Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, dismantle private insurance. … I worry that if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we’ll go back to an era — before we had the Affordable Care Act — that will strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance.Of course, what Chelsea failed to mention is that the reason Sanders would dismantle those health care programs is because he wants to replace them with single payer - not strip millions of people of their health insurance.
But then, in an article claiming to "tell the truth about Bernie's health care stand," Bill Moyers and Michael Kinship do an equally atrocious job of characterizing the other side of this debate. I used to hold Moyers in pretty high esteem, but this kind of thing makes that hard to maintain.
All these years later, Sanders is still fighting the battle for single payer, Medicare-like coverage for all, even as fellow Democrats capitulated to the siren songs of the health and insurance industries. President Obama, himself a one-time advocate of single payer coverage, buckled to the insurance companies and its lobbyists and minions in Congress and agreed to health care legislation (the Affordable Care Act) that would continue to treat healing the sick as a profit center instead of a basic human right.In a word...bullshit!! President Obama didn't "buckle to the insurance companies." He passed the most sweeping health care reform in our country's history...something that others had failed to do for 100 years. I'm not going to list the stats about the millions of additional people who have health insurance as a result, or how Obamacare has started to bend the cost curve, or how it ended the ability for insurance companies to deny coverage because of "pre-existing conditions," etc. We all know the myriad of ways that legislation is improving the lives of Americans.
What Moyers and Kinship failed to mention under the guise of "telling the truth," is that Sen. Bernie Sanders voted for the Affordable Care Act. You know why he did? Because after proposing a bill for single payer, he could see the writing on the wall. It didn't have even close to the number of votes needed to be a real alternative. Rather than buckling to the insurance companies, President Obama and Democrats (including Bernie Sanders) passed the best possible health care reform that was available to them. Short of doing that, all of those millions who are currently covered would still be without insurance, health care costs would have continued to soar, and people would still be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition. In other words, many Americans would be less healthy...and some would have died.
People on both sides of this disagreement need to cut out the bullshit. It is an important discussion that we need to have - too important for this kind of demagoguery. Here's a reminder of Barack Obama's warning about this kind of thing.
I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government because, in the end, a cynical electorate is a selfish electorate.We can do better Democrats! I sure hope the candidates themselves demonstrate that at the debate tonight.