductibles and incomplete insurance coverage remain. Confusing annual renewal processes frustrate citizens from high school drop outs to PhD holding smarties. Big Pharma gouges US citizens on drug prices like no one else in the world gets gouged – with the explicit protection of our own Congress. And the US spends some $8700 per citizen on health care, while France – which covers everyone in a single payer plan and gets great public health outcomes – spends about $4200 per citizen.

      I want our next president to dream “YUGE!” ….. we can do better in health care. We can do better on income inequality. We can do better on blocking voter suppression. We can do better on equality. We can do better on justice in our criminal justice system. We can do better on managing foreign entanglements. Hillary has yesterday’s answers …. Bernie Sanders provides answers for today and tomorrow. Feel the BERN!

  11. Submitted by C.S. Senne on 02/16/2016 - 05:07 pm.

    Slogans…

    Slogans are so much fun! And they fit so nicely on Che-type T-shirts. And who doesn’t love a parade–with balloons—and banners! Hey, how about a “Revolution”!! That’s exciting. That’ll draw lots of kids. Fun! Feel the Bern! It’s amusing, however, to muse upon this: what if Bernie were a Female Person…same message, same free college, same Revolution?? If SHE-Bernie showed up wildly waving HER aggressive, body-language arms above HER frizzy, white, bed-head hairdo, clad in the same slightly wrinkled bag-lady dress every day, shouting “Revolution” at the top of HER angry, gravel-pit voice, how many young college students would SHE have enthusiastically parading behind her? Just askin’…LOL

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 02/16/2016 - 07:09 pm.

      I think her name might be Elizabeth Warren,

      …but she’s sitting this one out.

      If she were running, the same issues would resonate with the same voters. That’s what a lot of folks don’t understand – it’s about the issues, not the vital statistics of the candidate. It’s also about the integrity of the candidate.

      Maybe next time?

  12. Submitted by Roy Everson on 02/16/2016 - 07:00 pm.

    Reaching for the moon worked before

    In JFK’s day we had a candidate who set a goal to land an American on the moon in ten years. Today we have a front-runner who seems content to send up more man-made satellites orbiting earth and call it a day, metaphorically speaking. I know, I know, she has an ambitious agenda whipped out last fall. I don’t know that that message is getting out.

    A big reason for HillaryCare’s failure, I recall, it was too complicated for voters to digest. I think everyone could understand if she just said “In addition to these tweaks to ObamaCare I want everyone should have option B, buy into Medicare.”

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 02/17/2016 - 12:05 am.

      Might Happen

      The adviser/author of HillaryCare, Lois Quam, was reported to be a staunch single-payer advocate.

      I suspect we may see some shift in that direction, but one that preserves the Medicare Supplement concept for HRC’s industry friends, particularly United Health.

      These vendors currently do a big business in Med Sups, so a national health plan fashioned in similar profile would bail them out of ACA profit problems and open a broad and profitable perpetual niche.

  13. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/16/2016 - 07:15 pm.

    Looking for a good draw

    Given present politics in DC, best we can hope for is a draw with incremental advance.
    Love Uncle Bernie’s idealism and excitement, but if/when a “D” president hits that Republican, do nothing and everything we can to make you fail, it will be that tough bi-ch who can take Putin out in a cage match that we’ll be wanting in the big chair.

  14. Submitted by Brian Simon on 02/16/2016 - 08:51 pm.

    Goal setting

    I don’t quite get how you reach universal coverage by taking leverage off the table. Why not start with medicare for all & leave closing the ACA gaps as compromise positions? Drug companies fighting tooth and nail against single payer? Ok, give me negotiations on drug pricing. Set a ceiling that we don’t payer higher prices than other western countries. Instead by staking out merely protecting the ACA as her baseline, she’s positioned to lose ground. Why not get corporate America on your side? How much money do companies pay benefits administrators to manage health care plans? Support medicare for all & get out of the business of managing employees’ healthcare. Hobby lobby – you don’t want to pay for brth control? Support medicare for all & don’t pay for any health expenses. Should be a no-brainer.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 02/17/2016 - 09:04 am.

      Competitive Change

      Some business, especially small ones, likely would love to be free of annual plan renewals. That certainly was the “universal” sense in my TPA days.

      Ironically, large employers customarily used benefits packages as competitive issues in hiring. Given the market realities of ACA so far, some better and others growing worse, that likely is no longer as significant to attracting employees.

      Some folks forget that all of this was thoroughly analyzed by all players going back at least to ’09. ACA has been quite messy, especially for many states, including Minnesota (that had a pretty effective, albeit a bit disjointed, program set for years.

      Perceptions are changing with the factual data of “the new reality,” if you will. I could continue with so many examples and critical review of the “new normal,” but that would be irrelevant looking forward.

      One thing is certain in my mind today: United Health put out the prospect of withdrawing from the ACA market for positioning purposes in the coming re-structuring of current weaknesses of ACA. One must believe their announcement was for probing purposes and HRC planking replacements for her new vision.

      It will be interesting to see and hear the effects after the Dem Convention, assuming HRC does prevail. United Health’s most interesting observation, to me, is that they may withdraw sometime this summer.
      Coincidence?

      I rarely believe in coincidence, especially given professional knowledge of this history.

  15. Submitted by Solly Johnson on 02/17/2016 - 01:52 am.

    Electability

    “The strong conventional wisdom is that Clinton is the more electable one.”
    All polls show that Sanders performs better against any of the GOP possibilities. My opinion is that a Clinton nomination will result in many young people, dissatisfied with the process, staying home, which will hurt down ballot Democrats in races for the Senate, House, and other offices. The corporate media are the ones stating that Clinton is more electable, not the voters.

  16. Submitted by Ellen Hoerle on 02/18/2016 - 02:35 pm.

    Interesting

    Clinton’s comments are almost verbatim what she said during the Town Hall in New Hampshire. It landed with a thud on my psyche then and now. The statement, “I will work harder than anyone to actually make changes that improve lives.” sheds light on part of the distinction between her and Bernie–Bernie acknowledges he can’t do it alone and he is right. “No president can do it alone. That’s why we need a political revolution.” or something like that. Clinton seems to believe that all she has to do is work harder than anyone else and things will fall into place. But this is humanly impossible. The goal must be to inspire others to help her reach the goals she wants to reach because only then are the goals achievable.

    But this has historically been a problem for Democrats. Different people feel immediate aversion or attraction to certain arguments and statements from different candidates and Democrats have historically and consistently been unable to extend the Conservative arguments to the level that gets people to feel aversion toward those policies/positions.

    Case in point. Not enough of us felt aversion to Jim Crow Laws until Civil Rights legislation was passed at the national level. Only people not alive (the younger generations) during that time feel immediate revulsion when learning how unfairly blacks were treated, (but not all.) Many of those who were alive then either didn’t interact with blacks (there are lots of rural areas in the Mid-West that didn’t and still don’t have high populations of blacks) or learned to accept the status quo and learned from their families and culture to justify it in their minds.

    But in order to not feel immediate revulsion toward Jim Crow laws is to believe at some level that people with black skin are naturally inferior to people with white skin, and that black people cannot do anything to change this fundamental aspect of their existence. They cannot behave with exceptional character. They cannot learn exceptional skills. But if one believes this about Blacks, what they also believe is that Blacks are impervious to the impact of the insults, hatred, double standards, prejudice and vitriol thrown their way. In other words, Blacks are so sub-human that they have no feelings.

    Now, replace ‘Jim Crow’ in the above paragraph with ‘health-care-for-all’ and replace ‘Black’ with ‘poor’ and replace ‘white’ with ‘gainfully employed by a large corporate employer’ or ‘over 65’. If one believes that poor people don’t deserve access to health care equal to the level of access of those who are gainfully employed, one must fundamentally believe that poor people are sub-human and don’t deserve access to health care because they don’t deserve to be healthy.

    The ACA is the equivalent of repealing certain aspects of Jim Crow but allowing others to remain. It did not expand health care access to every poor American. It does not address the huge disparity of insurance premiums between different geographic areas or different states within the U.S. or between employer-sponsored policies and individual-market purchased policies. It does not address the restrictions of providers placed on policy holders. It does not address the issue of underinsurance, where high deductibles still hinder people from seeking health care when they need it. The ACA is better than what we had before, but not enough better. More and more Americans are feeling aversion toward our health care system because of its fundamental unfairness and exorbitant cost.

    That’s why Bernie is gaining supporters. Hillary’s positions do not appeal or even resonate with the increasing level of feelings of aversion to the unfairness and exorbitant cost of our health care system. Those of us who at least partially incorporate the feelings of every single human being who we share this planet with, not just with those whom we share skin color or income status, it is appalling that our country has not been able to do better–So Far.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/19/2016 - 09:07 pm.

      We’ll disagree and leave it at that

      Sun Tzu Has a different way of looking at things. The theoretical conclusion is, not all wars are winnable, some advance may be possible, but at what cost? “Idealism vs pragmatism”.

  17. Submitted by Wade Brezina on 02/22/2016 - 10:19 pm.

    It really is about the money

    Granted I will most likely support HRC if it looks like anyone in the Republican clown car will have a chance. However, we do need a political revolution driven by Americans who realize that the system is rigged and they must make actual effort to get out and vote in candidates that do not depend on money from the people rigging the system in order to get elected.

    I hope that will be a new wave of Democrats that come out to get universal health care, election and lobbying reform, and a reasonable taxation system.

    It is no accident that in my life time one family from AR has managed to accumulate more wealth than over 40% of Americans combined! We should not forget that the Democrats controlled congress during the Reagan revolution and enacted the Reaganomics that we are still living with. Rather than risk loosing power, Democrats moved right. Clinton gave us NAFTA, GATT, enacted the idea that regulation was bad for the finance industry and repealed Glass Steagall. Clinton also gave us years of Greenspan, as well as choosing Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers.

    While it is true that George W. Bush and the republicans added fuel to the fire and the current Republican congress has no interest in acknowledging the clear fact that our economy becomes corrupt and functions to redistribute wealth from the country at large to an elite few in the absence of strong government regulation.

    The fact remains that the groundwork which allowed for the crime of the century was bipartisan and significantly driven by the choices of President Clinton. The fact also remains that the people responsible for this unimaginably large fraud were not only not prosecuted but in many cases remain in positions of power and influence. I honestly don’t believe that President Obama would not have prosecuted these crooks were it not for the fact that many of them fund the Democratic establishment.

    When it comes to health care, again, follow the money. A super pac of nurses compared to large insurance companies. Who do you think will drive decisions that make your health care better?

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