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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Releasing its annual Press Freedom Index after a tumultuous 12 months for the media, Reporters Without Borders sounded the alarm over an "intense climate of fear" for reporters, and condemned attacks on press outlets by world leaders including Donald Trump. The US slid three places to 48th in their global rankings, dropping below Botswana, Chile and Romania and entering the category of "problematic" regions for press freedom. Norway claimed the top spot read more


A 37-year-old New Jersey man carrying a pair of full two-gallon cans of gasoline was arrested on Wednesday night after entering St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, the police said. read more


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg's Tuesday night town hall in Des Moines, Iowa, was so packed, it was standing room only -- despite his expectations that only 50 people would turn up, the Quad City Times reports. Details: More than 16,000 people turned out to hear the South Bend, Indiana, mayor speak


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The audience at a Fox News town hall erupted in cheers and applause when asked by moderator Bret Baier if they would support Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) "Medicare for All" proposal. read more


Friday, April 12, 2019

A bomb hidden among bags of potatoes at a Pakistani market killed at least 16 people, half of them ethnic Hazaras, officials said, in an attack apparently aimed at minority Shi'ite Muslims. At least 30 people were wounded in the blast


Comments

Take it from an economist, Medicare for All is the most sensible way to fix health care

As an economist who has spent decades studying our health care system, I can tell you that Medicare for All advocates are the only ones who are being reasonable, because theirs is the only plan that will control health care costs while finally achieving universal coverage.
Insurance companies are middle men

The problem with incremental plans, whether they are public options, buy-ins to Medicare or Medicaid, or pumping more money into subsidies in the Affordable Care Act's individual marketplace, is that they preserve the private health insurance system weighing down our health care.

This may be why pundits and centrist politicians view those plans as "reasonable," but it means that they are leaving the main reason for our system's dysfunction in place: the multipayer, for-profit financing model.

Commercial insurance companies are nothing more than middle men. They add no value to our system, but they do drive up costs with their bloated claims departments, marketing and advertising budgets and executive salaries. We pay for all of these things before a single dollar is spent on the delivery of care.

They also create extra costs for providers who need large administrative staffs to deal with billing systems, accounting for as much as $100,000 per physician.

Any plans short of Medicare for All leaves these costs in place. In other words, they leave hundreds of billions of dollars a year in savings on the table.
Medicare for All attacks costs

The waste goes beyond administrative savings. While pharmaceutical companies and hospital groups are consolidating and forming regional monopolies, our fragmented, multipayer system leaves no one insurance plan with a large enough share of the market to negotiate effectively. That allows these companies to essentially set their own inflated prices and bilk the public for hundreds of billions of dollars.

Is it any wonder that they oppose Medicare for All?

If we're talking about which health care reform plans are serious about attacking cost, providing universal coverage and making sure everyone has access to health care, Medicare for All is the only reasonable answer. No other plan does this effectively, which is why I suspect that the Center for American Progress has not come out with spending estimates. Basic economic tenets tell us that their plan will not reduce health care spending as effectively.

Is Medicare for All bold? Absolutely. Is it reasonable? You bet. It is time to accept that Medicare for All is the practical alternative.

Gerald Friedman, a health care and labor economist, is an economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst and the director of The Hopbrook Institute. F

www.usatoday.com

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If this links work its Bernie getting a loud cheer for his medicare for all at the FOX town Hall to the shock of the fox news people.

What people in the media dont get is that medicare for all is now main stream America, most Dems like most repubs like most independents like it, it is main stream America

A lot of us sit around thinking up ways to vote conservative just so we don't come out with a liberal rating," Biden told Washingtonian in 1974. "When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, I'm a liberal but that's it. I'm really quite conservative on most other issues."

If Biden wanted low marks from liberal groups, he got them. By 1978, Americans for Democratic Action, the preeminent liberal watchdog group of the time, gave Biden a score of just 50, lower than its ratings for some Republicans. Kennedy typically scored in the 90s.

Biden's ratings recovered in the 1980s, fueled by a liberal foreign policy record. But on domestic policy ? from school integration to tax policy ? he was functionally allied with the Reagan administration.

He voted for a landmark Reagan tax bill that slashed the top income tax rate from 70 percent to 50 percent and exempted many wealthy families from the estate tax on unearned inheritances, a measure that cost the federal government an estimated $83 billion in annual revenue. He then called for a spending freeze on Social Security in order to reduce the deficits that tax law helped to create.

"While this program is severe," Biden said on the Senate floor, "it is the only proposal that will halt the upward spiral of deficits," which supposedly threatened "an economic and political crisis of extraordinary proportions" within 18 months.

By the time Biden first ran for president in 1987, he had adopted much of Reagan's anti-government message in his pitch to Democratic voters.

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