Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Supermajority of Americans Want Medicare For All: Why Then Does The New York Times Have A Chart Showing A Minority Of Democratic Candidates (7 out of 19, just 37%) Support Medicare For All?— Plus Why Would The Times Deceptively Interpret What That Means?

New York Times bubble head chart showing how Democratic candidates for president who favor Medicare for all are significantly outnumbered by those who don't.-  Why?
Priming its readers for the week’s upcoming Democratic candidates presidential debates, the Times Published a chart that visually emphasized how unpopular “Medicare for all” is with candidates the Democratic party is fielding to run for the United States Presidency.  It showed names and bubble head pics of 19 candidates, segregating off into a minority, seven of the candidates, just 37% of them as favoring Medicare for all.

How could this be when a supermajority of the American public want Medicare for all?  Why would the candidates of the theoretically more liberal party of our duopoly not be willing to fall in line with the polls to obtain the nomination of the Democratic party? . .

 . . . It would even be a winning position to take to win the race for the U.S. presidency against a Republican.  There are polls that say a majority of Republicans, 52%, favor Medicare for all.  And even though Fox News itself may not like it, the Fox News audience seems to love the idea of Medicare for all.    

How did the New York Times seek to explain the fact that so many Democratic candidates were not willing to follow the polls and to say that they would give the public what they want in this respect?  The Times made it seem like Medicare for all is controversially divisive: “the concept is dividing the 2020 field.”– With only a 37% minority of the candidates shown as favoring Medicare for all that lopsided oddity hardly seems like any kind of even “division.”  Then the Times very deceptively indicated that this 63% majority vs. a 37% minority on the part of the candidates was somehow reflective of the electorate: “The findings underscore that the Democratic field, like the electorate, has not moved en masse to left-wing positions on health care.”

Jeezum Christmas!  And did you notice, in that sentence, how the Times, by saying that Medicare for all is “left-wing,” rather than mainstream, uses the opportunity to be deceptive to throw in by implication the caution that there are other positions on health care that are probably too left-wing?

I just got finished publishing a National Notice article about how, over and over again, on issue after issue, the American public is being denied what huge majorities of American want and what sensibly ought to be afforded to everyone.  See: Everybody’s Realizing It Now: The Political Establishment Is Not Willing To Give The Public The Things The Vast Majority Of Americans Want And That We Could Easily Have.
By way of proving that this failure to represent the electorate is getting widely noticed, the article included quite a few lists of issues that a number of sources have come up with, cumulatively a very long list of major issues, where a supermajority of the public wants something (like “net neutrality”), but our establishment of elected officials and major party political candidates seem to think it is their job to prevent it from happening.  Those list makers were: Citizens Defending Libraries (of which I am a co-founder), Michael Moore, Jimmy Dore, Chris Hedges, and Tim Wu.  My article also made the point how it seems like the corporate media acts like it’s its job to play along and endorse the denial of the eminently sensible things on the lists of what supermajorities of Americans want.

Medicare for all came up on pretty much all the lists: that of Citizens Defending Libraries; Michael Moore’s from his film “Fahrenheit 11/9" (a slide of a Reuters polls showing 70% support); Jimmy Dore, citing that 70% of Americans are for medicare for all; Chris Hedges (interviewing Howie Hawkins who wants to become the Green Party presidential candidate stating that 60% of Americans believe it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care, and that 60% of registered voters favor expanding medicare to provide health insurance to every single citizen.  Tim Wu, in his list, did not specifically cite Medicare for all, but noted that “Seventy-one percent think we should be able to buy drugs imported from Canada, and 92 percent want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices” and he noted “the list goes on.”

Medicare for all is, in fact, just one example of where establishment politicians seem dedicated to not giving the public what it wants, but it is a good example, because not only could the public have Medicare for all, it would save the public trillions of dollars to switch to this universal health care system.  The huge savings are something the press doesn’t like to tell the public about.  Please read the earlier National Notice article to peruse the multiple long lists of major issues that place the public way to the left of their elected representatives and the corporate press.

The Times chart that showed the seven Democratic candidates supporting Medicare for all to be in the lonely minority was interestingly suspect in another respect: The print edition of the Times left out candidate Tulsi Gabbard.  Gabbard is another Medicare for all supporter, an eighth one.  Leaving her out made the minority appear more shrunken.  Further, it removed Gabbard from getting some recognition. The corporate media seems to be working hard to avoid giving Gabbard recognition, and/or to denigrate her: The best explanation for that is that, of all the candidates, Gabbard is clearest in her opposition to America’s perpetual and very expensive wars. .  .  After her debate, Gabbard was far and away the most Googled candidate, even though Ms. Gabbard got the third lowest speaking time in the debate.

The Times explains its Gabbard omission in its subsequently updated digital edition saying, “A 20th candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, later submitted her preference for Medicare for all.” That made Gabbard seem like a laggard who doesn’t know her mind on the issue.  But the Times print article was published June 24, 2019, and here is a very easy to find June 11, 2019 tweet from Gabbard making her stance on the issue extremely clear, as I believe was already quite widely known and easy to find out.
Easy to find  easy to find June 11, 2019 tweet from Tulsi Gabbard that puts Medicare for All at the top of a list of her expressed priorities.
The Times article did point out, with some context, an alternative to Medicare for all:
The public option was once considered too far-reaching — champions of the idea in Congress could not muster quite enough support to include it in the Affordable Care Act in 2010. But it is now seen as a more moderate alternative to Mr. Sanders’s plan, which would all but eliminate private health insurance and enroll everyone in a government-run program.
Helpful?  Implementing a "public option" might lead inevitably to Medicare for all.  And yes, in Obama’s time, it was resisted– Or probably it is better to say it was quickly tossed out by Obama as impossible and antithetical to the interests of the insurance companies he appeased.  But to raise it, is to complicate things.  Complicating things is one of the last tactics that those opposing medicare for all are resorting to.  Anand Giridharas, author of Winners take All,” about how the wealthy, with pretenses of doing good, steer things in directions very unhealthy to society's general warfare is warning about the health care debate that those fighting for Medicare for all need to keep it “pure, simple,” with “undiluted ideas” expressed in easy to digest ways like “never think about healthcare again because it’s just taken care of.”

During the first Democratic candidate’s debate the corporate media (NBC nightly news anchor Lester Holt in this case) didn’t seem to want it pure and simple, so the question the assembled candidates were asked was not whether they were in favor of Medicare for all; It was whether they favored “abolishing” private healthcare insurance.  Thus, off the bat, the question sounds negative and destructive.  It is also “gnarly” about what that means.  It invokes a lot of wonky debate about whether any private insurance is viewed as being incompatible with Medicare for all.  Only two of the candidates on the stage kept it simple and raised their hands, allowing corporate media pundits to opine that the other candidates must somehow oppose Medicare for all.
It ain’t that simple.  The writer of this article is on Medicare, and also has secondary private insurance.  Medicare for all and private insurance needn’t be necessarily incompatible, and that made the question a trick question. True, how Medicare for all will be implemented can inevitably involve nuances.  But big picture, if we are going to get to a better, cheaper system, (and beneficially simpler system too), Anand Giridharas is right, the debate, big picture, needs to be kept simple.  That's  especially true, at least, in those contexts where simple yes/no answers without explanations are being forced out of the candidates.
But, let's return the central mind-boggling spectacle here: What are there so many Democrat candidates who theoretically want the democratic nomination for president who are choosing NOT to follow the polls?   It's not just that the American's over all want medicare for all or that even a majority of Republican favor it: In their own Democratic party 84% want Medicare for all, or essentially that.  Do these candidates ignore those polls for some reason of legitimate considered conviction?  Or shouldn't we instead be asking how many of these Democratic party candidates that going against all the polls because they are just rented-out walking billboards, hired to tell the American public “you can’t have want you want” even if it makes sense, even it universal healthcare is what's available almost everywhere else in the civilized world?

Who are all these candidates in the Democratic field?  Where did they come from?  There is s dirty little secret that too few people are talking about concerning why we should expect the field of Democratic candidates to be so extremely crowded this election cycle.  The last election cycle Bernie Sander got so many popular votes in the Democratic primaries that he could have legitimately expected to defeat Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention, except for the control over the selection of the candidates coming from the party machine.  Much of that control was exerted in the form if the parties control over “super-delegates” who when they voted to secure the nomination for Hillary Clinton at the last convention did not need to represent or be apportioned to reflect what those who voted in the primaries voted for.  Going forward, that system was reformed partly by agreement with Sanders wing of the party.  This coming Democratic convention superdelegates will not be allowed to vote. . . . unless and until there is a second round of voting.  If a candidate doesn’t win on the first round of votes there will be a second round of voting.

The more Democratic candidates running in the Democratic field, the greater the insurance that no candidate will win the first round of votes and that the superdelgates from the party machine will be able to enter the fray and again determine the results as they did in 2016 with the selection of  Clinton.  In fact, under these circumstances, the probability that superdelgates may determine things again may be even greater.  It's a mechanism that ensures that the public will not get what it wants.

And one last thing to mention as we close out this topic: Most of the candidates the democrats are fielding were superdelagtes for Hillary Clinton at the 2016 convention, voting against Bernie Sanders.  We heard this first on the Jimmy Dore Show and decided to do the research to check it out . .  And, indeed-

The following fourteen of the candidates were HRC superdelgates: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton, Beto O’Rourke, Eric Swalwell, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tim Ryan, Elizabeth Warren, John Hickenlooper.

A fifteenth candidate, Julián Castro, was not an HRC superdelegate, but his look alike, also very politically active brother was.

A sixteenth candidate, Bill de Blasio, was also not, but he was once a campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

Tulsi Gabbard was one of the few superdelagates for Bernie Sanders (and, of course Sanders is, himself a candidate again this year).

That leaves outside of these tallies, a small list: Mike Gravel, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Marianne Williamson, and Kamala Harris.  Kamala Harris, in particular deserves focus because the corporate press seems to be promoting very heavily.  Ms. Harris, who did not prosecute Steve Mnuchin such that he was then able to ascend to become Trump's Secretary of the Treasury, and who shouldn't be regarded as "progressive" (especially as one who has favored mass incarceration), looks like she is also just a product of the Democratic party machine devoted to furnishing non-choices. -  But the Times has her down as favoring Medicare for all.

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