OUT OF TOUCH

Universal health care – in whatever flavor one envisions – is a popular idea and Democrats had success in 2018 with many congressional candidates who emphasized it. So it's extra puzzling why the national leadership is so timid about embracing it. Everybody understands that it's not something that could be accomplished with a magic wand or without concessions in the legislative process; but the inability / unwillingness to at least declare confidently "This is a goal we have, we want to achieve this" is really telling. Alex Pareene (ex-Wonkette, for those of you into that) has a great take in The New Republic regarding the incomprehensible "let's try to please everyone" position congressional Democrats are trying to stake out on prescription drug prices.

I mean, even Trump gets this. He runs around saying "We need lower drug prices!" He's not doing anything to actually bring that about, and in fact he's done as much to protect the pharmaceutical industry as any president including George W. Bush. But he gets that people want to hear it. He gets that it's an almost embarrassingly easy political point to score. "Let's lower those drug prices!" Nearly everyone who isn't a pharma executive or salesperson can relate! Easily!

Instead – segue! – they're stuck in their inevitable, terminal cycles of technocratic fixes that A) nobody understands and B) are obviously designed to protect drug industry profits because the biggest priority seems to be not upsetting drug companies. And that mindset, the mindset of tweaks and tax credits and complicated, unworkable, Wall Street friendly administrative nightmares, is one the party absolutely needs to get beyond. Samuel Moyn's review of the new book by Cass Sunstein makes this point well. As Mike Konczal notes, "It is dangerous to approach the economy – now, with so much on the line, with the threat of the far right near – as a set of glib information problems, instead of one shot through with instability, massive imbalances of resources, deprivation and pervasive private power."

How they are not campaigning by shouting "The drug industry sucks! Nationalize that fucker!" is beyond me. They're letting Trump – DONALD TRUMP – beat the from the LEFT on this issue. The nature of our policy making process, of course, makes it impossible to guarantee delivery on such a bold promise. But for fuck's sake, will someone at least aim a little higher? Give people something aspirational to think about? A higher ideal that speaks to people in language other than bureaucratic "Well first we'll set up some exchanges" kind?

Of course not. Let's just nominate Joe Biden instead and try to guilt the Democratic base into being excited about it. Worked great in 2016.

36 thoughts on “OUT OF TOUCH”

  • Ban private health insurance or regulate it to death.
    Let the IRS auditors loose on all aspects of the industry to conduct a financial colonscopy on the industry.
    Is the first step.
    Either join public health system or it is cash up front.
    Ban any "philisophical" disagreements over legitamate health care. Aboration being the prime example all hospitals, clinics doctors, pharmasists etc are required to support and offer these services or they lose their license and are investigated for fraud since their oaths do NOT cover that sort of selective readings on health services.
    Obviously this applys as well to health services for people of color, LBTQ community, and other underserved groups.
    Religion has no place in medical facilities. If some one wants a purveyor of myths to reinforce their delusions they can come in during visiting hours wearing "civilian" clothes. Just as we wouldn't allow some one who'se job is emptying septic tanks to wear his work clothes into a hospital so should we not allow thes promoters of intellectual fever dreams to promote their scams with "uniforms".
    Any medical personel who decides they will work outside of the system for cash impose even more draconian regulations then those traitor states have imposed upon womens health ckinics.
    Mandate vaccinations. Don't get vaccinated lose citizenship and either be deported or placed in a "fever" reservation isolated from the outside community.
    Oh and of course impose strict almost punative gun control/registration/licenseing. Return to 200 years of judicial interpertation of 2nd amendment before heller pay off perverted the constitition.
    You want a play with guns join a national guard and spend at least two weekends a month playing soldier. Put Murder Inc, aka nra, on AG's terrorist watch list and ban any member from flying or traveling on public transporatation ( trains, buses etc). guns are a health care issue.
    Time for "centralists" such as biden is long gone along with the delusion that the thuglicans would endeavour to promote the general welfare except where that is a coincidental side effect of them making a profit or gaining more power.

  • "I mean, even Trump gets this."

    No, he does not. What he gets is that as long as he doesn't get specific and they can blame liberals, it's all good.

    He understands little, if anything, or what it's like to have to make a living.

    Fuck him.

  • He's really good with the rhetoric, no? Came Clinton from the left on social security, medicare, and the forever war. It was all bullshit, of course, but there it is. He has a good sense of what people want and knows that most will never check the results.

    The problem, I think, is the Pelosi cohort of Dem officials. They're all suffering PTSD from Reagan, Bush, and Gingrich; they really think Bubba saved the party. Despite voting against the Iraq War she still looks over her shoulder whenever something mildly progressive slips out of her mouth.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    The boomer Democratic leadership is the Washington Generals of politics. They've been ratfucked and gerrymandered out of existence on the state level, seen their most fearsome member lose the White House to a rapist carnival barker, and known naught but humiliation for decades. They have no memory of their political instincts and believe these kids will cool off about socialism when they've got two cars and a mortgage in the 'burbs. They're less than useless.

  • @Emerson Dameron
    You are so right.
    They started as thuglican lites and canNOT understand why they can't get people to support their strategy of compromise, sell out and comprimise of principles.
    Their continued support of the likes of lipinski and cuellar show they either will not or can not learn.
    This in a certain part is rahm's legacy of surrender

  • "Ban any "philisophical" disagreements over legitamate health care."

    As a healthcare professional (pharmacist) – a-fucking-men. The only legitimate reasons to deny any aspect of care is if said care would result in harm to the patient or said care is medically unnecessary or unwarranted. I would add more global harm (e.g. antibiotic resistance as a result of antibiotic overuse) but that would probably be a harder sell.

  • One of the contributing factors are the campaign donors, many of whom are de facto "Mammonites" whose religious practices involve accumulating money. Anything that gets in the way of that is heresy, even if it improves the business environment for their co-religionists.

  • Safety Man! says:

    It’s not baffling at all Ed, the various medical industries own too much of Congress on either side. I know, I know, suggesting democrat representatives might be out-of-touch plutocrats, simply because they posses vast fortunes, is untoward of me, I shall strive to be better.

    The armed forces are our best bet to bring medication prices to heel. Companies that do business with the military have to submit their patents, so the next time some jackass hikes the price of a pill 1000%, as long as some soldier’s spouse somewhere is on the medication they can claim a national security conflict and farm the formula out to someone else, preferably a company pre- vetted to not go evil. I’ve seen it threatened for aircraft parts, and by golly some executive somewhere got straightened out with a quickness when they were staring at losing not just a contract but their product.

    Second, Ed, you yourself wrote a lengthy piece about how Tim Kaine (was that his name? I seriously don’t remember) was a perfectly logical VP choice and we should get behind him.

  • The phrase "extra puzzling why the national leadership is so timid" seems to sum up current Democratic leadership. I thought maybe it was just me but it seems pretty prevalent: a lot of us are starting to wonder why we bothered in 2018.

  • @ Butch:

    I've been getting an earful. here and elsewhere about being an "old" or worse–it's okay, I've got fairly thick skin–for suggesting that those who want to burn down the house might make sure that they have a place to get in out of the weather–FIRST.

    But, sure, elect progs–start with the lowest elective offices and in something like 15 years you can be the ones who say, "Fuck everybody who isn't in MY tribe.".

    I'll be dead by then, but I prolly will be just fine with not living in the Skynet Paradise of Balkanworld II.

    Or maybe you and the others can point to a clearly articulated plan that MIGHT get some sort of traction in a time when Congress is pretty much polarized all day, every day. Give me a link to that whitepaper and I'll take a look.

    Meantime, I'm going to dedicate my life to the pursuit of not being in constant pain from unnamed processes that my doctors don't seem anxious to identify. I will prolly have that luxury for what's left of my life–going to doctors, I mean.

  • So you're saying continue to be satisfied with modest technocratic proposals that won't actually accomplish anything? Read the Pareene article – he's absolutely right.

  • Clearly the Democrats need to campaign on something the Republicans haven't touched– for example, infrastructure. Repair bridges! Put road pavers and dam builders and structural contracting teams to work! No chance Republicans would have started on it by 2020.

  • Point is that nothing a D proposes has any chance with the present thuglicans.
    Remember they view bi-partisanship as date rape and they demand the right to rape.
    Continued surrender is no answer.
    As for waiting 15 years, or more, before we act to save the environment would be too late.
    Time to offer a bold new definition of politics wher the definition of issues is not defined by thuglican and corporate interests.
    Before I hear any comments on costs of new programs let us hear the costs of not doing so and how peoples lives will improve.
    The government does not exist to ensure profits of private enterprise but to promote the general welfare. If profit making stands in the way of the general welfare just abolish the oppurtunity to make a profit while being obstructive.
    As has been pointed out capitalism is not mentioned anywher in the constitition so lets stop pretending that it is.

  • It appears that people think I'm selling out to corporatists or just can't see that democratic and republican stated policies and actual actions are all aimed at the the Left Behind voters.

    Fine.

    Have a nice time at the barricades.

    OR–

    Stop blaming me for your parents and your peers being too fucking lazy or disinterested in their futures to have done what they claim I and others have to do, now, in order to save the future.

    The environment, btw, is already alarmingly fucked. Between the depradations of big oil, big pharma. big farm and AmaFaGoogle there is precious little that hasn't been sullied if not contaminated beyond easy/possible remediation.

    I worked pretty hard for a lot of years to make a living that was neither excessive in terms of creature comforts or did deliberate damage to the environment. I've lived in two supposedly MoscowLite states,New York and Massachusetts. In both states, in the time I've lived in them there have been numerous scumbags elected from both of the major parties. On balance, over 50 years or more of watching this shit going on, I'm going to side with the democrats as being the less harmful and for an absolute certainty FAR less deliberately destructive of programs and institutions that don't benefit them or their patrons, exclusively.

    The notion that the DNC owes Bernie fuckall is silly. Bernie did jack to bring the party back together after the primaries last go-round.

    IF Sanders or Johnson or Stein had been nominated, I would have voted for them. I would not have thrown away a vote out of some sense of being ideologically pure. Nor would I simply not vote.

    Those two actions/inactions are what changed the outcome of the election. I will be voting for a "D" at the national level in 2020 and for as long as they are nominated.

    You're all going to do whatever you're going to do. If you stayed home or threw a vote to someone who had no chance of winning in 2016 because BernGarJil was dissed–shame on you. If you do it again in 2018 then you're an idiot. If the last 2-1/2 years haven't been enough for you to see that ANY candidate who is not an "R" and has a chance of winning, should get your vote–you might as well start sharpening your machetes.

  • Prairie Bear says:

    Nearly everyone who isn't a pharma executive or salesperson can relate! Easily!

    That points to the problem right there. Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of he Democratic Party leaders could not care less about what would be good policies for members of that "everyone."

    They have to try and figure out ways to look like they care, but if it ultimately comes down to a choice between four more years of Trump and actual progressive policies, they will choose the former.

  • Anti-abortion laws are an establishment of religion. They put into law a decision about when the soul enters the body.

  • Procopius—

    No. They are an updated reestablishment of science and technology, which in this instance actually overlaps with Abrahamic religion. Even the Minnesota Twin in his infamous opinion in Roe referenced viabillity as one possible way to determine if and when rights of personhood inhere in a fetus. Soul if anything increases the likelihood, and for Margaret Sanger the advisability, of abortion.

  • Why are we even referenceing the mythical in any discussion.
    Souls, like a magic man in the sky,is a delusional construct created from scared middle east shepherds huddled around fires over 3000 years ago.
    The whole idea was to justify bigotry, hate, ignorance and to give some justification for priests, rabbi's, imans, shamans and other soothsayers to accumalate power and wealth by running a scam.
    One might as well say it doesn't allow for aliens from other worlds to use the new born to invade this world.
    Or the fair folk, fairy's and elves, to take over the children.
    So please let one try to stay within the realm of reason and not wander of into fantasyland.

  • Define—

    Do you see a possible connection between Blackmun’s “viability” and science/technology? It could just be that our capacity for detailed imaging, for detection of fetal heartbeats, sorry, embryonic pulsing, and our overall scientific understanding of the fetus itself, have improved substantially since 1973…..

  • @K:

    "So please let one try to stay within the realm of reason and not wander of into fantasyland."

    Realism is imoossible for those whose entire political and socio-economic mindscape is polluted with bullshit and religion*.

    So the troll is a forced birther apologist as well–not a sooprize.

    * All religion is bullshit, not all bullshit is religion.

    When all somebody wants to do is stir shit–their only tool is a shitstirrer.

  • I will unabashedly vote for Joe Biden. Biden is entitled to do as he pleases. If he wants to make women and girls uncomfortable around him,that's on them. His beautiful tribute to Strohm Thurmond was very moving and resonated with supremacists worldwide. He can influence those on the other side of the aisle. Besides,Biden will do everything and work tirelessly on behalf of those like Warriors minority-investor Mark Stevens.

  • @ Nimby The Liberal:

    All of what you say is trueish, but when push comes to shove, push "d"–UNLESS you KNOW your candidate who is neither "d" nor "r" had a better chance than either of them to win.

    Mr. Stevens is in a minority–Clueless, rich, white male assholes? That's a good sized minority, bro.

  • A couple of points yes I will vote for a d even biden, though with his speil on cooperation one has to wonder what he was doing between '08 and '16? Did he learn nothing? The days of Ev dirksen and anything near a honest thuglican are long gone.
    Recent polls have shown that the d deserters in 2016 were not from Bernie supporters but rather from Obama supporters who swung into darkness. Considering Obama was actually a rockefeller thuglican, by his own admittance, this was not that far to go for the ignorant.
    Amazing how thugs win without worrying about "electability" by promoting their candinate and sticking with them no matter how stupid and ignorant they are. While at the same time their anointed ones ensure to play to the base and ignore D voters.
    Where as the D's keep argueing that they need to grovel to r's to ensure electability even as they shed their base voters who see no difference between those such as lipinski, cuellar and case and the thuglicans so why bother? No need for the base if they grovel before their thuglican daddies.

  • "our overall scientific understanding of the fetus itself, have improved substantially since 1973….."

    Of course it has. But my point stands, in as much as the bills I referred to are a willful misinterpretation of science in order to push a regressive anti-choice, pro-birth agenda. As an example, the idea of the "fetal heartbeat" itself, which is being pushed as a scientific rationale for said bills, is pure obfuscation and appeal to emotion. Hell, even you corrected yourself.

  • Define—

    Your “point” stands. Hell, you even repeated yourself. As in partisan mind-reading, without addressing the substantive effect—on Roe’s viability dictum—of advances in science and technology.

  • @defineandredefine:

    Lyin'trollz be lyin'.

    "Roe’s viability dictum"

    "Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 case legalizing abortion, made fetal viability an important legal concept. The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot put the interests of a fetus ahead of the interests of the pregnant woman until the fetus is “viable.” The court defined viable to mean capable of prolonged life outside the mother’s womb. It said this included fetuses that doctors expected to be sustained by respirators. The court accepted the conventional medical wisdom that a fetus becomes viable at the start of the last third of a pregnancy, the third trimester, sometime between the 24th and 28th week (a pregnancy usually lasts 38 weeks). Because the point of viability varies, the court ruled, it could only be determined case by case and by the woman’s own doctor. Even if the fetus is viable, the court said, states could not outlaw an abortion if the woman’s life or health was at stake." (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1997/05/fetal-viability.html)

    Trollz like InKKKlown will of course ignore that as it doesn' suit their butthurt bullshit story.

    The chance of a 6 week old fetus surviving removal from the woman who is carrying it is negligible.

    I would, of course, accept the conclusions of a large scale double blind study on such procedures.

    Reactionary assholes like InKKKy can't be bothered to actually get some facts to back their assertions.

  • "I mean, even Trump gets this. He runs around saying "We need lower drug prices!" He's not doing anything to actually bring that about, "

    Actually, according to Trump, he's already done it. He called up the head of Pfizer, yelled at him, and those drug prices are going down folks.

  • "He called up the head of Pfizer, yelled at him, and those drug prices are going down folks."

    I hope he's not getting his Adderall stash from them–well, maybe I don't hope that.

  • I think instead of all the draconian suggestions the government at whatever level should just collect taxes in a sensible way like a carbon tax, and use the proceeds to set up a health care system with minimal costs and overhead, like Canada or the UK. Maybe import or train more doctors, and keep drug prices down by reducing Monopoly power, which is a terrible way to price needed care. Then if people want to use it, they can, if they want to pay for something else or get other insurance they can do that too. Like schools.

  • @ BlakeFelix:

    Now, THAT is just crazytalk! {;>)

    Magical thinking got us into this mess, it will take a lot of unmagical thinking to get us out of it.

  • Inkberrow –

    Democommie already posted a summary of Roe's viability dictum (thank you, sir). I'm not aware of any scientific research that confirms viability before 24 weeks. I've seen a baby who survived at 23 weeks gestation, but not without myriad complications including blindness and respiratory issues. I've also seen babies who died at 20 weeks gestation (the longest either survived was less than 24 hours). But that doesn't count, in as much as it's my experience and not peer-reviewed research.

    As far as I'm aware, the science does not confirm viability before 24 weeks gestation. Ergo, the recent spate of anti-abortion measures aren't a reestablishment of science in the slightest. (And yes, I'm repeating myself. You still haven't refuted my point.)

  • Define–

    I'm not here to argue when viability occurs, not even that it it a feasible or necessary test. Over my pay grade. My point was and remains that Blackmun and his successors intimated there is or should be a point at which Constitutional rights of personhood inhere in a fetus. Exponential advances in science and technology are thus quite germane in this connection, which leftists here and elsewhere elide by dismissive reference to religion and by dishonestly ignoring either viability in Roe or another test.

  • @ defineandredefine:

    This:

    "Define–

    I'm not here to argue when viability occurs, not even that it it a feasible or necessary test. Over my pay grade. My point was and remains that Blackmun and his successors intimated there is or should be a point at which Constitutional rights of personhood inhere in a fetus. Exponential advances in science and technology are thus quite germane in this connection, which leftists here and elsewhere elide by dismissive reference to religion and by dishonestly ignoring either viability in Roe or another test."

    is similar to another troll'z comment that his only reason for coming here is to stir shit–that asswipe seems to have found another place to vent his considerable hot'n'burnin'diocy. I'm sure that he feels the same way about Heller v D.C.

    So, in other words–he hasn't got any fucking idea about how pregnancy and gestation actually work, but he likes to come in . Fucking trollz.

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