Is Trump Making Democrats Regret Their Bernie Sanders Crush?

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RxCowboy

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From WSJ opinion journal:

Is Trump Making Democrats Regret Their Bernie Sanders Crush?
Few voters want to destroy Medicare and private health insurance.

By James Freeman
Oct. 10, 2018 3:07 p.m. ET

For political professionals, one of the most bizarre aspects of this bizarre era is the speed at which Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders has gone from near irrelevance as the Senate’s resident kook to the most influential policy maker in one of America’s two major political parties. Now comes the moment when Democrats who have largely adopted Sanders positions may have to explain them to voters.

President Donald Trump is now doing all he can to encourage this conversation. And the leftist squawking in response suggests that Mr. Trump has identified a critical vulnerability of his political opponents.

The President writes in a USA Today op-ed:

Throughout the year, we have seen Democrats across the country uniting around a new legislative proposal that would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives.​
Dishonestly called “Medicare for All,” the Democratic proposal would establish a government-run, single-payer health care system that eliminates all private and employer-based health care plans and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years.​

The Sanders program really would cost taxpayers that much, according to former Social Security and Medicare trustee Charles Blahous’ August op-ed in the Journal. Mr. Sanders didn’t dispute the figure and a writer at Vox, a Sanders-friendly website for young adults, calls it “kind of a bargain.”

But on Twitter, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer implies the Trump op-ed is “false and misleading” and appeals to the authority of an Associated Press “Fact Check” carrying the headline: “Trump distorts Democrats’ health care ideas.”

It’s the AP headline that may need a rewrite. In the body of its story, the news service acknowledges:

There definitely are serious questions about “Medicare for All,” including the massive tax increases that would be needed to pay for it and longstanding differences in society about the proper function of government. But Trump omits any mention of improved benefits for seniors that Sanders and other Democrats promise.​

Refusing to believe the promises of his political opponents means that the President “distorts” their ideas?

AP continues:

[The President] implies that Democrats are all lined up behind the idea, when they are not. A few recent examples:​
TRUMP: “You know what they’re doing with Medicare? They’ll destroy it. The majority of House Democrats have co-sponsored a socialist takeover of health care that would obliterate Medicare. Their plan is called Medicare for All, except they have no money. But it’s really Medicare for none. Their plan would rob American seniors of the benefits they have paid — and they’ve paid these benefits and they’ve paid so much money for their entire lives and you take it away.” — Minnesota rally Thursday.​
TRUMP: “Robbing our seniors of the benefits they paid into for their entire lives, giving it to people that don’t deserve it. Giving it, by the way, to illegal aliens who come in to our country. OK?” — West Virginia rally on Sept. 29.​
THE FACTS: “Medicare for All” means different things to different Democrats. For Sanders, the Vermont independent, it’s a “single-payer” system in which the government substitutes for private insurers and employers, paying for almost all medical care with tax money instead of premiums.​
But for others, “Medicare for All” means allowing people to buy into a new government plan modeled on Medicare. That would move toward the Democratic goal of coverage for all, while leaving private insurance in place... Trump is also wrong to say that Democrats would “obliterate” Medicare.​

As the A.P. acknowledges, Mr. Trump said: “The majority of House Democrats have co-sponsored a socialist takeover of health care that would obliterate Medicare.” This is true. “Medicare for All” may mean different things to different people. But to the 123 Members of the House of Representatives who are co-sponsors of H.R. 676, it means a government-run system which replaces existing health plans, including Medicare.

Just like the Senate plan offered by Mr. Sanders, the House measure, which is indeed co-sponsored by most House Democrats, does not allow capitalism in the health care industry. “No institution may be a participating provider unless it is a public or not-for-profit institution,” says the plain language of H.R. 676.

And how can we be sure that it replaces Medicare rather than leaving it alone? The official summary of the bill makes clear that Medicare money will be redirected to finance the new program:

The program is funded: (1) from existing sources of government revenues for health care, (2) by increasing personal income taxes on the top 5% of income earners, (3) by instituting a progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income, (4) by instituting a tax on unearned income, and (5) by instituting a tax on stock and bond transactions. Amounts that would have been appropriated for federal public health care programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), are transferred and appropriated to carry out this bill.​

Similar language appears in the text of the legislation, as it does in the Senate version from Bernie Sanders. And given all the new taxes, the $32.6 trillion estimate may turn out to be way too low.

As for the Trump claim that the program will cover illegal immigrants, people can debate the merits. But good luck to the A.P. trying to find even a small minority of House Democrats who oppose extending such benefits.

Expect Mr. Schumer’s tweets to be part of a larger media attack on the President’s truth-telling about SandersCare. That’s because Democrats know that they must own the health care issue to keep alive their dream of a blue election wave.

This week’s CNN poll is instructive. Democrats are celebrating this survey because, unlike other recent polls, it shows a huge edge for Democrats when voters are asked which party’s candidates they favor in congressional elections. But even in this survey, Republicans enjoy significant advantages on the economy and national security.

Health care is the must-win issue for Democrats. Now Mr. Trump is correctly explaining why SandersCare would be a loser for patients and taxpayers.
 
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So the government has taken 1.5% of every paycheck I've ever received to pay for something that they now want to abolish. Do I get my money back? No, instead they are going to take even more of every paycheck to pay for this new plan.

Also, does anybody believe the costs will only be 32 Trillion? Has the government ever come in at or under budget on anything? Ever? For the idiots out there, the answer is no, they have not. So you can expect that number to be exponentially higher in the long run. The Democrat party has been hijacked by an entire loony bin of people who either think money grows on trees or who want to intentionally crash the nations economy.
 

steross

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So the government has taken 1.5% of every paycheck I've ever received to pay for something that they now want to abolish. Do I get my money back? No, instead they are going to take even more of every paycheck to pay for this new plan.

Also, does anybody believe the costs will only be 32 Trillion? Has the government ever come in at or under budget on anything? Ever? For the idiots out there, the answer is no, they have not. So you can expect that number to be exponentially higher in the long run. The Democrat party has been hijacked by an entire loony bin of people who either think money grows on trees or who want to intentionally crash the nations economy.
I’m paying $18000 a year for health insurance that covers nothing until I’ve spent $5000, which has happened once in my life. In Australia, I paid $400 a month for excellent health insurance that even covered massages and then 1.5% of my income for Medicare. A bargain compared to the US.
You guys can sit and poo poo government plans but the huge sucking sound of our nonsense system stealing money is gonna end someday as it isn’t sustainable. And, unless “the market is better” people can turn around the fleecing happening now, when it collapses we will be going government.
 

RxCowboy

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I’m paying $18000 a year for health insurance that covers nothing until I’ve spent $5000, which has happened once in my life. In Australia, I paid $400 a month for excellent health insurance that even covered massages and then 1.5% of my income for Medicare. A bargain compared to the US.
You guys can sit and poo poo government plans but the huge sucking sound of our nonsense system stealing money is gonna end someday as it isn’t sustainable. And, unless “the market is better” people can turn around the fleecing happening now, when it collapses we will be going government.
The problem is, part of the fleecing is because of government interference in the market, and you know the gub'mint ain't gonna give up the power. It's going to collapse, it's just a matter of when and how bad it's going to be when it does.
 

steross

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The problem is, part of the fleecing is because of government interference in the market, and you know the gub'mint ain't gonna give up the power. It's going to collapse, it's just a matter of when and how bad it's going to be when it does.
Yep. But that doesn’t matter because the claim, from both sides really, is that we are the market based health system. Even though it is so bastardized to not even resemble a real market. It is s monster that needs to fail. But, the replacement will be government.
 
Jul 20, 2018
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#9
I’m paying $18000 a year for health insurance that covers nothing until I’ve spent $5000, which has happened once in my life. In Australia, I paid $400 a month for excellent health insurance that even covered massages and then 1.5% of my income for Medicare. A bargain compared to the US.
You guys can sit and poo poo government plans but the huge sucking sound of our nonsense system stealing money is gonna end someday as it isn’t sustainable. And, unless “the market is better” people can turn around the fleecing happening now, when it collapses we will be going government.
Where is all of the money going then? You and I have discussed this in the past. You say pay in Australia for medical professionals is comparable, care is comparable, etc. etc. Insurance companies aren't making ungodly profits. Where is all of the money going? It has to be going some where. There has to be a cost of doing business in the U.S. that makes it higher than Australia.
 
Feb 7, 2007
15,551
23,359
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Tulsa, OK
#10
You guys can sit and poo poo government plans but the huge sucking sound of our nonsense system stealing money is gonna end someday as it isn’t sustainable. And, unless “the market is better” people can turn around the fleecing happening now, when it collapses we will be going government.
I absolutely agree that our current system is not sustainable, but to replace one unsustainable healthcare system, that I've been paying into my whole life, with an even more unsustainable health care system, that will cost me even more, is not my idea of progress. The market IS better but unfortunately neither party in DC is interested in that solution so maybe you're right, maybe single payer is inevitable, but I will continue to fight it until the day it happens.
 

wrenhal

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Most of our problems now are because the government has stuck it's hands in too far already. Prices, just like in higher education, have increased due to the government "oversight".
So the government has taken 1.5% of every paycheck I've ever received to pay for something that they now want to abolish. Do I get my money back? No, instead they are going to take even more of every paycheck to pay for this new plan.

Also, does anybody believe the costs will only be 32 Trillion? Has the government ever come in at or under budget on anything? Ever? For the idiots out there, the answer is no, they have not. So you can expect that number to be exponentially higher in the long run. The Democrat party has been hijacked by an entire loony bin of people who either think money grows on trees or who want to intentionally crash the nations economy.
I’m paying $18000 a year for health insurance that covers nothing until I’ve spent $5000, which has happened once in my life. In Australia, I paid $400 a month for excellent health insurance that even covered massages and then 1.5% of my income for Medicare. A bargain compared to the US.
You guys can sit and poo poo government plans but the huge sucking sound of our nonsense system stealing money is gonna end someday as it isn’t sustainable. And, unless “the market is better” people can turn around the fleecing happening now, when it collapses we will be going government.
Sent from my stang5litre Edition 5.0 using Tapatalk
 

steross

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#12
Where is all of the money going then? You and I have discussed this in the past. You say pay in Australia for medical professionals is comparable, care is comparable, etc. etc. Insurance companies aren't making ungodly profits. Where is all of the money going? It has to be going some where. There has to be a cost of doing business in the U.S. that makes it higher than Australia.
Some parts of the healthcare industry are making ungodly profits. A non-medical friend of mine lives in the DC area. She knows a Blue Cross VP of something or other who is making a very good seven-figure salary. Yet, somehow this person is also at every school event during the day, very active in school activities etc.
There are parts of healthcare with big profit margins. And, there are parts of health care where high expense and high inefficiency is the economic incentive. But, either way, the current system is not consumer based and sucks up the money up.
 

RxCowboy

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Some parts of the healthcare industry are making ungodly profits. A non-medical friend of mine lives in the DC area. She knows a Blue Cross VP of something or other who is making a very good seven-figure salary. Yet, somehow this person is also at every school event during the day, very active in school activities etc.
There are parts of healthcare with big profit margins. And, there are parts of health care where high expense and high inefficiency is the economic incentive. But, either way, the current system is not consumer based and sucks up the money up.
Man, that Thomas Sowell quote is on-point.
 

steross

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https://www.thebalance.com/causes-of-rising-healthcare-costs-4064878

It appears to me that demand (as in supply and demand) has caused the price of healthcare to go up. People today have more chronic disease and they get treated for things that were left untreated in years past.
That article is laughable.
A Princeton University study found that Americans use the same amount of health care as residents of other nations. They just pay more for them. For example, U.S. hospital prices are 60 percent higher than those in Europe. Government efforts to reform health care and cut costs raised them instead.
A true point but goes against why you claim costs are up.

Second, chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, have increased.
Somewhat true but we have also redefined when people have some of those diseases. The article gives no data on how much this has increased cots but goes on to make claims about the sickest, who have always been the most costly. We also used to keep people in the hospital for weeks after surgery and they now often go home the same day. In a normal market that would lower costs, but not health.

In 1986, Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. It forced hospitals to accept anyone who showed up at the emergency room. If the patient couldn't pay, Medicaid covered it.
That is just a lie. Emergency care providers eat those costs, not medicaid.


Look at the graph of hospital administrators above and add it to this fact:
There are few scenarios in which doctors would find themselves on the short end of the pay scale. However, a recent study from Du and colleagues in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research showed that executives in health care systems — CEO- and CFO-level administrators, mainly — enjoyed pay increases of more than 90% over a recent 10-year period, while raises for actual health care professionals ranged closer to 10% or 20%.

Randall Marcus, MD, professor of orthopedics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and senior author of the study, discussed this wage gap as a problem larger than just the salaries of a handful of executives. “There is currently a bloated bureaucracy disease in our health care system,” he said. “We need to look at the value of every cost in health care, every dollar we spend.”

Be involved in the continued transformation of health care
Clinicians express uncertainty about impact of Trump presidency on health care
EULAR recommends physical activity as part of standard care for inflammatory arthritis, OA
That said, the numbers for those executives are sobering. The researchers assessed trends between 2005 and 2015. Results showed that CEO compensation increased from $1.6 million to $3.1 million, or 93% (P = 0.009), over that period. These findings were then put into the context of a wage gap between executives and various members of the clinical community. Results showed that this gap increased from 3:1 to 5:1 for orthopedic surgeons, from 7:1 to 12:1 for pediatricians, and from 23:1 to 44:1 for registered nurses. A similar phenomenon was reported for compensation for hospital CFOs.
https://www.healio.com/rheumatology...rly-doubled-as-physician-increases-lag-behind


Americans are getting fleeced. But, they fear "socialized healthcare" without even understanding what it means so much that they are easy prey for the fleecing.
 
Jul 20, 2018
496
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58
77539
#17
That article is laughable.
A Princeton University study found that Americans use the same amount of health care as residents of other nations. They just pay more for them. For example, U.S. hospital prices are 60 percent higher than those in Europe. Government efforts to reform health care and cut costs raised them instead.
A true point but goes against why you claim costs are up.

Second, chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, have increased.
Somewhat true but we have also redefined when people have some of those diseases. The article gives no data on how much this has increased cots but goes on to make claims about the sickest, who have always been the most costly. We also used to keep people in the hospital for weeks after surgery and they now often go home the same day. In a normal market that would lower costs, but not health.

In 1986, Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. It forced hospitals to accept anyone who showed up at the emergency room. If the patient couldn't pay, Medicaid covered it.
That is just a lie. Emergency care providers eat those costs, not medicaid.


Look at the graph of hospital administrators above and add it to this fact:
There are few scenarios in which doctors would find themselves on the short end of the pay scale. However, a recent study from Du and colleagues in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research showed that executives in health care systems — CEO- and CFO-level administrators, mainly — enjoyed pay increases of more than 90% over a recent 10-year period, while raises for actual health care professionals ranged closer to 10% or 20%.

Randall Marcus, MD, professor of orthopedics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and senior author of the study, discussed this wage gap as a problem larger than just the salaries of a handful of executives. “There is currently a bloated bureaucracy disease in our health care system,” he said. “We need to look at the value of every cost in health care, every dollar we spend.”

Be involved in the continued transformation of health care
Clinicians express uncertainty about impact of Trump presidency on health care
EULAR recommends physical activity as part of standard care for inflammatory arthritis, OA
That said, the numbers for those executives are sobering. The researchers assessed trends between 2005 and 2015. Results showed that CEO compensation increased from $1.6 million to $3.1 million, or 93% (P = 0.009), over that period. These findings were then put into the context of a wage gap between executives and various members of the clinical community. Results showed that this gap increased from 3:1 to 5:1 for orthopedic surgeons, from 7:1 to 12:1 for pediatricians, and from 23:1 to 44:1 for registered nurses. A similar phenomenon was reported for compensation for hospital CFOs.
https://www.healio.com/rheumatology/practice-management/news/online/{ee11d0a6-ac02-4952-935b-cebdf3beda3f}/hospital-execs-salaries-nearly-doubled-as-physician-increases-lag-behind


Americans are getting fleeced. But, they fear "socialized healthcare" without even understanding what it means so much that they are easy prey for the fleecing.
You make a good point about the numbers of administrators in a hospital. It's kinda like our public schools, the administration part of it has gone through the roof and those are the people that make the big bucks. I lay blame on the numbers of administrators to the federal government's intrusion into healthcare through their regulations and medicare/Medicaid. I also blame the insurance companies' game of constantly questioning the healthcare providers and getting the coding right on the bills.
 

RxCowboy

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You make a good point about the numbers of administrators in a hospital. It's kinda like our public schools, the administration part of it has gone through the roof and those are the people that make the big bucks. I lay blame on the numbers of administrators to the federal government's intrusion into healthcare through their regulations and medicare/Medicaid. I also blame the insurance companies' game of constantly questioning the healthcare providers and getting the coding right on the bills.
Look at the graph again and tell me what happened in, oh, say, 1965 that might have affected that graph.

The U.S. Dept. of Ed. started in 1979. When do you suppose the explosion of school administrators began?