June 27, 2019

In tonight's Democratic debate, Lester Holt asked the candidates the following question: "Many of the people watching at home have health care insurance coverage through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? Just a show of hands."

Two hands went up. Wonder why? Might it have to do with the terrible framing of the question? Remember, a government-run plan uses private doctors. Medicare uses private doctors. Medicare is not socialized medicine — the doctors and hospitals who accept Medicare are private doctors and hospitals — they aren't employed by the U.S. government. Regardless, Elizabeth Warren and Bill DeBlasio were the only two who raised their hands in agreement with the question, and when given the chance to answer, Senator Warren absolutely grabbed the reins and galloped away with her informed and impassioned response, and ended with a pointed jab at those fellow Dems on stage with her who refused to challenge the private insurance companies' stranglehold on its own customers.

WARREN: So, yes, I'm with Bernie on Medicare For All, and let me tell you why. I've spent a big chunk of my life studying why families go broke. And one of the number one reasons is the cost of healthcare. Medical bills, And that's not just for people who don't have insurance. It's for people who HAVE insurance.

Look at the business model of an insurance company. It's to bring in as many dollars as they can in premiums, and pay out as few dollars as possible for healthcare. That leaves families with rising premiums, rising co-pays, and fighting with insurance companies to try to get the healthcare that their doctors say that they and their children need. Medicare For All solves that problem.

And I understand, there are a lot of politicians who say, "Oh, it's just not possible, we just can't do it," and they have a lot of political reasons for this. What they're really telling you is that they just won't fight for it. Well, healthcare is a basic human right. And I will fight for basic human rights.

If the problem with Medicare is that it doesn't reimburse doctors and hospitals at a rate they need to function effectively and well, fix that problem, too. But don't blame Medicare — the program for which most people cannot WAIT to qualify — for the fact that private insurance companies are bankrupting their customers. Senator Warren is right. If private insurance companies are so great, why are so many people who have private insurance plans in such dire financial straits when they fall ill?

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