Clinton and Sanders on Guns and Healthcare

    bernie-hillaryThe long-simmering race for the Democratic Presidential nomination is starting to boil over as recent polls show Bernie Sanders solidifying his lead in New Hampshire, even with Hillary Clinton in Iowa, and closing fast what had been a 20+ point national gap. The putative frontrunner and Bernie have been battling most notably over guns and healthcare. Following is a brief look at the charges and countercharges, who's right, and what I think it should all mean to Democratic voters.

    Gun Control

    Claim and Counterclaim: Clinton claims that she is demonstrably better when it comes to gun control and that Sanders has raised feeble excuses for voting the way gun makers and lobby want. Sanders counterclaims that Clinton is flailing at him because she's tumbling in the polls.

    Analysis: The Brady Bill, which Sanders voted against repeatedly, has saved many thousands of lives. Enacted in early-1994, it mandated a background check and waiting period for most gun purchases. Since the end of 1993, the homicide rate in America has dropped by well over 50%.

    Demographic shifts and better policing probably have helped make America safer but the simple fact is that the two years when America suffered the most homicides were 1991 and 1993. Since then the murder rate has declined steadily. The Brady Bill has prevented an estimated 2.1 million gun sales. The correlation between background checks and a dropping homicide rate is very strong. The two are almost certainly linked causally.

    Clinton is also criticizing Sanders for voting in 2005 to shield gun makers and dealers from liability in nearly every instance. The law was passed over Senator Clinton's opposition. It's clearly bad legislation. A small number of “bad apple” gun dealers are responsible for nearly all of the guns used in crimes.

    The shield law makes it nearly impossible to hold these bad apples liable. Moreover, the legislation stymied a promising trend among some gun makers to produce “smarter” weapons - e.g., ones equipped with (a) fingerprint readers that could not be discharged by an individual whose prints hadn't been inputted into the gun or (b) built-in locks. When gun manufacturers no longer feared product liability suits, their interest in building safer firearms evaporated.

    Sanders recently rebutted Clinton's charges that he is wrong on guns by claiming, in reference to recent voter surveys showing him surging, "Secretary Clinton, obviously now, sees herself in trouble". In the past he has excused his votes against sensible gun control laws by noting the rural nature of his home state. A pro-Sanders columnist H.A. Goodman calls Clinton a hypocrite for attacking Bernie as soft on gun control. Goodman points out that in her 2008 campaign, Hillary called herself a "pro-gun churchgoer".

    Sanders may be right that Clinton's is lashing out in part due to desperation and it is true that the percentage of gun owners in Vermont is high. On the other hand, Clinton's reason for talking about guns now is irrelevant to the question of who is better on this issue and surveys show the majority of NRA members, including presumably those who live in Vermont, support background checks. Goodman's reference to Clinton's campaign history ignores the fact that she voted for and has consistently supported more stringent controls on gun sales while Sanders has not.

    Winner: Clinton wins this by unanimous decision. On two very important pieces of gun control legislation - one of which has likely saved tens of thousands of American lives - Sanders has voted against the best interests of the American people. Clinton on the other hand has been a reliable foe of gun manufacturers and their lobby. It is no surprise the Brady Center has endorsed Clinton. Gun control is the one area where, to this progressive, she is clearly superior to Sanders. She didn't earn a knockout only because Sanders responses to her attacks, while disingenuous, are not fundamentally dishonest.


    Claim and Counterclaim: Hillary and Chelsea Clinton have taken to the campaign trail over the past few days to allege that Bernie Sanders wants to “dismantle Obamacare”. Their implication is that his "Medicare-for-all" proposal would strip healthcare from millions of Americans. Part of the claim seems to rest on the allegation that Sanders would delegate responsibility for implementing his plan to the states. Since many are controlled by hostile Republicans, red state residents may be left with nothing the thinking goes.

    Sanders counterclaims that the charge is absurd. He says he would only replace the Affordable Care Act in the event he could shepherd through Congress a federal law mandating universal single-payer coverage that Republican governors and legislators could not skirt.  Sanders also contends his plan would lead to better healthcare results and save the American people money.

    Analysis: This is an easy one. The Clintons are lying. As Mother Jones pointed out Tuesday:

    Sanders' health care plan, which he outlined in legislation in 2013, would replace the current piecemeal approach to coverage through many different programs—private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP—with government-provided coverage for everyone. As with the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges, Sanders' 2013 bill relies on states to develop single-payer plans. But as the Sanders campaign stresses, any state that refused to set up a singe-payer system would have the federal government step in and do it. So unlike with the current Medicaid expansion, states could not opt out of "Berniecare."

    Interestingly, the feminist online magazine Jezebel has also weighed in on this controversy. Citing Chelsea's claim on the Iowa campaign trail that Bernie Sanders would “strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance,” Anna Merlan writes:

    Th[is] is misleading at best and a grossly inflammatory lie at worst, because Sanders supports single-payer healthcare, and always has, and talks about it more or less constantly. The most recent bill he introduced was in 2013, and [this] video . . . is of him in 2014, advocating for it again.

    Winner: Sanders by a knockout. Clinton is lying about his healthcare proposal and cynically sending her daughter out to do the same. They are trying to frighten people who finally have healthcare insurance into believing Sanders might take it away.  Instead Sanders is fighting for a better more comprehensive alternative than the one in place today.


    Clinton and Sanders each win one important issue. In another year, say 1976, Clinton's superiority on guns would go a long way with me. 40 years ago, top marginal income tax rates were at 70%. We were at peace and we there was a bipartisan consensus on the importance of addressing environmental problems.  On the other hand, on the eve of the Ford-Carter Presidential race, violent crime rates were higher than now and rising. In large part due to the Brady Bill, which Sanders paradoxically opposed, more gun control laws are not as crucial to the nation's present and future well-being as taking on economic injustice and global warming - two areas where Sanders is particularly strong. Bernie Sanders is easily the best candidate running for President in 2016.


    Funny, I would say in another year - like 2008 - arguments about single-payer health care would matter to me, and gun control wouldn't. I'm pretty sure for the next 4 years, if health care "reforms" are proposed, they'll be used by the Republicans to gut the system, so while I've had issues with Obamacare, it's what we've got for now - time to win some congressional seats before we get cocky and expansive.

    As for gun control, don't we see some kind of wicked school or cafe shooting every week now? Sure, the high murder rate in the early 90's was alarming, but so is the access to guns and the continued friction with the open-carry bastards and the lunatics, with somehow the "let's just make sure the insane can't get guns" when quite often access to guns turns people into maniacs and of course then makes them dangerous maniacs.

    And no, I don't think the Clintons' argument is very truthfully or accurately put - I assume that any Sanders plan will require acceptance of the target before dismantling the current system. I just don't think we'll get any acceptance anytime soon.

    Bernie Sanders made $70+ million talking to people. The scandal!!! What kickbacks and government largesse and welfare dollars are all those people expecting? He'll be a modern-day Robin Hood - yay!!! Free lunch!!!

    We can all play these silly games. All candidates raise money, all candidates make promises, all candidates pander to multiple constituencies. Hillary's are all evil, of course - if she gets union endorsements with 18 million members, it wasn't transparent, she's deceiving them, she'll walk it back as soon as elected, yadda yadda.

    Is it possible for you to see differences between "Council for Behavioral Healthcare", "London Drugs", "Healthcare Information & Management Systems", "California Medical Association", "American Society for Clinical Pathology", "Advanced Medical Technology Association" and "National Association of Chain Drug Stores"? Do you think a presidential candidate shouldn't be talking to these groups, or simply not taking money?

    This conservative group thinks her prescription plans are evil - would have thought you'd be cheered by that.

    And instead of taking money from poor people in an uphill election bid, she's gouging pharma & health companies, bankers, others who can afford it - thought that would hit in your zone as well.

    Hillary also spoke on European Security and on the Ukraine crisis, and as a freebie weighed in on Diaprim gouging. Does Bernie get invited & paid to speak about all these things? $368 a seat dinners? Let them eat Creme Brulee.

    but I guess it's better for 2250 folks on social security or foodstamps to pull together $100 each to pay for a real down-to-earth people's party equivalent of 1 Hillary speech. Money has to come from somewhere, and might as well be the kids' piggy bank.

    And Hal, one thing you don't seem to get is that many of us think it's okay for her to change her mind. In the 80's, I would have tried bargaining with Republicans. Since 2009? not a chance - nutty as rabid wombats without the cute factor. Hillary's HMO approach in 1993 in retrospect wouldn't have been so good, but it was pretty much the best proposal at the time - should we stick with something that kinda sucks for consistency's sake, or self-flagellate because we didn't have the grade A purity-progressive all-encompassing eternal solution?

    So there will be no compromise between us, as you don't believe in compromise. Someone says $15, and that's then the gold standard - not $12, not $13, not varied by region & cost-of-living, but $15 across the board. Just one example of the futility.


    "Bernie Sanders made $70+ million talking to people. The scandal!!!"

    No, the scandal is that the simple truth is so distorted to defend Hillary’s wealth. Comparing the money donated to a campaign to the money given/donated/ paid to another candidate but which goes straight into that candidates own pocket to do with as they please is ... what? It is obviously not an attempt to honestly compare the the source of each candidate’s wealth. Why the apparent need to spin the truth? Is it because that source of Hillary and Bill's income might incline some to believe that they are typical of what so many believe has hurt our political system? 

     According to her financial disclosure forms, Hillary Clinton earned $660,000 for just two speeches. That puts her earning more than Bernie Sanders’ net worth in just two speeches. Claims that Clinton earned more than Bernie Sanders’ net worth in a single speech could also be true. Clinton’s highest paying speech for personal income on record paid $335,000 in August of 2014. At the time, Bernie Sanders’ net worth was $330,408. That would mean Clinton earned more than Bernie Sanders’ net worth in a single speech.

    What work for pay, besides giving speeches and Hillary’s pay as Senator and the Sec of State, have either Hillary or Bill Clinton done since the year 2000 at which time they claimed to be in debt, if I am not mistaken?

    Yes, We can all play these silly games but why bother?


    Bernie Sanders net worth vs Hillary Clinton net worth: 47 times smaller.

    Bernie Sanders net worth vs Bill & Hillary Clinton net worth combined: 230 times smaller.

    Bernie Sanders net worth vs Donald Trump net worth: 10,795 times smaller.

    1) Clinton gets huge contributions and speaking fees from the healthcare industry.  2) Now she's smearing Bernie's plan for universal single-payer coverage - which she may have supported, at least theoretically, in the past.  Does anybody really think there's no causal relationship between 1 & 2?

    But look, it's possible that Clinton has truly evolved on this issue towards the position that profits insurance companies and giant healthcare providers and away from what is best for us.  Does it matter?  Bernie's plan is much better for us and Hillary's lying about it.  Why is this tough for people to get?

    I disagree. The best healthcare plan is the one that will get the democratic nominee elected president and that can be passed by congress after that election. That's why I support making improvements to the ACA. Why is this so tough for you to get?

    Here's why: Hillary's lying about Bernie's healthcare plan and her lie is making it more difficult for us to get the best, i.e., most efficient system which leads both to lower costs per person and better outcomes.  If she said, hey I like single-payer too but we can't get it the way Congress is currently constituted so let's try to improve the ACA with a public option, that would be a legitimate position. 

    But she's not doing that.  She has not said she supports a public option.  Moveover, she and her daughter are strongly but falsely implying that A)  Bernie will take away people's current plans and replace them with nothing and B) Bernie's plan will actually cost more than what we have now.   Finally, she's taking money from the people who benefit from the inefficient and unjust system we have now.

    Is any of that okay with you?  I note that I had no problem saying Hillary's better on guns.  I hope you too are willing to criticize the candidate whom you have chosen to support.

    When I am lied to, I always appreciate a lie that does not insult my intelligence.


    The current effort by Hillary is one that only a particularly obtuse person would believe, which of course gives rise to the metacommunication: "Hillary thinks you (me) are a particularly obtuse person"


    Bad form

    The problem is you criticize Sanders on the issues and criticize Hillary on her integrity. Since I think all politicians pander and spin, i.e. lie, that argument doesn't work for me. Given how ignorant and misinformed at least a significant minority of voters are I think pandering and the ability to convincingly spin is a prerequisite to elected office. When you say Hillary lied I say of course she did. So does Sanders.

    Damn near every word out of Sanders mouth on gun control is a lie imo. He pandered to the gun nuts in his state. He's simply not stupid enough to believe his defenses of his gun control votes. They're spin i.e. lies. The idea that he could bridge the gap between the gun nuts and the advocates for gun control is nonsense. If he was uniquely qualified for that role he could have made the politically risky votes and educated his electorate as to the reasons why.

    You keep asking for Hillary to make statements that reduce her electoral viability in order to get your support. One could make the same request of Sanders.

    I come from a state with a large amount of gun owners. Most are hunters and responsible but because they are not just ignorant but misinformed they will vote with the craziest gun nuts. To continue to get re-elected I have to pander to this group when voting on gun control legislation. I could try to educate them but I'd have to spend so much time doing it that I'd have little time left for anything else. After spending all that time I'd likely barely move the majority and likely lose my next election. Therefore I have to vote against even small bore gun control legislation.

    Do you think I want Sanders to tell the truth? Hell no. You see after this nomination process, if Sanders loses, I want him to be re-elected senator from Vermont. I could write a blog detailing every lie Sanders has told over the years on gun control. I won't waste my time because it's not an issue for me. I have what I consider to be a pragmatic attitude to pandering and spinning on the campaign trail.

    And by the way, so do you. The difference is I apply that pragmatic standard to both Hillary and Sanders. You pragmatically give Sanders a pass for his pandering and spinning and excoriate Hillary when she does it.

    No.  I don't give Sanders any passes for lying.  I'm not aware of any particular lie.  Spin may be disingenuous but it is not necessarily false.  How sad that you are so cynical.  Of course that cynicism is a big reason progressives lose elections.  People figure everybody's the same.  But they're not.  Again, Clinton is attacking Sanders dishonestly and from the right.  Sanders may be pandering but he's not lying, he's not attacking her from the right, and his pro-gun lobby votes don't undermine the case for gun control.

    I don't think I'm cynical at all. I think I'm a realist. I think the Sanders campaign is a fabulist's fantasy. I personally prefer Robin Hobb. Her fantasy novels are more believable. There is not going to be any attempt to pass universal health care in the next presidency. If Sanders is elected president and by some miracle got a democratic senate and house there would be no health care passed in the next presidency. After the knock down drag out fight over the ACA and the blow back most democrats in congress will not support getting rid of it, as well as medicaid, medicare, and the private insurance that about 80% of the people already have. The American people will not stand for it. It's a fucking insane idea proposed by a crazy man.

    I like Sanders. I like that his campaign might show that there is power on the left and we are a force to be reckoned with, if he gets enough votes. I like that with ideas from the left getting media time the center will be moved left. But anyone who thinks the Sanders campaign is more than that is reading fiction.

    You can be rich and for the 99%.  Teddy Roosevelt and FDR were both to the manor born, yet they repeatedly took on the 1% with great success.  LBJ used government connections to rise from poverty to great wealth, yet he was our most populist President and staked his Presidency on civil rights.  He also brought us the Great Society.  The problem with Mrs. Clinton is how she has made her money - sucking up to multi-national corporations - and how she has betrayed the 99% whenever she thought she could get away with it to the benefit of those self-same multi-nationals.

    LBJ was anti-labor and almost not VP because of it. His first action as President was a huge cut in the budget and a 20% cut in the tax rate (& 4% for corporations). He stole his election to the Senate with cronies writing in large numbers of fake votes, and later used his connections with judges to win the subsequent lawsuit. Additionally as VP, LBJ "was tangled up in at least two of the major public corruption scandals of the day: the Bobby Baker scandal – Baker was Johnson’s right-hand man, who was taking huge bribes on Johnson’s behalf in the US Senate and then Billie Sol Estes scandal. Estes was a Texas wheeler dealer businessman who had got millions of dollars in Federal contracts thanks to Lyndon Johnson".  Apparently Robert Caro's series on LBJ deals with money in politics and LBJ's corruption quite well.

    "used government connections", Hal? It's amazing how you whitewash inconvenient facts - LBJ was an example of hugely blatant thieving - here's how he used his seat in Congress & the Senate to build his radio & TV empire - but happened to redeem himself somewhat by supporting Great Society and civil rights causes (civil rights probably because that's about the only thing JFK left him to work on). You're upset about Hillary distorting Sanders' record? Do you have any idea how LBJ would have treated and talked about him?

    Once again, your unequal scale shows through.


    and how she has betrayed the 99% whenever she thought she could get away with it to the benefit of those self-same multi-nationals.

    How?  When?  Where?

    Here are 10 examples Ramona but it won't matter to you because you've already said that nothing could budge your support for Clinton.  1) MFN Status for China. 2) Free trade deals.  3) Helping to write TPP.  4) Supporting Bush's war with Iraq. 5) Supporting more bombing in Syria right now. 6) Opposing a new Glass-Steagall. 7) Undermining the push for universal single-payer coverage. 8) Claiming we shouldn't provide free college education to all because Trump's children should have to pay. 9) Supporting 3 strikes and you're out legislation. 10) Clinton supports raising the H1-B visa cap which would admit more tech workers from India and Sri Lanka who companies like Disney are importing to displace American tech workers because the Indians and Sri Lankans will work longer hours for less money.

    1) MFN status for China makes sense - it's the most common category - no idea what your objection is.

    2) She noted some trade deals didn't turn out as predicted - Korea? CAFTA? - and she would put in more hard protections next time

    3) which parts of TPP did she write years ago? she says she's unhappy with its final form - partly due to #2. Oh, right - you don't like change.

    4) she voted for inspections in Iraq in Sept 2002, as did most Democrats, the UN, et al. Inspections worked. Even in March 2003, 80% or more of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq, so how does that betray the 99%? or their opinion doesn't matter, only Hal's? also, even Hans Blix up to Jan 2003 thought Hussein was hiding a biochemical weapons program, including missiles to carry them - what was your response to Hans again?

    5) what's your suggestion for ISIS? send in troops? ignore them? bomb? get Saudi Arabia to do the dirty work? sanctions? or something else I haven't thought of?

    6) Glass-Steagall, ho-hum. yep, the cure for world peace and acne

    7) the 99% don't support universal single-payer coverage, which is why we have the piece-meal coverage we do.

    8) how much education do we cover free? doctorates for everyone? triple doctorates for everyone? education isn't a cure-all. Many of the most innovative business founders don't have a degree. College involves tradeoffs - giving free education to all isn't necessarily the best policy - if it passes, what does it do to the labor force? and if the labor force shrinks drastically, who will pay the taxes to pay for free education? oh right, Donald Trump - just gut his bank account, problem solved.

    9) she acknowledged that 3 strikes was too tough and counter-productive. However as reality check and reminder of what they were dealing with (crime rate + FBI theory on decrease)

    10) American tech workers like hackers/devOps already work 10 or 12 hours a day - Indians and Sri Lankans aren't going to work longer. These aren't sweatshop jobs - they're high tech. The require minds, and there's only so much programming or scientific work you can do before braindead. And there are simply shortages of these kind of workers.

    This was presented in a clear and easily accessible way. I'm willing to support either candidate, but Hillary's blatant misrepresentation of Bernie's position is very telling. For cloak and dagger politicos I'm sure it earned her some points, but it seems awful risky less than three weeks out.  


    I am suspicious of what her internal polling is telling her. She must be slipping and willing to take this risk to shore up her numbers. 

    You can tell when a Clinton campaign is frightened by policing, they panic. Hillary does not appeared panicked, but her campaign staffers seem to be panicked. When panicked, they attack needlessly. Sanders may win both New Hampshire and Iowa. The real test will begin in South Carolina and other more racially diverse states. Sanders has support from Cornel West, Nina Turner of Ohio, and Killer Mike. Eric Holder just announced that he supports Hillary Clinton, which may trump all of Sanders' black supporters.

    Trump will attack Clinton on Bill's sexual history and on the Clinton's finances. The Clintons can response with Trumps multiple wives and his $ 4.7 billion dollars in corporate bankruptcies. We would expect Hillary to be able to engage in a mud bath. Trump would attack Sanders as a Socialist. We have no record of how Sanders would respond. Trump would label Sanders a whiner if the rebuttal is weak. Hillary may be the best suited opponent for Trump.

    1) An endorsement from white-shoe corporate lawyer Eric Holder, currently a partner at Covington & Burling which represents Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan, Bank of America, and many many other corporate malefactors, is not likely to provide a boost for Clinton.

    2) I don't think the Clintonian response to BernMomentum - transparent lies about a serious plan proposed by your opponent - demonstrates suitability to lead the Democratic party.

    3) We know how Sanders responds to attacks that he's a socialist.  He rallies people to his cause by explaining exactly what he means by the term "Democratic Socialist" and why he believes higher taxes on the wealthy, breaking up the big banks, tightening the safety net, protecting unions, universally free state colleges, single-payer healthcare, tariffs, and clean green energy will make life better for 100s of millions of his fellow Americans. 

    Hal, you provide intentionally misleading bullshit, and then you have the chutzpah about someone lying?

    Covington & Burling is a global legal firm with almost 800 attorneys - the largest in DC, but big elsewhere. Of course it will have banks as clients as well as many other types of companiies - what is your fucking point? Is Eric Holder responsible for every one of their many many clients? Hey, Apple's one, as is NASCAR as is Armani and the NBA and the Commonwealth of Australia. Did you know Covington & Burling is representing Guantanamo inmates pro bono? and represented Planned Parenthood free and provided a brief for Dont Ask Dont Tell against Rumsfeld/DoD and was #1 for pro bono 7 of the last 12 years for providing free representation for "freedom of expression and religion; civil rights and civil liberties; gay rights; family law; education; landlord/tenant; homelessness; employment; criminal and court-appointed cases; police misconduct; environmental law; fairness in government procurements and grants; intellectual property; non-profit incorporation and tax.", Of course not - you don't give a shit as long as you can take a cheap shot about someone with some slimy innuendo over some connection or other.

    Regarding Sander's goals, single payer failed to pass financial muster in his home state of Vermont. It is not guaranteed that his goals will be reached.

    Additionally explaining Democratic Socialist to the voting public is going to be a long, drawn out process.

    The tendency of a Clinton campaign to panic is a flaw, but I would still see her as more able to go toe to toe with Trump in a campaign. 

    Edit to add:

    Regarding Wall Street, Sanders' plan may be too simplistic. Hillary's plan is not perfect, but more multi-pronged.

    Nice article there

    The Globe article was from a link provided by barefooted 

    That was good too (had already seen her posting), but thinking about the New Yorker analysis

    How about Bernie's blatant misrepresentation of Hillary as a Wall Street darling when there is no evidence of that, outside of accepting donations?

    "We continue to believe Clinton would be one of the better candidates for financial firms," wrote Jaret Seiberg of Guggenheim Partners in a note to clients analyzing her plan.

    Right - because Sanders and Warren advocate breaking up banks, someone who just promotes more accountability rather than dismantling is "better" - hardly the definition of "darling". Catching on?

    “I think people are very excited about Hillary,” says one Wall Street investment professional with close ties to Washington. “Most people in New York on the finance side view her as being very pragmatic. I think they have confidence that she understands how things work and that she’s not a populist.”

    The author obviously knows a lot, but i couldnt figure out the point of the article - from Jewish cia agents to robert rubin guess we have that global jewish banker vibe going, and there the duh bankers dont like being punchlines of jokes and there was the curious "they havent given anything yet but theyre ready" line. I think i want my 15 minutes back.

    I guess theres the point that some bankers  like democrats and could be supportive and wall street can be a golden egg so dont kill it - dont see how this helps bernie

    Hal:  on Guns Sanders' position is wrong .On Health care it's not that Hillary's position is wrong it's that her ethics is wrong. She misrepresents Sanders' position. 

    Yup.That's what politicians do. The ones who don't are known as ex-politicians.

    In the specific case of Health care  what matters is not who's nicer but who's right:.Hillary.

    Sanders has a dream that will always remain a dream. Particularly if he is nominated since he would then be defeated. . Hillary has a plan to keep what Obama achieved and make it a little better.Could happen.

    Reminds me of  D'Amato and Moynihan:

     Write to Moynihan for assistance on a Visa and you could well  get back a fascinating discussion on the evolution of the comparative international visa  policies. Write to Al and you got  a visa.



    Thanks Flavius - I disagree that Clinton's "let's improve Obamacare" plan is more politically feasible than Sanders' Medicare-for-all.  At this moment, neither has a snowball's chance in hell of making it through Congress.  Down the road, massive organizing by impassioned supporters is the only way we'll get healthcare reform.  I think it is much more likely that millions of people will take to the streets in support of single-payer than around tweaks to a plan that, while much better than what was in place before, is still woefully inadequate.  Of course, Clinton's dishonest attack on single-payer (it's too expensive and could lead to millions losing healthcare) makes it that much more difficult to achieve the most humane and efficient healthcare solution. 

    Having observed "single payer" in action while living in several  single payer  countries, of course I agree it's best.

    Sadly, Obamacare was the best we could (barely) do in 2009 . 

    Deeply involved at the time , Brad DeLong felt  that the more comprehensive 1993  Hillarycare package could have been implemented , which provides at least some basis for my admittedly over- optimistic  hope  that what could have been  done then , could be done now. Defining "now" as being the next 8 years .

    However  the only thing I consider  less likely than a massive organization of impassioned healthcare supporters is the likelihood  it  would work. Individual -as opposed to collective- initiative  became so deeply engrained in the American character from Plymouth Rock to Ellis Island that a snowball's chance in hell accurately describes its  chance.

    I admire Bernie and wish him well. But not this year.    

    I agree with you that Single Payer is best, and also that there will be no "citizens marching in the streets" for it.  Hell, in most polls, people don't even like the ACA, including many of those who benefit from it.  Hal operates under the fantasy that Progressives have won the day, and that most Americans are on their side. Remember all the Red State Democrats who refused to run on the ACA?  Those who wouldn't even admit they voted for Obama?  

    Bernie has pulled away the scab of what Republicans stand for, and I believe he has given new life to Progressives:  Democrats, run against health care for all, MEDICARE, and Social Security at your peril. We owe him accolades for that.  We don't owe him the Presidency, and furthermore, as a Socialist (which I am too, BTW), he cannot possibly win the general.

    People aren't marching for the ACA because, for many, it's only marginally better than what they had before.  For some others, it may actually worse.  If it's not, it feels like it is because insurance companies reduced the quality of options available to many at around the same time as the ACA was implemented.  Medicare-for-all is simple, easy to understand, and would actually provide a marked improvement in many people's lives and would only negatively affect those in top income brackets because their income tax rates would rise.  I doubt this would prevent the great unwashed from taking to the streets.

    You're right, Hal. A last minute shifting of a previously stated position is obviously a matter of political expediency and/or pandering.

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