Hillary Clinton’s campaign updated their healthcare issues web page. There are a few interesting proposals that need Congressional action. I see some of them as plausible trade-offs in a major budget deal (you get your tax cut extension, I get a new healthcare tax credit, you get an increase in ethanol mandates, I get three years of Medicaid expansion funding for all states etc.)
There is one policy change that I think epitomizes Clinton’s governing style:
Continue to support a “public option”—and work to build on the Affordable Care Act to make it possible. As she did in her 2008 campaign health plan, and consistently since then, Hillary supports a “public option” to reduce costs and broaden the choices of insurance coverage for every American. To make immediate progress toward that goal, Hillary will work with interested governors, using current flexibility under the Affordable Care Act, to empower states to establish a public option choice.
What does that mean?
On first, non-wonkese glance, it sounds like a big plan to implement a public option and build on the ACA. The reasoning behind the goal is clear, it will introduce competition, and competition has been shown to drop premiums in competitive markets by a couple of percentage points. It helps reduce the cost of the ACA to the Federal government as the benchmark Silver plan from which all subsidies are calculated from can’t go up from the introduction of a new plan but it could go down in some markets. It increases insurance coverage as some plans will be cheaper and people who are not covered because the post-subsidy value proposition is not good enough right now, some of those people may switch into a covered states.
All of that makes sense.
Reading this in wonkese, I get something a little different than a grand plan. It is a concentrated effort to play small ball. What I see is the following sentence:
“A Clinton Administration will help states with their 1332 waivers and will lean in the direction of more coverage and state flexibility rather than the most stringent financial models. States that want to experiment can count on HHS accepting Arkansas like 1115 assumptions”
The 1332 waiver process allows states to do a lot of experimentation, customization and tweaking as long as the resultant program covers the same or greater number of people at the same or better coverage, does not leave behind the most vulnerable and does not cost the individual nor the federal government more money. Federal government cost neutrality is a key barrier. A friendly administration like the Obama Administration can allow states to make far fetched assumptions on cost neutrality to further other goals like Arkansas did for their Medicaid expansion waiver. This is what the Clinton campaign is actually promising. They’ll put the thumb on the scale for expansion and allow the supporting cost arguments to be pro-forma.
This goal is also eminently achievable.
A state level public option in a Clinton Administration requires a state to want to do the work of setting it up and a friendly Health and Human Services Secretary to certify the four major conditions are met. That is all. It does not require Congressional action so it is independent of that set of veto points. It probably does not need the courts. The process of approving a 1332 state level public option could start in the Clinton Administration on January 21, 2017.
It is aggressive small ball.
It also signals to me a detailed understanding of the issue.
But what of universal “Single Payer”; I want everything or Hillary is a sell out … wait, that’s President Obama. Can’t keep those two separate …
@MomSense: yeah, this. Achievable goals and an understanding of the very nitty-gritty details is IMHO far superior to totally throwing out what we’ve gotten so far.
But then I depend on the current ACA for my health care coverage, so that probably means I’m a sellout.
“States that want to experiment can count on HHS accepting Arkansas like 1115 assumptions””
Is there any evidence that the Arkansas Medicaid expansion model is working better than the traditional Medicaid expansion?
I live in Indiana and we are trying a similar approach. And I have called and asked many times for evidence that it works better and have yet to hear anything.
One thing I do know is Indiana Republicans whined like children when the Obama administration announced it was going to evaluate their program.
Anyone? Thanks in advance.
This is why she is so much better than Sanders. On one level, I sort get the sense that single payer is a bit like Fight Club. The first rule of single payer is you don’t talk about single payer. I remember when it was proposed that the Medicare buy in be dropped to 55 as a compromise for dropping the public option. Dean just made a quick, “yeah, that would work” sort of response and I remember Atrios telling everyone, “shh, don’t say anything about and don’t say you like it and maybe it will happen.” He was only partial snarking when he said it. Getting the states that really want a public option the help they need to do it could be a very good thing.
The sad thing of this cycle really is the Daily Kos. They are over there just slagging Clinton for this. Even Slinerwink is moaning that it is worthless small ball. But she was one of the one’s crying “kill the bill” when the public option was dropped. Now that there is a realistic proposal to actually get a public option in a place like say California and it’s “just not good enough,” because it isn’t Sanders fantasy proposal. It’s really really sad over there.
I hope Super Tuesday is a bloody rout.
thanks for the explanation Mayhew
The process of approving a 1332 state level public option could start in the Clinton Administration on January 21, 2017.
So, this is something that Obama could do today, right? Why doesn’t he?
I think it could be stopped by the House, though, through a refusal to allocate funds. :-(
My guess is that while Clinton will be working on small improvements, the system will deteriorate in large ways which Clinton will have difficulty preventing. The problem of the ACA is not that it “cannot” work, but that it is a compromise among parties which want desperately to undermine it.
This is not what was traditionally meant by the public option, which would be a nationwide federal program. It’s also not really any change from the status quo- states could already be doing this if they wanted.
@jharp: Compared to traditional Medicaid Expansion (ie, just print a lot of new ID cards and good to go) Arkansas is more expensive and slightly less effective at covering the eligible population.
However that is not the comparison being made at HHS. The comparison is Arkansas with a convoluted and inefficient expansion OR nothing. And there, convoluted and slightly inefficient dominates nothing.
The waiver process does not go live until 1/1/17. The 1332 waiver application deadline for January 1, 2017 implementation is mid-spring and no state has indicated that this is what they want to do yet.
The 1332 waiver is a state led process with federal approval and funding, so if the states want it, I would be shocked if the Obama HHS does not do their utmost to make it so.
@Raven Onthill: Nope, the funding is automatically appropriated like Social Security checks. House can’t touch it.
“However that is not the comparison being made at HHS. The comparison is Arkansas with a convoluted and inefficient expansion OR nothing. And there, convoluted and slightly inefficient dominates nothing.”
I am sorry to hear of it but not surprised.
So why aren’t democrats hammering Republicans on this inefficiently? And let’s be honest about it. It was done for one reason. To enrich Republican supporters at taxpayer expense.
Thanks for responding.
@Cermet: Obama is a sellout because he didn’t push hard enough for the public option, and Hillary is a sellout because she’s pushing for the public option. Duh!
Economist, others defend Sanders ‘stimulus’ plans as realistic
@DCF: okay. thanks for that. But I’m still not changing my vote. Vote for Sanders if you like. It’s a free country. I’m voting for Clinton. Hopefully we’ll meet together on the other side to defeat Trump. If not, well, bygones I guess.
Healthcare is not ‘small ball’ for most Americans and healthcare costs do not pile up (sometimes to bankruptcy) incrementally. If Clinton is too timid to fight for the system that every other first world country has had for decades, then she should not be running for president. Obamacare should not be built upon or expanded, it should be jettisoned for single-payer/Medicare for all. The ACA is *not* healthcare for all, it is mandatory health insurance, and that is *not* healthcare. The most affordable plans are effectively useless and throwing money away on them in monthly premiums is financially irresponsible and economically irrational.
It’s obvious that getting insurance needs to be easier and more affordable for low income people. There was an artisan that died this week, apparently because the ER sent him home with antibiotics when he had a very bad case of pneumonia. No insurance.
Single payer would obviously fix cases like this more seamlessly.
@jharp: What’s more important from a Democratic perspective? $30 million dollars in marginal cost OR covering 100,000 people?
For me, I’ll take covering an extra 100,000 people now and worry about the marginal cost when the state has to start paying a portion of the excess increment. And given that Arkansas has to re-approve the expansion every budget cycle with 75% super majority, and the marginal member of the coalition to approve the expansion is a fairly conservative Republican, they get a lot of say on program design.
My understanding is that it was done because any sane governor knows that shifting their uninsured onto Medicaid is a huge cost-saver for the state, and the workarounds exist solely to convince their insane R-dominated legislatures that the expansions are Not Obamacare, No Way, No How, The Black Guy Isn’t Giving You Health Insurance.
@Constance Reader: tell me how to get 218-51-1-5
until there is a convincing argument for that, I’ll take a dramatic but not complete improvement over the pre-2010 status quo and I’ll keep on tweaking that system to make it slightly better every day of the week over failing in noble goals.
Thanks for the explanation, Richard. Sounds like a smart move from Team Clinton.
Gin & Tonic
@Constance Reader: But “single payer/Medicare for all” is simply *not* “what every other first world country has had for decades.”
@magurakurin: I like the sound of ‘very aggressive small ball’. I like the sound of ‘It does not require Congressional action so it is independent of that set of veto points’. This is the kind of thing I’d like to see here: if we gotta play incrementalist, make it seem like it’ll work.
Rather than hear
I’d rather see it put in terms like ‘Super Tuesday is a massive show of strength’.
I don’t WANT to be bloody, routed, or consider my goals defeated. Surely the point being made is that the goals are similar or the same, and that Clinton intends to demonstrate way more strength in making it all happen?
Set up for ‘yeah, you were right’s, not ‘I told you so’s.
NOT true. While I think single payer is probably the best and most efficient way, there is more than one way to skin a cat, Seeing as single payer will not exist in America in my lifetime, I am happy to explore the plethora of other options that WILL pass muster in this country.
Well, as the Man Called Jayne says: “If wishes were horses, we’d all be eatin’ steak.”
And this. (Though with the current Court, a ‘4’ would suffice for that last number.)
Do not worry. We are all on the same team, even if we are shoving and shouting and throwing some elbows around in Netspace. I support HRC, but I appreciate the Born-Again Leftiness that the Sanders campaign has aroused. Makes an old anarchist feel kinda proud. : )
@Richard Mayhew: I like the sound of “House can’t touch it.”
It looks like I’m with Magurakurin and plaintively asking, ‘please don’t call it a bloody rout?’ because the thing is, big gambles suck if they’re unlikely. If we can’t really produce a landslide for Bernie big enough to scare Congress, we are in deep shit. All the ‘all or nothing’ posturing depends completely on Bernie clobbering everybody and revolutionizing the country.
If we can’t do that, we HAVE to have what Clinton is offering here. I would suggest Bernie is providing cover for her making it ‘aggressive’ small ball. I think that’s very important, and without the clamoring for Single Payer Only! there’s less pressure to make it aggressive incrementalism. Both sides see that pressure and it affects negotiations and makes it more possible for Clinton to gain points.
But it’s important to bear that in mind. It doesn’t MATTER if the rest of the world has health care. We have various extremely wealthy industries propping up much of the stock market, and you can’t have half a revolution. It becomes Willy Wonka: the system goes ‘you get NOTHING! GOOD DAY, sir!’
People are upset because they recognize that risk, and it’s an unacceptable risk. You can’t have half a single payer, and we can’t have a dismantling of how far we’ve got.
Personally, I find it really implausible that Bernie would put forth a wild plan and ALLOW the ACA to be dismantled before the new wild plan was secure. That seems crazy to me coming from an experienced Senator, and the most likely scenario there is ‘Bernie sold us out by turning to incrementalism!’ and I wouldn’t be one of the people crying that, I know what he’s up against there. I don’t think people should assume Bernie would kick over that sandcastle before building his own.
But yeah, kicking over the ACA and THEN getting ‘you get nothing!’, that is an impossibly bad outcome. One that Clinton’s approach does not risk, and I see that.
“If Clinton is too timid to fight for the system that every other first world country has had for decades, then she should not be running for president.”
In a political world dominated by Democrats I’d agree. But she’s running for president of the country that doesn’t have that, where a popular, “mandated” new President got a pitiful, pale imitation of a real health care system passed by a razor-thin margin and where it survives Supreme Court attacks by a 5-4 vote every half year. And this person who supposedly should not be running for president on grounds of excess timidity was held up as the Great Satan of Socialized Medicine for proposing something akin to what you want 23 years ago
For those too young to remember, it was an iron rule of GOP orthodoxy in 1993 to refer to the proposal as HillaryCare. [I guess Rush simply didn’t think of “HitleryCare” or else worried that the rubes couldn’t handle two concepts in a single term. Yeah, probably the latter.] That experience is like 99.9% of why they branded the 2010 thing “Obamacare.”
In sum, Constance Reader is saying Hillary is too timid to be president because she isn’t campaigning for the very thing nearly half of the electorate has been brainwashed to associate with her name.
There are lots of reasons to prefer Bernie. But I don’t think concern that HRC won’t govern well due to timidity in the face of GOP demonization is one of those reasons.
@Applejinx: You should probably prepare yourself for some pretty serious disappointment then on Wednesday morning next week. It ain’t gonna pretty. But I ain’t gonna lie to you, I’ve had my fill of Bernie Sanders. I won’t be sorry to see this come to an end. Sucks for you, I know, but you’re tough. You’ll get over it. And the Clinton Presidency is going to be a good thing. It really is. She isn’t the person that you have made her to be in your mind. In fact, I’d wager that by September you will start to see good stuff about her and will be feeling pretty damn good about her chances in November.
I want Bernie to stay in however poorly the next week goes for him. Either he wins or else he keeps making someone to whom we apply the dreaded word “trianglulation” keep protecting her left flank. Also, the half-smart GOP is likely to keep hoping Bernie will win and will get a later start on the ugliness to come in terms of firing at an established Dem nominee instead of firing at each other.
That Right To Rise money is going to be spent on something. Let it be spent on softening up Trump.
@Applejinx: there is no landslide for Bernie big enough to scare Congress. For one thing, the House gets elected the same year as the president. This means that if they got elected, their voters wanted them to do whatever stupid things they promised to do. It’s only Democrats that seem to be cowed by other people’s elections.
All this argument over the ACA brings back old memories of when I was constantly pissed that it didn’t include the public option.
@magurakurin: When DK front-paged a story saying incrementalism is no longer needed, I just facepalmed. The Revolution is certainly thrilling, but in the US it dies at the polls.
I sometimes wonder what those who use the phrase single payer/Medicare for all want. Do they want single payer or Medicare for all?
As Richard has pointed out several times, Medicare has major issues in terms of coverage, including no out of pocket cap. Plus there are many things Medicare does not cover and it also reduces patient choice for some things, such as durable medical equipment.
Things people sometimes are unaware of in regards to Medicare;
People pay a premium for their coverage which comes out of their social security checks. Even people on Medicare are not totally aware of this at times.
As stated above, Medicare has no out-of-pocket cap which for high cost treatment means major payment issues.
Many, if not most people on Medicare, have a supplemental insurance policy to cover what Medicare does not and most of this is through for-profit insurance companies.
Which means Medicare for most folks is not single payer.
As many have pointed out the real goal should be universal access to health care which is affordable. There are many ways to get there, some of which would be far more achievable here than single payer.
@magurakurin: Oh, I think she’d demolish whatever Republican runs, and I’d enjoy that a lot. And I do have some hopes that she’ll do good things.
You know how they said only Nixon could go to China? I’d be delighted to see, under a President Clinton, the spectacle of a Wall Street crashing again (inevitable and not her fault) and NOT getting bailed. It would be popular for them not to get bailed, plus there’s another factor…
Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ outlines how neocon and neoliberal policies are forced forward during just such ‘shocks’, but that principle doesn’t automatically have to push neocon policies. It would be just as possible to take the opportunity of a ‘shock’ like that, and suddenly play hardball for the Left, ramming through health care reform, infrastructure investment, making government jobs: much like Bernie wants to do just because it’s right to do. He doesn’t seem to be waiting for a key moment, he figures he IS the moment.
We’ll see soon enough.
Clinton could be the best possible person to have in the White House in the event of a stock market crash or some sort of disaster: not to bail them out, but to force real change to happen in the wake of such a disruptive event. And I’ve been saying for months and months that we’re going to see such events.
If I’m honest, I don’t know if Bernie losing Super Tuesday would be a disappointment. In many ways he’s done far more than expected, and I’m old(ish) and know things are always more complicated than the slogans pretend they are. It’s possible that, if handled well, this is an optimal outcome: Bernie widens the field and establishes beyond any doubt the strength of the true Left, and then Clinton goes into the White House with room to tack Left and the experience and ruthlessness to make that program happen, and take advantage of any events that’d provide opportunities. Using a sort of liberal Realpolitik geared to producing results, and a front-and-center committment against racial injustice.
I may not be as disappointed as you think. We gotta keep hammering away toward the left, though, OK? Our system has a long way to go before it shakes off the legacy of Reagan and Bush (all of ’em).
@Richard Mayhew: ah, that’s even better. She’s learned that little trick of Obama’s to avoid dealing with the nut controlled House. I can roll a small ball. The next thing is identifying local races.and who to support so we can see anything good happening in 2017.
Neither Krugman nor any of the other people criticizing Sanders’ specific financial projections have said anything of the sort. Were you born a disingenuous twit, or did your parents raise you that way?
I love these Serenity references! As a Sanders supporter, ‘I aim to misbehave’ takes on additional meaning….
Gin & Tonic
Which would, of course, wipe out a majority of 401(k) and defined-benefit pension plans, leaving tens of millions of Americans eating budget-label cat food. But what’s a few tens of millions in poverty if it advanced the leftward revolution, right, comrade? Omelets, eggs, and all that.
This goal, while admirable,.is not really compatible with American values. While universal access to health insurance which is favorable is a realistic goal, the high-deductible, high-copay regimen many of us are stuck with means that many of us will continue to experience quite limited access to health care due to forced self-rationing. I have zero hope this will ever change for the better no matter who is president.
@magurakurin: It’s not just California, but potentially smaller states like Vermont, both of which have been trying to figure out how to make single payer/universal access truly available in their states. I remember Slinkerwink way back from 2009/2010 ACA arguments. I get so frustrated with people like her because their understanding about Medicare is not sufficiently comprehensive for them to understand that Medicare has both strengths and weaknesses, which really do need to be addressed before it’s just Medicare for all. What we really lack, however, is good faith bipartisan recognition of the issue. Medicare’s weaknesses could be addressed in one or two legislative sessions if there were a good faith effort to do so. It’s not Obama’s or Clinton’s fault that good faith doesn’t exist, and it won’t happen with a one man band however loud he sings about revolution. I stopped reading Slinkerwink’s comments years ago. I couldn’t take them any more.
Hill-bots and Bernie-bots agree: Serenity RULES!
Gotta admit, a stock market crash doesn’t mesh too well with my own retirement plans. My vegetarian wife isn’t going to like some of the ingredients in cat food.
I guess I prefer a small “r” revolution.
Bernie Sanders was an ardent supporter and strong advocate for the State Innovation Waivers that Hillary Clinton is proposing to use here. So how is Clinton the practical, pragmatic, “progressive who gets things done” and Sanders the impractical dreamer? Ron Wyden first proposed the 1332 waivers, but Sanders worked very hard to make sure that section was included in the final version of the ACA. It doesn’t seem fair to pretend that Sanders is not pragmatic or unwilling to compromise. Yes, he supports single payer health care, but he also made damned sure that the ACA was as good as it could be and voted for it despite its flaws.
I am a Vermonter and I love Bernie Sanders. I don’t know if I love him enough to make him president, but I hate how he is being portrayed as some kind of dumb flake who doesn’t understand how politics work. He’s been doing this a long time and he’s been pretty successful!
@Applejinx: now you’re talking. I’m telling you, this is all gonna work out.
@beltane: beltane, when there is a determined effort to stymie consensus on what needs to be available and what it is probably okay to make subject to stricter utilization controls, high deductibles are what you get. High deductibles are the result not of the ACA, but of the backlash to managed care controls that were too sudden and too abrupt of a transition for too many people. So employers gave up and basically initiated cost control and sharing at the front end because cost control at the back end proved just about impossible for a health care system that had become used to seeing insurance coverage as an all you can eat banquet and absolutely threw a hissy fit when controls were imposed. The overall problem however, is that health care is just too fragmented for meaningful controls in most instances. I’ve been thinking about this professionally going on 30 years now and I don’t have any great answers, other than to point to the models that seem to deliver better for less, and there aren’t too many of those.
Obviously Hillary is trying to stay a little bit too close to Obama.
If your only response to my comment(s) is to indulge in ad hominem attacks – rather than substance and thoughtful discussion – then I believe the tenor of your words reveals all that need be known of you….
OT, of course, but this could be fun:
If it’s something substantive, it ain’t gonna be about Hillary. Nor (oh pleasepleaseplease) Bernie.
It got through in a state that probably wouldn’t have taken a Medicaid expansion otherwise. IMO, that’s a much bigger deal than anything else.
@Mariah: Mariah, what he hasn’t done is tried to remake the establishment in his image from the inside out or the ground up. That’s my beef with Sanders’ bid for presidency — he could have been trying to involve younger voters in the process for a decade, through whatever tactics made sense, so that his “revolution” would seem a natural extension of his ideas instead of just a lot of yelling about how other people are sell outs.
@Gin & Tonic: Who has pension plans anymore? Who has 401(k)?
Plus, I specifically said ‘shock doctrine’ making it possible for Clinton to push through lefty legislation way in excess of what she could otherwise do. Do you honestly think the purpose of such legislation is to leave people eating MORE cat food in desperate poverty? When the entire purpose of New Deal type legislation is to stop that happening?
If you don’t like pension plans being at risk from the stock market, get out of the pension plan. Nobody in politics can protect you from the profound risk of a global banking economy leveraged thirty to one and depending purely on derivatives, nerds, and the Confidence Fairy. You’re asking for tulip futures to be guaranteed forever.
Seriously, who has a 401(k)? Put it in Treasury bills if you have so damn much extra money. The stock market is demonstrably insane, and global banking is frothingly bonkers. It cannot last.
Disgruntled former Baud supporter
@Raven Onthill: And those players will oppose single payer with every dollar / lawyer/lobbist they can muster
The GOP will scream and some rightwing law firm will sue even if Hillary delivered eternal life. Which of course makes the next several SCOTUS appointments even more important.
OT: Ha ha.
As a fellow Vermonter, I echo (and applaud) your observations here….
Most Democrats Prefer Socialism to Capitalism
Findings lend credence to the momentum behind Bernie Sanders’ grassroots campaign
The End of the Establishment?
@Poopyman: Poopyman, my initial reaction is that he is basically threatening to publicly expose information he got as a result of his representation of a client (who later committed suicide) and use them for purposes totally unrelated to his representation. Without having any sympathy for men whose own illegal conduct was protected even as the women they paid (much less well-off and not influential at all) had their lives ruined, still, this is not cool for a lawyer to do what he seems to be proposing to do. Those aren’t HIS phone records. He should not get to use them independent of his client just because she is now dead.
@Poopyman: I don’t think Bill ever had to pay for it.
Millions. I’m drawing off one from a company I hired into in 1997. That late.
Who do you think owns all that money in the stock market? It’s not all (yet) in the hands of the 1%.
Thus demonstrating you know nothing about investing.
I’m not convinced of that. I think single payer is a long, uphill climb, but I think Obamacare takes us a lot closer than we were before. Once we get close to universal coverage, people will start looking for ways to make the system more efficient, and then they’ll start taking single payer seriously.
Agree with most of the points above. While I love Bernie, his team unfortunately hasn’t done their homework for what is a visible, current issue in terms of healthcare. It’s great to aim high, but you need to be clear and realistic on the details. Clinton appears to have done that.
While I’m for team Democrat, I don’t really care for some of the Bernie-bashing comments – we’re on the same team, right? Idealism is a good thing; don’t sneer down your nose at folks who may not be as savvy as you when it comes to the “real world.” These people have what the right lacks: empathy. Don’t alienate them with holier-than-thou finger pointing.
At the very least, it’s clear (at least to me) that Bernie has made Clinton make the right noises toward the left. I just hope that if she gets the nod, she doesn’t pivot away and back toward the “center” (which as we know is more to starboard than to port) as many pols do after getting elected.
Richard- the ACA transitional reinsurance ends after 2016. Is this a big deal for the non-employer plans offered in the exchanges? I haven’t seen much written about it.
As a self-employed person this marketplace is where my family gets insurance. After 30% incr in premiums for our HD Bronze level plan this year, I am expecting a similar increase for next. This is in MN – one of the healthiest states in the union.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
My beef with him is that same thing too – what has he been doing all these years, except being a gadfly? The same with the complaints about Harry Reid making calls to release the culinary workers to caucus like it’s corrupt, instead of wielding the power that he’s earned because of his hard work and dedication to the party. Bernie and Harry have been in Congress for decades. What has prevented Bernie from organizing a voting bloc of his own? He isn’t even getting any endorsements.
Gin & Tonic
You really don’t know anything, do you?
There are currently over a half-million 401(k) *plans*, covering 88 million participants.
I’d have to work harder than I’m inclined to this morning gathering statistics from a variety of sources, but two large retirement plans alone cover nearly 6 million people: CALPERS and TIAA-CREF.
That’s a lot of cat food.
@Gin & Tonic:
I would add that it isn’t just 401k’s and pensions at risk. A lot of jobs would vanish as well. For one reason or another the U3 unemployment rate didn’t go much above 10% in the Great Recession but it did hit 25% in the Great depression. A few missteps in late 2008 and early 2009 could well have taken the world economy back to the 17th century. Dubya made a lot of decisions that got us into that mess but at least at the last minute he backed the bailout. The problem wasn’t with the bank bailout, it was with not doing something just as significant for main street. As to Clinton not getting blamed? The GOP will blame her for a foggy day in London.
And I have a 401k. It replaced the traditional defined benefits pension plan at my employer.
@the Conster, la Citoyenne: since when are Democrats against union members being allowed to vote? For that matter, since when are soshulists.
@Barbara: The health care industry probably makes up a higher percentage of our GDP than is “healthy”, with costlier and costlier treatments resulting in ever more marginal benefits, leaving many people unable to afford treatments that are cost-effective and of proven benefit. I am actually sympathetic to the need for managed care and yes, even “death panels”. I do feel that all people should have the right to universal access to basic health care. I also feel that the Bells and Whistles health care many have come to expect has made access to ANY health care an unaffordable dream to many.
@Mariah: For the sake of argument, I will take your assertion that Sanders is a big fan of 1332 waivers as true, no reason to assume otherwise.
The difference is Clinton is using the exisiting machinery to propose achievable improvements.
Sanders wants to rebuild a machine on the fly and is not listening to a lot of people who have experience with building health insurance systems that it is slightly more difficult than saying “Medicare for All” three times.
probably all better than T-bills for most people. And easier. A lot of brokers seem to have no fee ETF’s now.
The Gitmo closing list is out. 1.2.3. . .
the Conster, la Citoyenne
When it’s the Establishment doing it, man.
@Applejinx: Uh, IRAs are invested in the stock market as well. There are at least 30 million individual IRA accounts in existence (I don’t have a hard number, but the EBRI did a study in 2013 that included 28 million accounts). The 1% are not the only ones with skin in the game in the stock market.
401(k), SIMPLE, Roth, Traditional — there are millions upon millions of Americans who hold retirement accounts that are invested in the stock market. Many families are also investing in 529 plans to help pay for future educational costs. Gutting the stock market kills those too.
Problem is, cat food is getting expensive.
Last year, I could buy a can of fancy feast for 50¢. Then it went up to 55¢. Then 60¢. Yesterday I see my local supermarket raised it again to 69¢ a can. We love our cat, but it’s getting pricier and pricier to feed her.
When my wife and I retire, we may have to just eat our cat.
EDIT: don’t worry about cat food ingredients. Most of the commercial brands cut corners so much, it’s mostly vegetarian anyway; all starch and rice with just a homeopathic amount of actual beef or chicken.
@terraformer: Good advice. I angered my youngest on Sunday; she’s a Bernie fan because she wants Single Payer but has little else to say about him. Says she doesn’t trust Hillary but can’t tell you why. I tried to explain to her that she needs to figure out what it is about Hillary that she doesn’t like or trust, and I’m going to make a wild guess that Hillary is too much like Mom, at least in her head.
I need to avoid bullying, or arguing in a way that sounds like bullying.
@Barbara: blatant violation of Rule 1.6.
“If it’s something substantive, it ain’t gonna be about Hillary. Nor (oh pleasepleaseplease) Bernie.”
I’m a ___bot, waiting to fill in the name, but if it really is about Bernie, gotta say I’m impressed enough to become a Berniebot.
It isn’t about Cruz because you literally couldn’t pay anyone to fk him, and he probably prefers himself anyway (I see him as a sling, plug and bag type). Trump would merely say he’s YUUUUGE, so by process of elimination, it’s Little Marco, because no other GOP candidate fits the phrase “affecting the 2016 election.”
So I’m rooting for Rubio in the SEC primary.
@Germy: a traditional meal for luck before going on a long journey.
@TallPete: I will respond in length in the future.
what reinsurance was supposed to do is give insurers to a new market a cushion to get claims data to accurately price risk. 2017 rates are the first rates that will be created with pretty decent to really good data. The actuaries aren’t guessing anywhere near as much now. 2014 was priced low and 2015/2016 was priced high to correct for 2014 mistakes.
It really depends on what market you’re in and how locked into your network, but pricing should be modest as underlying medical trend is pretty low.
yeah, the GOS is a wreck these days. if Super Tuesday really is bad for Bernie they’re gonna have to be put on suicide watch.
These findings indicate that HRC would do well to keep ‘steering to port’:
Poll: Majority of Democrats say socialism has ‘positive impact’
@Gin & Tonic: We have CAL-PERS. I think the good cat food is too expensive; cheap, oily tuna costs about the same.
@the Conster, la Citoyenne:
@MomSense: Why doesn’t anyone mention the abject failure of 1993 Hillarycare. The Dems controlled all branches of government and she got slapped down.
Hillary is incompetent at governing. Time won’t make it better.
After weeks of you frustrating me no end, I totally endorse this comment.
ETA: With the exclusion, of course, of wishing for a Wall Street crash. I don’t wish that on the country no matter how much it might hurt Wall Street crooks.
Insert BIIIIG smiley here. But at least it ties in with the OP.
@Roger Moore: wow, someone got that!
@Jade: We have shitty options this election. Hillary will at least work to pinch out a few crumbs of micro-targeted improvements to a few people here and there; the Republicans will simply raid the pantry altogether. I’m pretty sure things will be worse for most of us five years from now, how much worse depends on who is elected this fall.
Well, it’s mandatory with my employer, so I don’t really have a choice. And now my entire nest egg is there and I really can’t afford to lose it at 58.
@satby: Welcome to the establishment!
Our cat won’t touch the “good” cat food. She prefers Kitty Crack, the commercial stuff. I can’t tell you how many times we bought high quality, nutritious, high protein, expensive brands… and she’d take one look, and then pantomime scratching around the food dish as if it was her litter box (her critique: “This is shit”).
She only wants fancy feast, so we restrict her to the “classic” stuff… no gravy. as little starch as possible.
And if there’s another economic collapse (that some hope will finally convince the incrementalists to vote for Bernie next time) we’ll be eating cat food supplemented with whatever we can grow in our tiny backyard.
@Bobby Thomson: The thing that leaves me flabbergasted about so many Bernie Sanders supporters is the prevalence of this paranoia about traitors, betrayal, sabotage, and so forth. I don’t know if it’s a way to feel edgy and righteous like a resistance fighter in occupied France or what.
I’m lucky enough to have both. please don’t wish them away. BTW a lot of people have 401(k) or similar plans. lots. there may not be much in each one but they’re real fucking important to a lot of workers.
@the Conster, la Citoyenne: I brought up the fact that the Clinton campaign has been flooding local races with cash while the Sanders campaign has reserved the entirety of their coffers for the primary, and how this is demonstrative of someone who actually has an interest in party building rather than using the party as a vehicle for their own ends.
Though there’s much to be admired about Sanders and, to be fair, the financial constraints on his campaign are probably a big factor in this, but I’m not going to take the Political Revolution™ seriously if it treats Congress as an afterthought and rests on the hope that a MANDATE will somehow cause Republicans and the vested interests they serve to help usher in a Golden Age of American Democratic Socialism.
The response was that this was just further evidence of Hillary’s corruption because she’s “buying votes.” Buying votes. By doing what she can to make sure Democrats are elected to the House and Senate. Buying. Votes.
I swear, this primary is making me want to thrust my face into a woodchipper.
Listening to Obama and his GITMO plan. Needless to say a lead balloon will fly higher and the Titanic will sail into New York harbor with all flags flying before this plan is even given a fair hearing.
But it doesn’t hurt them at all. It hurt me; my employer 401(k) was decimated. I also had a small mutual fund that lost most of its value. But I don’t think the actual Wall Street crooks suffered too much. If at all.
@Jade: Hey, maybe that story means that you can’t just expect Democrats in Congress to get on board with the priorities of a Democrat in the White House just because the underlying idea is good. Which may be relevant to a campaign other than Hillary Clinton’s.
I was at a small Clinton town hall last Friday. I would have loved to ask her reasoning behind this. I’d have liked to have heard if she was as aware of the process and requirements as whoever wrote this is.
I assume she would be but it’s nice to hear a politician actually understand how her policies work.
(sigh) Obama is asking if we don’t solve the GITMO problem now when will we. Simple answer I guess is when all of the inmates have died. Assuming that Rubio/Trump/et al don’t add more inmates.
Gin & Tonic
@magurakurin: Big Jack Bogle fan, I see.
I really appreciate your Sanders posts. I don’t necessarily agree with your views (obviously) but at least I understand your reasoning.
This is why we’re lucky to have two candidates proposing alternative and fairly different visions. We get a clear choice, and that maintains our agency as voters.
What would be shitty is two candidates simply vying to see how many of us they can convince to vote for them. Vive la difference.
List of Bernie Sanders presidential campaign endorsements, 2016
Congressional Progressive Caucus (members)
I haz a suspicious. If this is about Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s interests, why isn’t her current lawyer filing for her?
Thom Hartmann says Hillary Clinton may be winning more delegates in the Democratic race for the White House, but Bernie Sanders is winning on the issues.
Oh my Chuckles Todd thinks that Obama has a better chance of getting a SCOTUS pick confirmed then getting the GITMO plan passed. I think Chuckles is an optimist.
@Gin & Tonic:
As Tarquin, from Order of the Stick, says: “You can’t make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others.”
Maybe it applies to handling Wall Street as well or insurance companies.
Remember, ramen noodles are amenable to a variety of recipes :>) ….
@DCF: I lived on ramen noodles in my younger years. With the occasional Steakum.
No, no, no, you don’t understand how negotiating works. When you’re haggling over the price of a Kia, you’re supposed to offer $35 and insist the car be a Ferrari. THAT’S the only way you’re ever going to get a $35 Ferrari out of the deal.
1. Hillary was first lady at the time, she wasn’t an elected or appointed member of the government. You may want to look at her time as Senator, Secretary of State and her current dominance in super delegate commitments from sitting Senators and Congressmen to gauge her actual effectiveness in governance.
2. Hillarycare was a far more aggressive reach than Obamacare. There are lessons there for someone who is proposing single payer with little congressional support.
So in that ’93 case, Hillary created a plan with experts and stakeholders and then presented a finished plan to Congress. It was a great plan. That rarely works because the Democratic party is a coalition party and in order to get elected to the majority we have to win races in conservative districts with conservative candidates who have insurance companies in their districts. The ’93 plan was a better plan for consumers than the 2009 plan and big pharma and insurance companies joined forces to kill it.
In 2009 health insurance companies and the health care sector of the economy had grown tremendously. There was no way we would get a plan as progressive as the ’93 plan. The things the Obama administration did to get something passed like cut a deal with pharma, deal with the Max Baucus problem, turn the formation of the plan over to the four Congressional committees (2 in the House and 2 in the Senate) had a lot of progressives screaming sell-out.
I spent a lot of time on health care reform as a volunteer– a crazy amount of time. It was only possible because my life was different then and I was unable to work due to recovery from major surgery. It was a miracle we were able to pass what we did which is why I get so upset when people on the left act like it was a sell out or minimize what we would have to do to get single payer passed into law.
“winning on the issues” is too subjective for my tastes. Whose issues? The Left’s? The Democratic Party’s? Mine?
The point of voting is so we can objectify all that fuzziness. If he wins the Primary, I think he’s won on it’s constituent’s issues.
@chopper: You understand that my tongue is in my cheek here, but if “suicide watch” means “watch as they commit suicide”, then I’m all for it. Because those people are now certifiable.
@Technocrat: This is the new tactic of the new left: start undermining the nominee BEFORE he/she is the nominee.
@Germy: Oh, I’m so glad you clarified that it’s Fancy Feast, because Kitty Queen tuna (I’ve never seen tuna so RED; must be all skipjack or worse) is great for once in a while, but that stuff really is crack and not a healthy diet for long term.
Don’t forget the Cheez Whiz:
Is There Any Real Cheese in Cheese Whiz?
@FlipYrWhig: Revolution is not a safe place, man.
@opiejeanne: From what I understand, fish is not good for cats, so we limit our girl to turkey, chicken, and small amounts of beef as a treat.
I know, right?
Also, the $15/hr wage problem solves itself. Just ask for $60/hr, and work your way down.
I’m telling you folks, go listen to professor Mark Blyth. Go listen to the Bank of Scotland. Go check out how Deutsche Bank is doing lately. It is not up to me about the stock market crashing, and it may be unbailable at this point when it does. It’s not about WISHING a crash on them. The crash is pretty much here.
You can’t hold Hillary responsible for making them whole, when that’s very likely no longer possible. I specifically cited T-bills because they’re what everybody flees to when everything goes to shit. As it will. As it did before. Because this is not sustainable, it’s crackhead economics to run leverage that high and make it be all about derivatives.
Bernie, Hillary, and the new head of the Minneapolis Fed, want to spin the whole thing down by taxing the stuff driving that madness. I agree. Another possibility is, rather than bail the banks, nationalize them. I’d be totally down with that.
This is a handy visualization. Compare at the top, the green section representing Quantitative Easing, with the huge bottom section representing derivatives.
If the stock market is vulnerable to derivatives going tits-up then it is unbailable. It’s flat impossible to fix a problem of that magnitude. Now compare the Quantitative Easing with the value of all the money in the world.
That would buy a lot of cat food.
Nobody’s going to be eating cat food. The value of all your 401(k)s and pensions is SO much less than the global finance market that it’s nearly impossible to comprehend. It’d be way easier to just bail the small investors and nationalize the banks. I’ve seen people talking about expanding the Post Office to cover non-investment banking, and that sounds good.
If the whole stock and derivatives market explodes into nothing, the amount of money to stop everybody eating cat food is TRIVIAL compared to the sums required to bail that system out. The previous bailout was a tiny microscopic amount of what the system holds. It was about stoking the Confidence Fairy, it was all about clap or Tinkerbell dies. That should be scaring everybody.
But you shouldn’t be scared of eating cat food unless Republicans control the government.
@Constance Reader: Single payer (Canada) and government provision (UK) are unusual, not normal. Most European countries have involvement of private insurers and employer-based systems with heavy public subsidies, and in some ways they resemble ACA. What they do have that we do not is universal coverage by law. An entity of the state is usually insurer of last resort.
Check out the chart showing % of public funding to see the difference between government provided care (UK) and the hybrid ACA-like system in France where private insurers earn profits based on better outcomes / lower costs.
Obamacare is like insurance in France, just without the mandated universality. We have insurance like France? Quelle horreur!
What we should be working for is universality, not single payer. Check out the French outcomes.
@Germy: Someone needs to tell the cats that.
Yours (Mine?) and yours alone….
@FlipYrWhig: I think some if it is Rove having fun. Some of it goes with being with groups that were once illegal. Some of it is youts being youts. Some of it is the influx of former Ron Paul supporters. And some of it is weed.
Our cat won’t listen. She’ll eat chunks of plastic bags if we leave them out. She doesn’t care. She’ll also eat spicy food or chocolate if it spills in the kitchen. I tried telling her it’ll kill her. Her reply: “You believe everything on google? Give me that plastic bag, I want to swallow some more.”
Well…NOW we’re talking. I fully, and without reservation support my own personal candidate.
@D58826: he’s not wrong.
@Amir Khalid: The article says he’s filing suit because his first and fifth amendment rights are being violated, so I think the only part she plays (played) is providing the bombshell material.
You guys sure were singing a different tune when Sanders “won on the issues” last Saturday.
hedgehog the occasional commenter
@Applejinx: I have a 401(k), as does the now (retired) spousal unit. Employer pays some into it but not a lot. Yes, it is our retirement.
@DCF: Bernie Sanders supporters agree: Bernie Sanders is awesome!
Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class
McCarthy/McGovern 16 – because you need something like this EVERY generation.
Right from the can. Cheap and filling.
Gin & Tonic
As of the end of Q2 2015 the value of US retirement assets was $25 trillion. That’s trillion. With a T.
Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class
The Revolution is inexorable as history marches to the commands of the Vanguard of the Proletariat.
Besides the issues you mentioned, it is also ridiculously complicated. It’s the epitome of a plan devised by committee (actually by a series of battling committees over many years). I have been trying to figure out how/what to sign up for when I hit 65 and it’s not at all obvious.
Medicare is infinitely better than nothing for retirees but it’s not a good choice for expanding to all ages. For example, do we want to have even bigger plans that forbid negotiating prescription prices as Medicare does?
A public option on the Exchange would be a better choice for our next step in improving access to care.
@Constance Reader: Single payer (Canada) and government provivion (UK) are unusual, not normal. Most European countries use private insurers and employment-based systems with heavy public subsidies, and in many ways resemble ACA. What they do have, and what I think you want to see, is universal coverage. An entity of the state is usually insurer of last resort.
A chart at this link shows the difference in % of public funding between government provided care (UK) and the hybrid ACA-like system in France where private insurers earn profits based on measures of outcomes/costs.
What we should be working for is universality, not single payer.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they beat you at the polls. Then you win.
Did anyone see last week’s episode of Doc Martin? Sigourney Weaver had a cameo as a querulous American who visits Doc Martin and asks, after his examination “How much do I owe you??”
The question confuses him. “Why, nothing.”
An awesome tune it is….
Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender (Pro-Shot – Hard Rock Calling 2013)
Was that before or after he told you to buy gold and magic herbal supplements?
Probably in between.
@Gin & Tonic: That’s roughly equivalent to all the ‘narrow money’ in the world: 28 trillion. Less than an order of magnitude away from what I suggested, and you’re also assuming all retirement assets from everyone would be made whole, not just ‘keep people off cat food’.
Derivatives are at LEAST 630 trillion, and expanding daily. If that crashes, there’s nothing you, Hillary, Angela Merkel, or anybody can do. And that’s a low-end estimate.
You’re not contradicting what I’ve said in any meaningful way, plus you’re assuming all the richest people in America would get to keep every penny of their retirement funds, which is more than the stock market itself promises them. I think the concept of ‘bailing out the small investors’ which includes literally everybody here, is way easier than you imagine it to be. Given the distributions of this stuff I wouldn’t be surprised if everybody not Croesus-wealthy, added together, are collectively less than a trillion, and the other 24 trillion are one percenters in NO danger of cat food, ever.
The Boss has some pretty good songs, but I don’t think “We only lost because 75% of African-Americans are too stupid to vote the right way!” was one of his.
@Gin & Tonic: low expense ratio fan.
@Germy: Oh gods, you have a difficult beast.
@opiejeanne: Yes, but we love her deeply. She purrs and cuddles with us. We overlook her moodiness.
Just somehow getting more states to agree to expand Medicaid would do so much.
I had an interesting discussion on Google+ the other day in which somebody described birth control as effectively free “in First World countries”, and I pointed out that $20-$50 a month is a significant expense for some women.
Another commenter dismissed that by saying that anyone poor enough for that to be a problem has government-provided health care anyway. He didn’t know that in nearly all of the non-expansion states, there is absolutely no government-provided health coverage assistance for poor childless adults, until they’re making enough money to qualify for the ACA exchange subsidies.
I think most Americans don’t know that. They just assume that poor people get all this free stuff everywhere.
@Gin & Tonic: But it’s all an ILLUSION, man! Christ, I’m surprised he’s not telling us to buy gold.
From what I understand, it is fish bones that are not good for cats’ throats. I’ve seen plenty of fish- and seafood-flavoured commercial cat food in supermarkets.
@Germy: Remember government cheese? *shudder* There was so much handed out at Seniior Centers that we ended up with a couple of blocks because my husband’s grandparents had realized they couldn’t eat it all and most of the seniors wouldn’t take it. 5 pound blocks of the stuff. Made decent grilled cheese sandwiches but there was no way we could eat it all. We froze it, but when we thawed it out it was far less appealing. I think we used it for bait.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Sigh. I like Bernie as a protest candidate, and I like that he’s moved Hillary to the left. But best case scenario is he gets elected and accomplishes nothing – and I don’t think all the Berniacs who were promised things would change will keep voting after four years of nada.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
Medicaid expansion would be a huge deal – as I’ve said many times already, there are huge numbers of minority community members who are still waiting for the benefits due them that have ALREADY BEEN CODIFIED, and for people with access to health insurance complaining that they want it to be free – well, maybe they should ask themselves some basic things about their privilege, and the likelihood of getting anything passed in the states where denying poor people (read: “those people”) health care is a feature, not a bug. Some red states would rather be like third world countries than accept any more big gubmint, because freedumb and racism.
@Applejinx: Oh really? Where do you draw the line for who gets made whole and who doesn’t?
So he’s seeking to benefit from information that is someone else’s property? How nice.
@Amir Khalid: Because it’s cheap. Fish is cheaper than the things that are better for cats.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
That will all be decided by a tribunal of the people.
@opiejeanne: Due to sea slavery?
The problem with it in a political campaign is a (relatively) small number of people buy plans on the exchange. The vast majority of voters will be people who get health insurance thru their employer or people who are on Medicare. A public option doesn’t mean anything to them.
It was always the political problem with Obamacare, as far as selling the benefits of the exchanges. The exchanges are not in any way universal. They fill a gap left by employer-provided insurance and Medicaid and Medicare. I think it will always be politically vulnerable as long as most people don’t rely upon it, especially because the people who don’t rely it are college educated and employed OR Medicare recipients- reliable voters, in other words.
@opiejeanne: I don’t. But if I did, I absolutely would make whole the sorts of people who are posting and arguing here, and the sorts of people facing cat food dinners.
How about a marginal rate? Progressive making-whole. If you’re below median wealth then you get everything. The farther you go beyond median wealth, the less you’re getting back in the small investors bail-out.
Most likely if you have upwards of a million dollars in assets, real estate, possessions etc. you will find the stock market crashed for you, and you might have to liquidate stuff. It might be ‘not good for John McCain’. He might have to sell as many as half of his ten houses(?) to keep his lifestyle going.
Cue real estate crash and buyer’s market with properties flooding the market. Cry me a river.
Don’t make whole the people who have ten houses. The very idea is stupid and wasteful. What for? Y u do this?
@FlipYrWhig: I dunno, sounds more like the Cheka to me.
Grumpy Code Monkey
You’re kidding, right?
Lots of us have 401(k)s, and a few of us older folks even have (small) pensions brewing. I also have an IRA that wouldn’t take kindly to a massive, extended stock market hit.
I’m already 51 and I don’t have that much saved up for retirement; nuking Wall Street means what savings I’ve amassed so far will be gone.
Do I think banksters should be held accountable for the 2008 recession? Damned straight. Do I think massive fines and jail time are in order? Hell yes. Do I want all the major banks to go out of business entirely and take the economy down with them? Absolutely no fucking way.
I look at it like “what is the exchange constituency”? What is the identifiable group of voters to appeal to re: the exchanges? It’s a (relatively) small group (compared to the other big health care groups) they’re really varied and they’re all paying different rates. They don’t have a whole lot in common on really any measure unlike Medicare (old) or Medicaid (poor) and there aren’t enough of them.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:
Well said, citizen!….
Is that tune on his new album? I don’t recall it in his discography….
Here’s another one for you; I’ll even include the title so you won’t become (more) confused:
Bernie Sanders & Neil Young, “Rockin In The Free World”
@hueyplong: The DC Madam died in 2008, and Rubio only got to DC in 2011, although he might have been there a few times while he was a member of the Florida House. Cruz on the other hand lived in DC between 1996 and 2003, the first 5 years of which he was not married. Kasich was in DC from 1983 to 2001.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:
Well, I’m grateful that you recognize we are in ‘the vanguard’…don’t worry, we’ll wait for you, nor will we leave you behind….
Here’s a glimpse of what we in Vermont call ‘soul’:
This Land Is Your Land: A Tribute To Bernie Sanders
@Applejinx: I am 65 for two more weeks, my husband is 68 for one more week, and we both come from families that live well into their 90s.
I have a house and a tiny cabin (which is going on the market soon), I have a car and a paid-off truck, I have stocks that are carefully chosen as blue chips and eco-friendly (I’m very conservative with my own money), my husband has a pension with CalPers that pays most of our retirement and we have SS. I would guess that on paper our net worth if we sold everything we own right this second down to the last sock in the drawer, it might come close to $1 million; makes us sound rich, which we most assuredly are not but we are comfortable because we’ve worked hard and been more lucky than not. We live in a semi-rural area in a house that was a “fixer” that cost just under half a million in 2010 because it’s not in Alabama or Mississippi. We grow a lot of food every year so that we can eat foods of better quality, and we know that there have been no poisons added to them or the soil.
So tell me, what do I sell off? If the housing market crashes again, neither house will net us any money and we’d lose the garden. If the stock market crashes irretrievably, we will lose our majority retirement as well as those stocks (down $11k since December). I guess we’d sell the furniture, our clothes (cheap stuff), cars (oh wait, the car isn’t quite paid for), and tools, because that’s all that’s left.
How long do you think we will be able to afford housing and food on that, let alone our health care premiums?
@Applejinx: I swear I am trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you keep making these simple solutions to complex problems over and over and over and over.
The government has no idea what my, your, or anyone else’s “wealth” is. They can make a guess based on income, but all of that is reported based upon transactions. The stock market crashing means the holdings themselves lose value, for almost nobody is going to buy the assets in freefall. And what of the people who managed to divest themselves at a loss? Do they get “made whole”, or is it just the people who held to the bitter end? I — as a guy with a few IRAs from various jobs — literally cannot go into my account and sell pieces of it right now. I have to call the guy who manages it. Guess whose phone line will be hammered flat if a panic ensues?
Your solution is impractical, unworkable, and shows a shallow understanding of what a market is and how it works. There are many, many things we can do to improve the banking system in this country that does not lead to the stock market going insane. Perhaps we should try those first?
(Also, please stop with the continual Bank of Scotland references. Andrew Roberts has been predicting doom and gloom for the global economy for years. My IRAs have been quite happy with the period from 2010-2015.)
@Grumpy Code Monkey: Thank you. Amen.
Reaganomics almost cooked our goose but good when it finally caught up with us in 1991. I didn’t vote for Reagan or Bush nor any Repubican in the down races from 1980 on, but Clinton was the first Democratic president I voted for and I did so with enthusiasm.
1. That’s not really the question. The question is, how do you get to single payer from where we are, and how do you pay for both the program and the millions of jobs lost in the process.
2. I think the burden of proof is on the claimant for an historically unprecedented claim for both the rate of growth and how long it’s prolonged.
I like Reich, and I like Sanders’ focus. But the notion that the guy proposing a radical change doesn’t have to show how it could work (beyond saying so) doesn’t fly with me.
Sanders’ supporters might have better chances to change people’s minds if they didn’t depend so much on obvious ignorance–or, I suppose, dishonesty. Single payer health care is not the world wide standard; in fact, I’m pretty sure Canada is the only country where that’s the case. And until somebody shows me how universal coverage on the order of Medicare for all gets done in the actual world we live in, I prefer not to limit my political choices to candidates who promise to jettison the best system we’ve had in 60 years or more, rather than continue to upgrade. Kinda like every progressive policy gain in the history of the country.
@Calouste: Kasich is tightly wound. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a kink.
Close; it’s not enough to scare Congress, you don’t get Bernie-level change unless he owns congress–meaning majorities ready to vote for his policies. And since he doesn’t support anyone actually running for congress, as far as I can tell, that seems unlikely.
Give a man cheese and he eats for a month. Teach a man to fish with cheese and he… uh… hold on, what was the question again?
@Applejinx: you can’t liquidate stuff in a crash. No buyers.
I would be happy with “People get Bailed, Executives get Jailed”.
Right now, it seems to be the other way around.
When did this unhealthy single-payer fixation come from? It’s not the end-all be-all, and it’s not the international norm. Take a look at the Frontline program on health care–five capitalist democracies, all kicking the US ass, all providing universal coverage, none single payer. All were asked how many of their citizens went bankrupt because of health care costs; responses ranged from shocked silence to laughter at an obvious joke, because the answer in all cases was zero.
What’s the goal here–actual health care available to all, or magic pony slogans?
Hell, we didn’t even get full Obama-level change, and Obama did own congress for a brief moment.
Oh wait, that was only because Obama was too dumb to ask for the $35 Ferrari in the first place, how could I forget…
Bumper-sticker level solutions to complex problems. Otherwise know as “Today’s Political Engagement.”
In what possible fantasy world is the president’s wife “governing?” The answer to your idiotic and ill formed question is the same answer that torpedoes the Bern–lack of 60 votes in the Senate. “Dems controlled all branches of government” does not mean magic single payer health care. Does Bernie have any supporters who have paid attention to politics before 2016?
@different-church-lady: Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he disappears for the weekend. Give the man some bread, fish & cheese and he’ll make a sammich.
Nor should it….
What I find so dispiriting in these BJ Comments threads is the consistent ‘No, We Can’t So Why Bother Even Discussing It’ theme among some of the blog’s commentariat…
Your first question is spot-on, and I would welcome any/all ideas and proposals leading to a viable answer. However, the ‘Bob Bummer’ and ‘Debbie Downer’ portion of this group give no indication, through their responses here, that they are even interested in pursuing that goal…their interest, it seems, is either in vapid and sarcastic ad hominem attacks upon those who aspire for greater equality, or thoughtless dismissal of the possibility per se ….
Candidly, I believe the answer to your second question can only be definitively answered through careful/gradual implementation of proposed reforms and review of their consequent effects. We’ve given Reaganism (austerity budgets and ‘trickle-down’ economics) a thirty-five year trial, and seen the results…why would we, in all fairness, oppose a mixture of Keynesian economics and social democratic programs as we move through the second decade of the twenty-first century?
I’ll describe a philosophy that doesn’t ‘fly’ with me: ‘I got mine and sucks for you’. Remember ‘Morning In America’ commercials (for Reagan) in the 1980s? Speaking personally, I’d do appreciably better (financially) under an HRC approach than the Sanders agenda. Why, then, would I prefer the latter? Because it’s humanitarian and authentic, rather than piecemeal and (largely) symbolic….
I hope you find some value in my response(s) here…in any event, I’ll include this musical interlude in the interests of peace (and even harmony):
Cowboy Junkies – Full Concert – 08/02/08 – Newport Folk Festival (OFFICIAL)
@Mariah: “I hate how he is being portrayed as some kind of dumb flake who doesn’t understand how politics work.”
And also racist and sexist.
By the end of primary season, I think we are going to very sick of the hippie-punching.
@Richard Mayhew: it does look like we’re going to get decent care states and awful care states, at least for a while, and probably will get them regardless of who becomes President.
I also am not so sure that Congressional Republicans will fail in attempts to undermine improvements to the ACA. Republican Senators just announced they’re not going to approve Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, after making a decision in closed session. I suspect they got leaned on good and hard by the Koch Party. What is going to happen when the Koch Party leans on Congress them during a Clinton administration?
@Applejinx: yeah, this right here is where people like you lose those who otherwise support you.
Gen X here. I guess fuck me for doing what I could to protect myself using the tools available to me like a 401k.
I think a lot more people have those than you realize.
I know the other side likes to do whatever they can to take that from me. Now I hear my side actively hoping that happens.
Yeah, geeze, it was all there for him and He. Didn’t. Even. Try.
@Gex: The tree of Revolution must be watered with the meager retirement funds of the middle class from time to time…
@DCF: There’s a bit of “No We Can’t,” but it is fair that if Sanders is proposing greater, and therefore riskier change, he’s going to need a convincing plan if he wants people to sign on. You come at the king, you best not miss.
@Raven Onthill: The same exact thing that happens now. the Kochs being cocks is not a new phenonoman. And it will be independent of which Democrat is in the White House
With no intent to be contradictory, I believe there is more than ‘a bit’ of “No We Can’t” at work here…YMMV….
My question to you is this: What comprises a ‘convincing plan’?
I’m president of a condominium association here in Chittenden County (Burlington VT area). When I assumed the role ten years ago, the Association infrastructure was in a shambles; no work – or plans, for that matter – had been formulated over the prior twenty years to address reserve funds or the maintenance/renovation of the buildings and grounds. We began the turnaround in a ‘limited’ fashion – by reconstructing the central rotary area, which up to that time had looked like a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Residents/owners liked the change. We then proposed a monthly dues increase (without annual companion assessments) that would suffice to pay for 1) new roofing, 2) new gutter systems, 3) a renovated water supply system and 4) road replacement throughout the complex. After three years of discussion and debate – including a Reserve study and securing a six-figure bank loan for the project(s) – our recovery was under way….
Even as the renovations progressed, a small minority of owners continued ‘sniping’ – that is, until the projects were completed. In a fashion similar to the example set by the ACA, the tangible benefits of the improvements have gone a long way to reduce (if not totally eliminate) the blowback associated with the changes necessary to improve quality-of-life and raise overall owner equity.
As a long time Game Of Thrones devotee, I understand (and appreciate) your last sentence here…the quandary, as I see it, is the challenge of ‘selling’ people on a given program before any of the benefits can be realistically demonstrated….
Cathie from Canada
Someone may have mentioned this above, but this kind of “incrementalism” is exactly how Canada achieved its medicare system. It started in Saskatchewan, which introduced “medicare” in 1963, then other provinces implemented their own versions one by one, then the Canada Health Act was passed in the late 60s which established the principles for federal funding.
@Cathie from Canada:
I almost went to graduate school at the University of Saskatchewan (Regina) in the mid-80s….
What was the time interval between the ‘medicare’ introduction in 1963 and the full implementation of the Canada Health Act?
It sure does. Some years ago, an older relative left my husband some money. Because I grew up in poverty in rural MS, and he grew up in New England with older Depression-era parents, we were really boring young people and put it in 529s for our then-toddlers. At the end of 2008, the accounts were flatlined and losing, and so were our retirement accounts. Now the kids’ 529s have recovered at a fairly impressive rate. If we stay stable, I might be able to help send the oldest to college in a few years. Thanks, Obama!
So many people have investments for their futures, even if they are peanuts in the grand scheme of things.
@Applejinx: “I’d be delighted to see, under a President Clinton, the spectacle of a Wall Street crashing again (inevitable and not her fault) and NOT getting bailed.”
No. No. No. That’s a recipe for disaster. I am all for nationalizing or placing severe restrictions on the banks in such cases, but simply wiping them out will hurt very badly. That’s what “Too big to fail” means.
Agreed – without reservation….
The ‘big banks’ need to be ‘broken up’ in such a way that 1) the broader economy is not thrown into chaos and 2) the specter of another ‘Great Recession’ is significantly reduced.
In addition, bank executives responsible for fraud and financial manipulation(s) resulting in serious losses for investors/shareholders need to be prosecuted and jailed – even if it means a long-term residence at a ‘Club Fed’….
Sanders supports this platform, HRC does not…make of that dichotomy what you will….
@Raven Onthill: Well all righty then, every last poster decided that I’d be delighted to see Wall Street crashing and NOT getting ‘bailed’.
Would it help at all if I’d said ‘bonuses’ and not ‘bailed’? Remember, I’m also floating ideas like nationalizing the banks, and bailing only some investors (whereupon everybody’s up in arms considering themselves well into the ‘rich’ side of that equation, and suddenly I want to hurt them personally)
What if I said I’d be delighted to see Wall Street crashing and not getting bonuses?
If that is also terribly offensive, I’m not really sure where to go from there.
@les: Yes, I paid attention prior to 2016. I paid attention to Hillary’s Iraq vote which she won’t repudiate. She is a war Hawk. I padi attention to welfare reform when it increased poverty 20%. i padi attention to Clinton’s criminal justice reform which increased incarcerated blacks by $1M.
I paid attention when Bill Clinton said Obama would have been carrying his bags a few years ago. I listened to everything Clinton said about Obama in 2008. I went to Arkansas when Bill Clinton was Governor and experienced more racism than in Mississippi.
I paid attention to Nafta the giant sucking sound of our union jobs leaving the country. Precursos to TPP TIPP and other job killers.
I paid attention to the Rubinites and the repeal of Glass-Stegall. I am paying attention now as Clinton lies and deceives her way through the campaign, like Ted Cruz. i paid attention to “No more freee stuff” coming out of her mouth. Perpetuating that blacks want free stuff. Our ancestors worked their entire lives as slaves 19-20 hours/day 6-7 days per week for no pay. That free labor was free stuff that no one seems troubled by.
The Clintons will never fool me enough to get my vote. Every day I work hard not only to get Bernie votes but to make sure everyone knows who the Clintons really are and to get them to pledge never to vote for them.
I know Balloon Juice is overwhelmingly white so the damage that Clinton did doesn’t bother you. It sure bothers me.
Gin & Tonic
I’m sure you’ll be a lot better off in a Trump/Cruz/Rubio presidency with a Republican-controlled Congress and Scalia’s seat filled by another conservative nutbag.
Yes, clearly the failure of understanding here is at our end. Silly us.
@Gin & Tonic: Didn’t you read the comment? Clinton = Cruz. It’s right there in type.
I thought that bill addressed a real need at the time. In retrospect, of course, it sucked. It’s easy to forget that crime was twice then what it was today.
What does BJ’s purported racial makeup have to do with anything? Clinton is supported by black people, including myself, in large numbers.
Not that I personally support her in large numbers, of course.
@DCF: You are looking at the fundental difference between a Parliamentary system and ours. In Canada, if a party runs its election campaign on a specific promise, and wins a majority, it can implement that promise.
Here, not so much. Our Constitution was designed to make it hard to get anything done. Most progressive change has happened in the US because of the Civil War, Theodore Roosevelt and the early 20th century progressives supported it (antitrust, direct election of Senators, women voting), the Republicans had so thoroughly trashed their brand that the Democrats had super-majorities in Congress (after the Depression, the Goldwater loss, and the Shrubtastrophe), or the courts reinterpreting/correctly interpreting the Constitution (school integration, one man/one vote, reproductive freedom, marriage equality).
Beyond that, there hasn’t been much.
We are not yet in an environment where Bernie level change is feasible. First, we need to convince a largish majority that bubble up economics works, and trickle on does not. That the basis of our prosperity is investment in people and infrastructure. And that rewriting the tax laws so that the wealthy can legally steal from the rest of us has been a disaster. I like that Bernie is reinjecting these issues into our discussion; I do not believe he can educate enough people fast enough this election, and too many of his promises are half-baked.
I believe all of us are affected by the damage(s) incurred by DLC/Third Way policies.
Here are a couple of interesting reads on the concerns delineated in your post:
Hillary’s about to get away with a stiff-arm: She needs to fundamentally rethink her policies — and we need to demand it
This was the year to demand more than someone marginally better than the GOP, and to push to build on Obama years
Looks Like Only ONE Person Can Prevent “President Trump ” At This Point:
The key portion of your sentence here (for me) is ‘not yet’….
I do not expect that the depth and breadth of Sanders’ programs can be implemented in one fell swoop (cultural PTSD?)…what I hope, given the limitations of time and education that you refer to here, is that the goals he delineates can be 1) acknowledged as worthy and 2) attainable over the course of the next decade (give or take several years)….
I can’t avoid asking myself what it will take to shake off our collective lethargy (ennui?), given the ‘common sense’ realizations you describe in your final paragraph…in other words, what is the ‘critical mass’ we need to reach in order to recognize – and act upon – this inflection point in our history as a nation?
Wall Street crashing would be an unmitigated disaster.
It doesn’t matter if they got bailed out or not. It doesn’t matter if they got bonuses or not.
You keep acting as if the people that would be hurt by that are the uber-rich. You aren’t listening when people are telling you that the ones who would be hurt are everyone with an IRA. Everyone with a 529. Everyone with any stocks. (That’s roughly 2/3 of Americans, BTW.)
Wall Street crashing would destroy the real estate market, which is where 2/3 of Americans hold long-term investment. It’s not the SAME 2/3, mind you — the percentage of Americans owning real estate, stock market investments, or both is about 80%.
But hey, you go ahead and hurt 4 out of 5 Americans in your quixotic quest to punish the 1% I’m sure that’s a guaranteed path for your views to reach fruition.
(For the next time you complain about people treating you as naive: This, right here, is why *I* think you are.)
The influence(s) of Wall Street permeate our economy, and its (relative) health is inexorably linked to the ‘greater good’ of the American capitalist system – when that system is not unduly harmed by the greed and negligence of our corporate MOTU (Masters Of The Universe)….
The reorganization of this system is, IMO, necessary and overdue. How we go about doing so is key to the associated changes (e.g., health care, education) made possible through Wall Street restructuring and regulation(s).
Here is an initial set of policies that can help promote that process:
Bernie Sanders on Financial Regulation