It was a jubilant crowd, and a bustling stage as most of the heavyweights on the Democratic side – including nearly the whole short list for 2020 president – stood together to proclaim that the moment has come to make single-payer healthcare a reality, and bring an end to stories of Americans dying or living unwell because they cannot afford the treatment they need. This was the formal announcement of Bernie Sanders’Medicare for All Act of 2017. Moving stories from nurses and a Canadian doctor about the outcomes when people cannot – and can – get access to lifesaving treatment. And a parade of Senate co-sponsors at the mic, including Cory Booker, who as he does so well, reminded us of the struggles of the past to ready us for the struggles of the future. A lot of smiles on the stage today, history being made. But Sanders, as usual, was all business. Some items:
- Menendez is not on record supporting this. I hope you ask him why (no, the trial is no excuse): 202-224-4744
- This video, of a woman whose mother died because she didn’t think she could afford to go to hospital slays me.
- This CEO, Brent Saunders of Allergan (with campuses in Bridgewater, Madison and Jersey City) is scared Americans will say “enough is enough” and embrace Bernie’s single-payer plan. Why? Maybe because of corporate calculations, which move to rip off consumers like Allergan just did: transferring the patent of its blockbuster drug, the eye medication Restasis, to a sovereign Native American tribe to maintain monopoly control of the drug and its revenue. The highly unusual legal strategy is designed to keep generic drug firms from challenging the Restasis patent, which would lower cost to consumers, while keeping Allergan in effective control of the revenue through its deal with the tribe.
I’ll have embeddable video of Booker’s remarks (and the whole event) if I can get it. Meanwhile here’s the link. And here’s the red-meat ending of Sanders’ closing words, followed by the White House’s predictable inanities.
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 13, 2017
The White House trotted out press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during Senator Sanders’ ** standing-room-only announcement. She called single-payer a “horrible idea.” This, after 7 solid years of Republicans loudly pronouncing that the ACA was a “horrible idea” and making blood oaths to repeal it and replace it with something “much better” and very Republican. That was just as empty and vacuous as what Trump sent his press secretary out to say today. This will be a struggle and it will not happen right away, or without a vigorous 2018. But eventually, because it’s the right thing, we will move past the obstacle of the Republicans, and of the obstructive Democrats too, if they insist.