Single Payer Healthcare in America might actually become a thing

So, I’ve just read a delightful little piece from Vox’s Ezra Klein regarding the potential future of a single payer system. Basically it amounts to this: if the Republicans push through the AHCA they may very well pave the way for a medicare for all program.

Why would that happen? Well firstly because the AHCA, based off what we know from the house, will cause millions of people to lose healthcare, healthcare costs to skyrocket, and inevitably massive electoral changes because of that. Secondly, Obamacare, for all it’s successes was also fairly flawed (fixable but flawed), and due to the way it passed and what it attempted to achieve many members of the democratic congress may will prefer to go for the simpler system that people are now openly advocating for.

Let me explain: when Obama and his congress were trying to pass the Affordable Care Act they did two things, and had to deal with a third (you may have noticed, I like lists):

  1. Worked with insurers to create a system they could support in a public private marketplace. The insurers then undercut the Obama administration by screwing up the pricing and participation, and then failing to stand up to republicans as we speak (primarily so they can regain control over costs and types of insurance they provide, and therefore make more money)
  2. The Dems worked with the Republicans to try and create a bipartisan bill, mostly to be polite. They didn’t have too, but instead they brought them in, allowed a number of amendments to be added and removed and did their level best to involve and respect the Republican view of healthcare. In turn the Republicans turned their backs on the arrangement and opposed the bill as best they could then.
  3. Past that, the Republican party then opposed and demonized the ACA for the next seven years, and used it to sweep themselves into office, rather than work to make it an effective bill for their constituents. Because Obama, or something.

So, basically despite their best attempts, the Dems were opposed an obstructed from making an incrementalist healthcare program work because the Republicans were basically being a bunch of dicks. So this time they might not even bother, nor might they need to, consult them in anyway and just pass single payer health care. If they can sweep the house, get the senate, which might well be possible, on a healthcare platform there is every chance they could pass such a bill. And since it would fundamentally be ‘better medicare’ people would be more open and accepting and most importantly understanding of the bill, Insurers wouldn’t be able to get in the way and Republicans would have a much harder time attacking the program.

Best of all the Democrats are openly and actively talking about this, not just the hopefuls but the moderates. They’ve seen incrementalism fail despite their best efforts, and now they have momentum. This could actually work.

So hey, silver lining for American healthcare. Maybe.


Vox: Republicans are About to Make Medicaid for All Much More Likely

Trump surrogates calling for firing Mueller

Yeah, okay, no.

Ann Coulter, Gingrich, shut it, and listen. If somehow you or any other conservative halfwit (do they even have less than half a wit combined? I seriously don’t know) somehow find this blog, let me give you a bit of advice.

Never, ever, fire a special prosecutor. Or did the consequences of Nixon’s and Clinton’s actions not happen in your world? Is impeachment not a thing there?

Regardless, the idea that removing Mueller from the investigation will end in anything other than a declaration of obstruction of justice is nonsense at best, political suicide (for Trump and you) at worst. At least the republican senators understand that.

Good god, you think one of them might just grow a brain-cell or two and then this shit happens. I will never understand why provocateurs think nothing bad will never happen to them, or why American conservatives are surprised the rest of the world mocks them.

Ah whatever, if Trumps stupid enough to do this then he’s just dug his own grave. Won’t see me complaining.


Bloomberg: Trump Cheerleaders Call for Mueller’s Firing

British Election exit polls point to hung parliament

Caaaaled it.

Just saying. Anyway, it looks like the conservative party has lost the majority, needing 326 seats to maintain control of parliament and requiring a coalition government to now lead Britain(ha!). At this stage it looks likely that Labor, having gained at least 33 seats from this election, along with the Scottish Independence Party are likely contenders for this coalition, though it must be said that the lib-dems are insisting there will be “no deals, no coalitions” cause reasons. I don’t know, pride?

Also, Comey has finished his latest senate hearing, and confirmed a few things:

  1. Trump is still, as far as Comey is aware, not under investigation (which he did inform Trump of three times)
  2. Trumps actions, his attempts to force a loyalty pledge, and his attempts to shut down the Flynn probe are what concerned Comey and encouraged him to write his notes.

He also insisted that all of Trump and his teams attempts to disparage him and blame him for any concerns within the FBI are “lies, plain and simple”.

So, this may lead to a potential obstruction of justice case, though by itself it is not enough, Britain is looking at a hung government, we’ll see how that goes, and Russia remains a looming concern/threat, not only for Trump but for the US and abroad. After all Comey did say they interfered with the election, and that they will be back. I’m inclined to take him at his word.

Last Thoughts on Brit election

Just a last thought before the British Elections, regarding polls. A lot of people have been saying that basically there’s no chance of a Labor victory, that may will win no matter what, the polls are saying between one point and 12 yadda yadda.

Now, quick question: does anyone remember Brexit? Or Trump? Cause I do, and I remember those polls being pretty clear too, and people saying all the time “there’s no way anyone would do that, they couldn’t vote for this or that”.

Having opinions is fine, it’s what this whole blog is based on after all, but don’t mistake an opinion for fact, and don’t presume that polls are unquestionable. We’ve been wrong before, is all I’m saying, and Corbyn’s drawing some pretty big crowds.

Sound familiar?

So, there’s an election coming up.

The British Election is a weird thing. The last three that I’ve gone into detail about were in many respects considered much more serious, problematic and representative of a possible far-right, alt-right populist upswing in politics. Turkey, France, the Netherlands, all had or have problematic leaders, concerning ramifications and well, were much more interesting.

Britain’s not. Not really anyway.

Regardless of who is elected, be it a minor Conservative win or a coalition led by (most likely) Labor, Brexit will continue, there will most likely an economic downturn, and the leader will grapple with continued terrorist threats and domestic struggles relating to the above concerns. Neither May nor Corbyn seems to have that much of a grasp of the situation, and regardless of what either candidate might say, have far less influence and control over Brexit and its consequences than they might like.

The reason this is less interesting, to me anyway, is the lack of uncertainty. Regardless of who wins these are the most likely outcomes for whoever wins, no dramatic vote, no power struggle or autocratic power grab, just more British politics, with different faces. Of course, I’m also not British and I won’t really be dealing with the fallout of the Brexit deal in whatever form it takes so some of the urgency for them may not be available to me.

I’m not used to politics being boring. This is very weird.


Bloomberg: UK election Winner Saddled with Lousy Economic Outlook 

My problem with charter schools (a rant)

I Struggle with Charter Schools.

The concept confuses me as a start. The idea of a private group controlling something as vital to someones future as education alone raises my eyebrows, primarily because the inherent disconnect between a private enterprise and a public good. Private companies focus on the bottom line, it is a profit based construct. Fine, that’s all well and good when we’re dealing with retail or services or something, they provide a service and get paid for it. Makes sense.

Here’s the issue: education isn’t a private thing. It’s a fundamental requirement to function and succeed in today’s world. If you don’t have an education you aren’t going to succeed it’s that simple. As such there have to be guidelines, rules and above all requirements for a school to fulfill. we’re talking about peoples futures after all. Now there are things called private schools these are separately managed institutions that operate on an isolated (mostly basis). I don’t mind these for two reasons: first they do not receive public funding. That on it’s own can be a serious impediment to succeed, which leads to point two: to thrive they have to be competitive i.e. good even without funding.

It works, so I accept it, very simple. So here’s my problem: Charter schools receive public funding. That is, private institutions un-beholden to any authority that is required to follow the rules and standards of any form of government, and as such beholden to the people, is given public funding.

This in turn precludes my second point regarding private schools, if you get public funding you don’t need to compete. 

I’m sure there are plenty of people with faith in a capitalist system, the obligations of an organization to appeal to a perspective buyer i.e. parents to choose there school/ product, to do well. This is supposed to be the competition that will embolden the Charter Schools to thrive or fail, being that surplus choice will eventually leave only the strongest choices available to the parents in the country. I disagree, for a very simple reason: why would any charter school, even and especially a failing one, willingly give up on the cash cow that is the federal government? They wouldn’t, it’s to profitable which is exactly the problem.

School, and healthcare and infrastructure (roads, bridges and the like) for that matter, should not be considered economic sectors, you shouldn’t focus on making money in these areas. That encourages cutting corners, prioritizing money over quality and as has often been the case resulted in failing schools that make a lot of money for the owners and produce substandard results. I’m sure there are successes, there has to be to provide examples for this nonsense but frankly? Private institutions shouldn’t receive public money. You want to educate on your own terms?

Do it privately, with your money – not everyone else’s.

That money should go to the public institutions, they have to succeed and do well according to the people, not according to a bottom line. It is not a perfect system, but it is a damn sight more accountable. Businesses have their place, as do public institutions. Don’t bring the two together.

Friday update: 26 May edition (cause meh)

So, Trump visited the NATO summit, gave a speech basically complaining about the other nations not paying ‘their fair share’ (not necessarily inaccurate, but grossly simplified and unaware of either the reasons or economic and political implications of such a thing, ala typical Trump), and also shoved aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro during a photo op.

Dick move Trump. Dick Move.

He also met with Macron, the new French President, for nearly two hours, and apparently had all sorts of discussions, regarding the Paris climate deal, the economy, NATO. How much do you want to bet that he changed his mind regarding the deal after another foreign leader explained it to him in ten or so minutes?

And his little trip was going so well. Turns out democratic nations aren’t quite so thrilled to have the wannabe despot running around, over there in Sicily. Shame that.