I am writing this post on August 20, 2019. On this morning’s broadcast of The Morning Joe Show on MSNBC, Joe and Mika all but endorsed and used their platform on MSNBC as a campaign ad for their friend Joe Biden. Joe and Mika are certainly entitled to their opinions, and MSNBC uses a 100% opinion format. No news is presented on the network without inserting an opinion. I get that.

We already know that Fox “News” Channel, except for Shephard Smith and sometimes Chris Wallace, is nothing but a propaganda platform for the Republican Party, and in the past two years for Donald Trump. Although MSNBC is often promoted by the right as being a propaganda medium for the Democratic Party, the network at least allows input and opinions from conservatives and treats those opinions with respect. If MSNBC chooses to use its network to promote a particular party or candidate, I suppose they have a right to do that. However, as a long-time viewer/consumer of programing on MSNBC, I prefer facts. Opinions are fine, but even opinions are more credible when they are supported by facts.

Joe and Mika are promoting Joe Biden’s campaign promise to support the ACA/Obamacare, rather than scrapping it and starting over. Comparatively, they support Biden’s claim, which is also echoed by Republicans, that Medicare-For-All or a universal single payer health insurance system would take away choices Americans now have for their healthcare. That is Joe’s and Mika’s opinions, but it is not factual.

The most important point in discussions around healthcare programs is to understand that healthcare insurance does not provide health care. Hospitals, clinics and their staffs provide health care. Healthcare is funded by private insurance companies and the government. The United States is the only first-world nation that does not use some form of a universal healthcare system to fund healthcare for its people. The unique healthcare insurance model used in the USA is for Americans to pay premiums to the private healthcare insurance industry when we are young and mostly healthy, but when we get old and more likely to be sick, our primary insurer becomes the government, i.e., Medicare. That is a really good gig for the private healthcare insurance industry, but not so much for Americans when we get sick.

Another very important fact is that the Supreme Court decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, the court ruled that the individual mandate part of the ACA is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The court allowed the law to stand because the penalty for not participating in the individual mandate, which is unconstitutional, is administered by the IRS, so the court allowed it to stand because of the authority of Congress to levy taxes. Yes, I agree that it doesn’t pass the smell test, but that is how the court ruled. The Trump administration and the Republican Congress eliminated the penalty as part of their tax reform law in 2018. A ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected in the fall of 2019 in Texas v. United States, which challenges the constitutionality of the ACA now that the penalty is eliminated.

Joe Biden was recently asked what is his Plan B for the ACA if the court rules that it is unconstitutional, and he essentially said there is no Plan B. So, whether Biden or Obama or anyone else prefers the ACA over scrapping it and starting over, that might be the only choice available, depending on how the Roberts court rules on Texas v. United State.   So, the fact is that Biden’s argument that Elizabeth Warren and other more progressive Democrats want to take away your healthcare choices is weakened on yet another front.

Image result for images of trump, biden and sanders

Additionally, in a recent Fox “News” poll Biden, Sanders, Warren and Harris polled as beating Trump in the 2020 general election, so the “electability” advantage that Biden supposedly had is now a moot point.  So, despite Joe’s and Mika’s opinions, the old white guy(s) in the Democratic Party may not be the only chance to beat Trump in 2020 after all.

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AdLib
Admin

I remember the same MSM outlets like MSNBC during Obama’s push for the ACA, cautioning the overly-ambitious nature of it, preferring a much more conservative and incremental change to health care that “could appeal to Republicans”.

Er…trying to appeal to Republicans on health care for all is like trying to appeal to Lex Luthor…on health care for all.

When Dems lost the filibuster-proof Senate with the death of Ted Kennedy and the election of Scott Brown, Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff, led the charge of the Establishment Dems to insist to Obama that he will never pass the ACA now, that he had to give up on the ACA and just settle for a small tweak here or there because that’s all that could be passed.

Instead, we all know now that Obama’s determination resulted in a historic change and rescue for tens of millions of Americans, saving countless lives.

The point is, Republican pundits like Joe and Dem pundits on MSNBC can pound their chests on how impossible and what a huge negative it is for Progressive Dems to be supporting Medicare for All/Single Payer, that giving up ambitions and making the big changes needed are too politically unpopular…so vote for Joe Biden!

But that is not how leadership works. Obama fought against incredible odds to pass the ACA because he would not accept the Dem Establishment’s insistence that he would only fail. A leader brings the people along to their vision, people who may have opposed it or at least not supported it previously.

We should all remember how unpopular the ACA was when it passed and after Repubs demonizing it in 2010, how public opinion tanked (where are those death panels again? Oh yeah, in the Trump WH).

Medicare for All/Single Payer may not have majority support right now but knowing that this is how nearly all developed countries provide healthcare successfully for all of their citizens…with better outcomes than in the US…a new president who is a true leader with vision and determination can bring the public along to support what will in the end, be best for them and all Americans (unless we like the idea of health insurance being permanently threatened, the ACA being supported then undercut as Dems and Repubs trade power in each election).

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

Here’s the thing….I begin with a very simple statement. Whoever it is has to be able to slice and dice Trump. Frankly, I don’t think Biden is all that adept at verbal sparring and I do not know of a time when he was able to land a killing verbal blow.

With a public that generally votes based on impressions….that look to one of the least reliable barometers of presidential timber, “debates” (which are in fact side by side Q and A’s with the occasional cross stage jab to drive enthusiasm…..I need someone who is going to engage him in such a way as to take control of the narrative and to put him into the hole from which he crawled.

With a public that has such a low knowledge base matched by the belief that the public is in fact wise (ignorance and arrogance paired), the voters are easily misled by propaganda. Labeling is a key tool and the Dems cannot be successfully presented to the average voter as the Socialist Party, as the Radical Party, as the UnAmerican Party. Sad to say, but there are more than a few Dems who have played into that (not to say that any study of what they are actually saying makes such labels nonsense and not to say that what they are proposing is not worth serious consideration)….and in doing so they have made themselves an easy target for Trump Bombing runs. Again, I am being very concrete in all of this.

Further….I think that the Democratic field understands this…..and those who are making the cut are wrestling with how they can frame themselves as The Trump Toppler…..

jac
Member
jac

Vote Blue I don’t care Who!

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

Exactly…….

Nonpartay
Member
Nonpartay

It’s always been amazing to me that the arguments against the ACA were all based on lies. The only reason I can think of for Republicans to oppose it (it had been a Republican plan originally) at any cost is that they didn’t want to give President Obama such a win. Who cared about the American people? Certainly not Republicans. The ACA was passed at great cost to Democrats—at first—but now it’s popular with people recognizing its value, as Nancy Pelosi said they would once it was in place. But for some reason, Republicans still want to screw over the American public and take away access to health care for millions of people who hadn’t had it before. And people will actually vote for them. What??? The ACA isn’t only about providing more affordable health insurance, btw. It has many aspects to it that enable us to have better health care, like enabling anyone who has insurance to have a free annual checkup and the free tests necessary. Over the years, I’ve asked many “conservatives” online what the Republicans have done for them lately. There has never been an answer. If only Democrats were able to convince their people to vote no matter what like Republicans do. At least the Democrats they would vote for are trying to help them, not just the über-rich.

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

One of the best concise arguments in support of the ACA.

NoManIsAnIsland
Member
NoManIsAnIsland

Very well said!

Opie Cat
Member
Opie Cat

I will not be voting for an old white guy in the primary, but if an old white guy gets the nod by winning the primary, I’ll definitely vote for him and be involved in getting out the vote or him. The democratic health of our country and our people depends on ousting Trump.

Jake321
Member
Jake321

Damn, me too even if that old White guy is old Trot Bernie, God forbid…

AdLib
Admin

Same here, Opie Cat. I may have to shift from voting enthusiastically for a Dem to voting for a Dem to prevent a second term for Trump but I will be voting for a Dem to rid this country of the stench of Trump no matter who the Dem nom is.

With what happened in 2016, anyone who tries to stand on some purist ground and proudly proclaims they will vote 3rd party or not vote at all “to send a message” to the Dems, is pathetic and de facto an ally of Trump’s.

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

Here’s the thing….I begin with a very simple statement. Whoever it is has to be able to slice and dice Trump. Frankly, I don’t think Biden is all that adept at verbal sparring and I do not know of a time when he was able to land a killing verbal blow.

With a public that generally votes based on impressions….that look to one of the least reliable barometers of presidential timber, “debates” (which are in fact side by side Q and A’s with the occasional cross stage jab to drive enthusiasm…..I need someone who is going to engage him in such a way as to take control of the narrative and to put him into the hole from which he crawled.

With a public that has such a low knowledge base matched by the belief that the public is in fact wise (ignorance and arrogance paired), the voters are easily misled by propaganda. Labeling is a key tool and the Dems cannot be successfully presented to the average voter as the Socialist Party, as the Radical Party, as the UnAmerican Party. Sad to say, but there are more than a few Dems who have played into that (not to say that any study of what they are actually saying makes such labels nonsense and not to say that what they are proposing is not worth serious consideration)….and in doing so they have made themselves an easy target for Trump Bombing runs. Again, I am being very concrete in all of this.

Further….I think that the Democratic field understands this…..and those who are making the cut are wrestling with how they can frame themselves as The Trump Toppler…..

AdLib
Admin

Agreed Murph, I think the Dem field is quite a smart group of people who recognize what nasty political mudslinging is being concocted by the Repubs, including the socialist/communist/Israel-hater BS and none of them will play into that.

And I agree with you about Biden, he is too shaky as a speaker to come out of a debate with Trump as a strong winner. As soon as Biden falters and drops a gaffe in a debate with Trump, Trump will slice him up and say it proves Biden is senile/dottering/too old/etc.

To me, Biden feels like he’s just kind of holding together right now, not strong but tentative, as if the spit and bailing wire keeping him together might snap at any moment. I think it will in the upcoming debates.

On the other hand, I think the campaign trail is strengthening Warren. I haven’t seen her look weak or tentative in the debates, forums or rallies. She appears steady and well-balanced. It’s hard to imagine Trump putting her off balance. Whereas Biden, it seems an eventuality.

Despite the MSM and Establishment Dem hype for Biden as the most electable, I think Dem voters will vote for who they think will be the best president and by beating Biden in the primary, Warren will prove her electability.

Not only that, since Biden’s only argument to vote for him is his electability, if he loses in Iowa, I think the proof that he isn’t the most electable will sink him quickly (though he may still do well in SC because the older African American vote there is more conservative but after that, in this scenario, he’d be cooked).

Jake321
Member
Jake321

Well, until you look at the primary/caucus lineup. Right after Iowa comes NH, yet another small near lily White State in no way representative of our diverse Party. Then soon after come Nevada and South Carolina way more strongly representative of our two major non-White voter groups, Hispanics and Blacks. Biden is extremely strong in those two diverse states. Then comes Super Tuesday with 14 states, half Southern with major proportions of Black voters who really like Biden way more than any other candidate. Still, three other states on that day are home states for top candidates and are generally considered must wins for them, Harris in California, Warren in Massachusetts and Sanders in Vermont (well, there is Beto’s Texas but he is not a top candidate). Little question Sanders will take Vermont. Very close race in California for Harris. So far, not looking good for Warren in Massachusetts.

Among these first 18 states, the most important will not be little near lily White Iowa but really big diverse California. Iowa and NH will not be the bell weathers for California, Nevada and South Carolina will be more that, especially neighboring Nevada with its large Hispanic population. If Biden holds his dominance among non-White voters he has a very good chance of taking California. He does that, and it’s hard to see how he doesn’t get the Nomination.