September 19

Democrats Seek CBO Score on Graham-Cassidy Bill Democrats warned that the Graham-Cassidy health care bill would be very costly for some states and urged the Congressional Budget Office  to study more than the measure’s effect on the federal budget. “A comprehensive CBO analysis is essential before Republicans force a hasty, dangerous vote on what is an extreme and destructive repeal bill,” senior congressional Democrats Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Sanders and others, said in a statement, Reuters, Politico, CNBC and The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Medicare for All Sanders has launched a single payer healthcare bill to deliver health services to the entire country. Although it stands no chance of passing through Congress, whose two houses are controlled by Republicans, the idea of single payer healthcare has seized the middle ground of the Democratic party, to judge from the names co-sponsoring Sanders’ Medicare for All Act, The BMJ reported.

Fighting Back on Republican Bill Liberal groups are planning to join Schumer for a rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday designed to refocus the party’s base on the possibility that repeal could become law after a week when activists had begun transitioning to promoting Sanders single-payer health care proposal, Politico reported.

Sanders and Warren Test Democrats’ Left Turn Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are often linked, spoken of in the same breath as if there is scarcely any difference between them. But as Warren and Sanders work to expand their constituencies ahead of possible runs in the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, the differences between them are becoming more marked. How their overlapping audiences sort themselves out could prove revealing about the party they seek to lead, The New York Times reported.

Vincent Fort Sanders has endorsed Vincent Fort’s run for mayor of Atlanta. In an email sent to his campaign list, Sanders praised Fort as “unapologetically standing up for middle-class and working-class families, for blacks, whites, and Latinos, for women and the gay community.” In one sense, Sanders is returning a favor. Fort was the highest-ranking African-American lawmaker in the South who endorsed his run for president, The Intercept reported.

Cuomo Voices Support for Single Payer In a radio endorsement of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed several national issues, including voicing support for the idea of single-payer health care, an idea pushed by Sanders as “Medicare for all.” “I think that would be a good idea,” he said, The New York Times reported.

Jeff Merkley’s Plans Sen. Jeff Merkley hopes to inherit Sanders’ progressive mantle in 2020. But for now, he’s spending his time plotting the resistance against the Trump presidency, Politico reported.

Medicare for All Would Empower Executive Branch As Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Warren and Sanders himself ponder their potential presidential campaigns — and as, hopefully, Democratic-aligned think tanks begin to engage with grassroots single-payer enthusiasm — it’s worth trying to think in at least a few broad strokes about how this discretion should be used. Or at least broadly speaking about what the goal should be, Vox reported.

Sanders Supporters Committed to New Party Approximately 400 people showed up in Washington to attend the People's Convergence Conference from Sept. 8 to 10. The event included a town hall at American University where panelists discussed the future of the progressive movement. Specifically, whether or not Sanders supporters and other progressives should continue to try to change the Democratic Party from within or form a new party, IVN reported.

Dems Concerned about Clinton-Sanders Fights Democrats are worried that the fight between former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Sanders is doing lasting damage to their party. As the bickering between the former rivals grows more intense, Democrats say it needs to end, The Hill reported.

Editorial: Sanders’ Bill Comes Up Short “Sanders talks big, but the record shows that in his 25 years in Congress he has failed to deliver on any of his ideological proposals. Expect the same from the independent Massachusetts senator’s ambitious Medicare for all plan. It’s impossible to take his single-payer plan seriously because it fails to address the single biggest issue: how to pay for it,” wrote the Mercury News Editorial Board.

Column: Medicare-for-All Should Leave Canadians Drooling “Even if the political zeitgeist is changing in the U.S., it is unlikely that Americans would embrace fairer taxes and more government control of health care, despite the obvious benefits. Still, Medicare-for-all should leave us drooling with envy – because the proposals for reform are long overdue in Canada. Sanders' home is only 80 kilometres from the Canadian border. And Prime Minister Bernie has kind of a nice ring to it,” André Picard wrote for The Globe and Mail.

Column: How to Pay for Medicare for All It would still be prudent for Sanders to match some of the new spending with new taxes because as the economy improves, there will be less wiggle room to spend. But he hardly needs to match all of it,” Jeff Spross wrote for The Week.

Column: Does Sanders’ Bill Have a Shot? “Sanders' ‘Medicare for All’ plan unveiled last week is an ambitious and (to many) enticing idea: a single, government-run health plan with generous benefits for everyone — just like most industrialized countries have enjoyed for decades. If only it were feasible in today's United States,” Doyle McManus wrote for the Dallas Morning News.

Column: Sanders Single-Payer Plan Is No Miracle Cure “Just as trade-offs must be made to improve health care, so are other countries struggling with balancing the cost and quality of care and universal access. All Americans should bear one important precept in mind: If the Sanders plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Drs. Lanhee J. Chen and Micah Weinberg wrote for The New York Times.

 Column: What Sanders Didn’t Say “What Sanders did not say was that to truly achieve a vision of single payer coverage, we have to talk about the cost of health care. In fact, the little detail many advocates conveniently ignore within the single payer mantra is that the countries who provide single payer insurance have a budget and spending controls similar to the caps Republicans have been discussing,” David Rubin wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Column: A Growing Movement for Single-Payer ”Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Senate Bill 1804, co-sponsored by a third of Senate Democrats, and Rep. John Conyers’ House Resolution 676 by half of House Democrats. What happened? A huge shift toward participatory democracy, with millions of people participating in rewriting what is possible and necessary for their lives,” RoseAnn DeMoro wrote for The San Francisco Chronicle. 

Column: Single Payer Risks Jobs “The problem is that a good portion of what many of these workers do is handle relationships and billing, and keep track of payments from insurance companies—the middle men Bernie Sanders wants to be rid of,” Monica Potts wrote for VICE News.

Column: Are Health Care Proposals Equally Extreme? “The choice for Republicans isn’t between this and a better reform. It’s between this or letting Obamacare continue intact, violating all of those repeal-and-replace promises entirely. That’s what’s so silly about the claim that Graham-Cassidy is as ‘extreme’ as Sanders’ radical and shoddily written proposal (the bill is totally silent on how to pay for any of it),” Jonah Goldberg wrote for Los Angeles Times.

Column: 2016 Was Not a Fluke “In retrospect, the alarming possibility of an election-night surprise should have been apparent. Trump never should have won the Republican nomination over a field that included so many talented politicians. And Clinton never should have had to work so hard to win the Democratic nomination over Bernie Sanders, an aging socialist from Vermont who wasn’t even a Democrat until he entered the race,” Eugene Robinson wrote for The Washington Post.

Column: Treat Voters Like Adults “Harvard University-educated Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) spouts nonsense suggesting that we should cut legal immigration in half, an idea no respectable economist would say is anything but self-destructive. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sounds like President Trump when it comes to trade protectionism, which would impose trade restrictions that are ultimately paid by consumers, in effect a highly regressive tax. Other Democrats who surely know better echo Sanders,” Jennifer Rubin wrote for The Washington Post.

Column: Understanding Good Economic News “Operationally, the populism is a demand for policies directly targeting those hurt by these long-term trends, in contrast to indirect, often-failed solutions that moderate, establishment politicians sold to working-class families, like trade deals, balanced budgets and financial deregulation. Better than anyone, except maybe Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump sniffed this out and effectively exploited it during his campaign,” Jared Bernstein wrote for The Washington Post.

Column: Does Free Community College Work? “During the 2016 election campaign, both Sanders and Hillary Clinton proposed plans that would free Americans from the enormous cost of college, which have put so many students into debt — and kept upward mobility out of reach. But no legislation has passed on the national stage, and none is expected. In the laboratories of the cities and the states, though, local governments have created or are considering plans to cover tuition or greatly reduce the cost,” Juan Sagaldo wrote for The New York Times.

Fact Check: Medical Overhead Costs Experts, particularly on the right, say Sanders’ and Sen. Jeff Merkley’s estimates of Medicare overhead are measuring the wrong thing. Medicare patients are elderly and thus have high costs relative to administrative expenses, especially compared to the under-65 patients in private plans. So just looking at percentage of each dollar spent skews the result. There are serious issues with this talking point, even at Sanders’s more responsible-sounding range of 12 to 18 percent, The Washington Post reported.

Letters: Should the U.S. Go for Single Payer? “Eugene Robinson was correct that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) proposal for a “Medicare for All” health insurance system is the “right thing to do.” It would cover everyone with first-dollar coverage for all medically necessary care. But “Medicare for All” is not socialized medicine, in which the government would own medical facilities and health-care providers would be government employees,” Jay Brockwrote to The Washington Post. 

Letter: Sanders Ran on His Beliefs “In Hillary Clinton’s new book, she attempts to disparage Bernie Sanders by stating that he ‘didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House.” She’s correct. Nor, however, did Bernie run ‘to disrupt the Democratic Party,’ as Hillary accuses him of doing. He ran for what he believes would help the American people. Period,” Nancy Bennett O’Hagan wrote to the Press Herald.