Sanders Set To Introduce Single Payer Legislation. How Will Democrats React?

Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the country. That’s not hubris or gloating, that’s by the numbers. Medicare is second only to Social Security as the most popular government program. Federal funding for public education is third. Looking at these numbers, two things become immediately clear: The most popular politician is going to introduce legislation that will enable the United States of America to finally join the rest of the industrialized world by recognizing health care as a basic human right. The other thing that’s clear is that the Democrats will probably find a way to destroy this bill before the republicans ever get a chance to scream “But muh freedumz”

Sanders has been using the free air time the DNC is finally allowing him to have in his position as “Outreach Guy” or whatever the board room phrase for “Just fucking show us your email list of small donors” is at the moment to push progressive policies and call out both parties for being the mouthpiece of corporate oligarchs. It has Nancy Pelosi and Tom Perez so pissed that his name isn’t even mentioned amongst the leaders of the Democratic party when they’re asked about it. And they’re being asked about it quite a bit since they appear to be unable to put forth any policies of their own. He dropped the Medicare For All/Single Payer announcement at a town hall in Vermont yesterday. That puts the Democrats in a much, much more difficult position than their socially ideological counterparts in DC.

We know that the GOP will likely attempt to laugh this out of the building, but that will absolutely be something they have to hear about every day from their constituents all the way to the midterms and beyond. Fine. Fuck ’em. Expect their party’s president to be played on a loop admitting to single payer being the best solution. If he’s not impeached by then. People get paid $30,000 a week on MSNBC to tell you how bad the Republicans are. That’s not my job. I assume you already know that they’re fascists with some really bat-shit crazy religious zealots running around trying to hold a press conference from inside a voter’s womb.

The Democrats aren’t simply in a bind regarding single payer. They’re a jackknifed semi stuck between pillars on an underpass. On its roof. I mentioned that Pelosi couldn’t bring herself to name him amongst the Democratic leadership. Here’s the tape and Jimmy Dore’s breakdown. The tape is around 13 minutes, so watch at your leisure. Money quotes are below the video.

The question from AC DreamyEyes is simple: “Who is the leader of the Democratic Party right now?”

Pelosi: Well, President Obama was the President of the United States until just a matter of, uh, weeks ago. I don’t think he can be dismissed as the leader of the Democratic Party…Hillary Clinton, did not win the election, but a respect leader, but we have leaders for all different aspects of it. The Democratic Party is a congressional party, we have congressional leaders. It’s a gubernatorial party, and we have leaders…”

Vanderbilt McSquareJaw: “But at the state level, the party has suffered tremendous losses over the last several years…”

Pelosi: “Yes, but…we have a plan to address that”

Ted Cruz’s Celebrity Crush: “You’re saying…so right now you’re saying there’s no standard bearer for the Democratic Party”

Pelosi: “Well, we’re not in a presidential… We’re not in a presidential time right now.”

Now, Anderson Cooper knows that Bernie Sanders has a 61% approval rating. And he knows that Nancy Pelosi knows Bernie Sanders has that rating and that he’s the most popular politician in the country. She knows that Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow have let Bernie back on their shows and that he’s been throwing down the fucking gauntlet. And they both know that it was just about one year ago that Hillary Clinton, who Pelosi just named as a leader of the party, told the entire country that single payer would “never, ever happen”.  There’s no arguing that the Democrats are the preferred party of the pharmaceutical industry and that private insurers have made a fortune using the Dems as their punching bag and justification for hiking rates. So where does that put the Dems regarding Bernie’s single payer proposal?

The leadership is on record saying it will never happen. There has been no change in that tone from anyone remotely connected to them. When Pelosi says “we have congressional leaders”, she’s talking about herself and Chuck Schumer. She’s talking about Tom Perez and Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren. People who have either outright dismissed or have been utterly silent on the subject. So Bernie brings the bill to them. So what the shit happens?

It is my personal opinion that the Democrats would rather spend years on impeaching Trump than five minutes on Medicare For All. That’s just not a road they are remotely willing to go down. Because it’s fucking embarrassing. They’re going to milk Russia for every last drop of potato-based liquor they can while doing absolutely nothing in congress. Trump said he wants to move on tax cuts, so that will be the next symbolic victory. The topic of health care, if the Democratic party has their way, will head straight to the freezer in a ziploc bag so they can get down to the real business of running shitty corporate candidates on the platform of “We’re Not Trump”.

Medicare For All will eventually become the topic of our next social conversation. By default. Because everyone has had to admit that Obamacare ain’t sunshine and morphine lollipops and it turns out that kicking tens of millions of people off of their healthcare is about as popular as it sounds. The Democratic leadership, as it stands, will either have to make the case to the nation that their donors are right and the lobbyists who rewrote Mitt Romney’s health care plan were right. That the most popular political figure with the most popular government program outside of Social Security with overwhelming bipartisan support is wrong. They’ll have to explain to their donors that they promise to sabotage Medicare For All every step of the way. Keeping that promise under lock and key will prove difficult. Their other option would be to cave to the American people and fight for single payer like at least 170,000,000 lives depend on it.



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