Medicare For All, The Case for Unions

This article makes a good point Sanders should talk about: “It would be far, far better if union workers didn’t have to dedicate so much of their energy just to secure decent health coverage. In fact, union leaders have long bemoaned the fact that an enormous portion of their bargaining power must be expended on trying to get healthcare costs covered” (Current Affairs)

As the Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses a week from this Saturday heat up Medicare For All will be much debated. Opposed by powerful unions there because it would replace private insurance plans, the Pete Buttigieg campaign, with 100 staffers on the ground and ads on air, hope to undermine Sanders.

“Culinary union hands out flyers to members claiming Sanders would end their health insurance” (The Nevada Independent)


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

38 thoughts on “Medicare For All, The Case for Unions”

  1. missed this last week.  miss al.  miss a lot of things that make sense.

    starting at 5:13 he talks about the affordable care act and dem candidates

    Al talks about the Iowa Caucuses, watching the State of the Union, what Trump is trying to do to the Affordable Care Act, texting with former Senate colleagues during the impeachment trial, the crazy way he met Donald Trump in NY, and his podcast.

  2. I knew someone who worked at Maytag in Iowa.  They had great health benefits and they fought to keep them.  The plant was closed and moved to Mexico.  Of course, the plant would’ve eventually been moved there anyway, as labor is much cheaper.  Unions can’t solve corporate greed.  This is where Yang, and other countries, are correct about a basic income.   Too many people = too much cheap labor.  And, with automation, even fewer humans are necessary.   From a capitalistic standpoint, humans are becoming obsolete; they have no value endless they have money to spend.  Without jobs, they become useless to the system.  There’s got to be more to life.  Yang understood.

  3. also by repubs for rule of law

    This is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. He received a Purple Heart when he was wounded in Iraq, and later served on the National Security Council for the Trump White House. He was subpoenaed by Congress to testify about the Ukraine scandal, and he followed the law. As a penalty for telling the truth, President Trump fired him and his twin brother and had them escorted from the White House. No president should retaliate against anyone for following the law. This isn’t how the president is supposed to treat military heroes who obey the law. Our military deserves better. Our country deserves better. Lt. Col. Vindman deserves better.

  4. The opening of Rachel Maddow last night should terrify anyone who actually believes in the basic decency of the American democracy.


  5. BiD, but wouldn’t all that taxpayer money which would pay for a guaranteed “basic income” be better spent on guaranteed universal health care?   

  6. what’s with all the doom & gloom from talking heads about the demise of a candidate who’s presently in 3rd place of winning delegates?   


  7. It is fascinating that there is such blind obedience to the theory that M4A is somehow this magic bean that once planted will grow into this incredible thing that will solve all our healthcare problems.

    Never the less, I won’t debate M4A here or the author’s obviously pro-Sanders position.

    But I will focus on the underlying premise of the article, which is: Unions need to prioritize the interests of those outside of their membership, and advocate for and support M4A because that is the only solution to provide healthcare for everyone.

    Both arguments are logical fallacies.

    First, the whole point of a union is to advocate for the best interests of its members. The very definition of a union is that it is a group “formed by people with a common interest or purpose.” If unions put the interests of all others above their membership, then why even have a union in the first place? It is counter-intuitive, and counter-productive. What the author and backers of M4A want is a loyalty pledge to the M4A policy and obedience to the cause and its leaders. How very… Trumpian.

    Second, the idea that M4A is the only solution is absurd. For starters, M4A does not exist in any other country (and no other country in human history has done what M4A would require us to do). Every country has a different plan – all functioning with pros and cons. There may be some similar (eg, Canada), but to say that “single payer” or M4A is the only solution to fixing healthcare and people need to get behind it or else is just the sort of rhetorical nonsense and Brown Shirt thuggery that people abhor.

    It also, incidentally, is the point of the Culinary Union makes in its opposition – we have our opinions – stop telling us we cannot advocate for what we want.

    In fact, what this whole debate shows is something no one here or in the media is talking about and that is – who is hearing the people and who is listening to the people?

    “Hearing” is just awareness of sound, whereas “listening” is dedicated attention to sound. I define the two, because politicians often “hear” what voters are saying, and play to the sounds and the words. But the real difference-makers in an election are the ones who listen OR perhaps more accurately – the one voters think are listening. No one wants to feel like a politician is just playing lip-service to their concerns. They want someone who listens to them and takes their concerns to heart. That’s why “I feel your pain” aka Bill Clinton was so effective.

    To that end, what I see here is less about M4A and more about the candidates themselves.

    Sanders is the “my way or the highway” candidate. He, AOC and others are not interested in compromise. But they also turn-off large numbers of voters because they don’t listen or respect others. In the case of some factions of the so-called “progressive” coalition, or the more accurately named “Urban Socialists” who want to take over the Democratic Party, demonizing those who disagree (dismiss, demean, destroy) is standard operating procedure.

    Warren does not believe in compromise either, but understands she needs to appear like she can to win votes. She “hears” what voters are saying, and hence is not talking about M4A or her plan. However, this does not help her. One of her greatest problems is her honesty and candor. People know what she really wants, so simply masking it or hiding it for the time being does not help improve the perception she is deceptive and unauthentic candidate – it only backs-up the reasons why people don’t like her.

    Buttigieg appears to be listening to the voters, and offering a compromise – expanding Medicare for those who need it and want, while allowing others to continue in their plans. I do not know enough about him to determine if he is telling the truth about what he believes. But the underlying pragmatism of his words could help him to earn voter support.

  8. I’ve been overwhelmed at work the last couple of days and after the IA-NH two step have been less than engaged in politics.  Biggest story from my perspective is SFB trying to influence the Stone trial.  What’s the difference to him? He’s going to pardon Roger anyway.
    And irony – the guy who DoJ came down on over fair housing violations and excluding blacks and Puerto Ricans from his properties calls Mike Bloomberg and racist?  Look, I know that S&F disparately impacted black and Hispanic minorities in NYC.  At that time gun related crime was concentrated in largely black and Hispanic communities.  Regardless of the wisdom or lack thereof of the policy, SFB SUPPORTED IT.  Bloomberg has acknowledged the unfair impact of the policy on minorities in NYC.  Have you heard SFB acknowledge anything wrong at all with his own racist hosing policies?  Here, let me help – NO.

  9. Great comment Michael.  Welcome to this corner of the internet.  M4A as the solution to the health insurance problem is not in my mind viable.  The math doesn’t make sense to me – but it might if it were explained rather than talked about as if any assumption that the math doesn’t work is absurd.  Short take is that Bernie! can’t explain HOW it would work because he hasn’t done the work to figure that out.  His talk in general terms about the average person paying less under M4A than they do now when taxes, insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays are considered might be right, but he hasn’t shown that to be the case.  There’s a lot of difference in the numbers when the proposal is national in scope rather than confined to old farts like me.   In my case, Medicare is much better and less expensive than BC/BS (Emphasis on BS) was before I ht 65, but if it were expanded to all I can’t say that would be the case.  I side with the Culinary Workers on this one – there are other options, and I don’t think BS (not the BS of BC/BS) has the answer.  
    Don’t know how much you’ve followed comments here over time, but your comments have much in common with thoughts I’ve expressed here over the years.  Regardless, even if your views were opposite mine, they are obviously well thought out and supported – which frankly is a rarity.  

  10. Michael, appreciate your in-depth comments. Some days of the week I’m on one side, other days not so much. Guess Thursday is my pro-M4A day. and for the record, I’m not much of sanders fan, right now I’d vote for Amy but that’ll change a bunch of times, thinking about Bloomberg.

  11. Michael… welcome to the blog!  I too appreciate your well thought out comments.  I’ve rummaged around in your website….  very interesting.
    I don’t support Bernie at all…  or anyone like him on either side of the aisle.
    IMO, he not only tells you what he thinks… he tells you what he thinks you should think.

  12. Michael, welcome and I second what pogo & renee said re the BS bs.

    however, I do favor universal health care and the single payer effort backed by the physicians group.

  13. The main thing that all the people proposing M4A seem to forget is that the US is actually approximately 350 million people in  50 countries in search of a government.  Each has its own set of rules, regulations, and requirements for their healthcare systems. Medicare is supposedly paid for from funds that came from 4 decades of deposits into the system (all stolen by the general fund).  Now that the paper of government bonds is coming due for payment, you are hearing that Social Security and Medicare are going broke.  They aren’t, the Congressional deadbeats just don’t want to pay for the money they borrowed while running up even higher and larger deficits and debt.

    Countries around the globe use a combination of plans to cover their citizens.  All of them rely on one premise:  Everyone has to be covered.  Unless everyone is in the pot in some form, the system can’t function successfully.

    All of them use some form or mixture of the four basic models.  Whether any of these can be adjusted to cover the hodgepodge of states and governments of the US is a long discussion.  I personally favor some form of an expansion of the ACA simply because M4A is not practiced any where else.


  14. well, Kelly surely knows a “not necessarily rational actor” when he sees one given his experience with IMpotus.


    At times Wednesday, Kelly sounded like the anti-Trump. He said he did not believe the press is “the enemy of the people,” for example. And he sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has steadfastly courted. Kelly described Putin as someone who is “not necessarily a rational actor.” Putin sits atop “a society in collapse,” yet is intent on restoring “the glory days of the Soviet Union,” he said.

  15. Pat
    Kelly put children in cages, followed orders like a good boy. So until he makes amends for his sins, I say Fuck him. He has to do more than tell us how bad Trump is in a paid speech. 

  16. Jack,  I’d also like to see Kelly rend his clothes and don his hair shirt, but until he does I welcome his comments supporting Vindman and criticizing SFB, criticism of SFB’s naive and stupid belief in Kim Jung Un’s intentions re: his nukes and even his comments about migrants, the wall, and any of SFB’s stupid ideas and plans.    

  17. The unions can get coverage for the medigap coverage people will need for medicare

  18. Gotta say, having care given my parents these past many years, with Medicare and in my Dad’s case both the VA and Medicaid, I am a huge fan of socialized medicine. Our worst experiences were with for-profit private care. 

  19. Mr. Cracker and I both receive medicare in addition we are also Kaiser members.  Mr. Crackers co-pays etc are all paid by his union as well as his senior payment over and above what medicare pays.   Medicare doesn’t mean free medical care.  I have to pay my own co-pays… makes you less likely to go to the doctor if you feel like you are being nickled and dimed as you walk down the hall.  
    The unions aren’t looking at the big picture.

  20. Kaiser as a non profit has operated for decades.  I get my Medicare through United Heath care using the Washington  Multicare systems of physicians, clinics and hospitals.  In all of these cases, the US government is not paying the doctors direct but rather paying the premiums for the non profit insurance carriers.  These carriers have the ability to operate nation wide using the facilities available in every state.

    How successful these plans are depends on state cooperation with federal programs.  This makes expanding on the ACA more practical than trying to impose some top down M4A


  21. Am I the only one who thinks Hope Hicks is being brought back because she is the only one who can calm him down when he becomes to manic and crazy.  His declining mental state is becoming way too obvious.  


  22. she is the only one who can calm him down when he becomes to manic and crazy. 

    I wonder how she does that…..job

  23. Attorney General Harry Daugherty can now rest in peace in his grave. President Harding’s AG had been considered the most corrupt in American History . No longer.

  24. unions blasting pete saying union workers fought to keep private insurance?

    craig, I thought I heard Bernie saying (screaming while flailing hands actually) the same thing just yesterday.  

  25. blue, yep Pete would be an excellent Sec of State!
    Craig, I paid into Social Security hence Medicare for decades. It’s not an entitlement nor socialized medicine for me.  But I’m happy for others to have it even if they didn’t pay into it.  A healthy country is a better country!
    At work, we have a leave pool.  Put in one of your sick days and get more out if you need them  Some of the morons here are gob struck when I point out that that’s socialized!  Duh!
    I live in a hideous non-unionized state.   I still belong to a union in a union state,  NY! When folks are called in on the carpet here with two sometimes more bosses raking them over the coals, and they’re alone with no one to help them,  I point out UNIONS!  A UNION person would always come with them if asked.  They can hardly imagine it! 

  26. BREAKING: AG Barr on Thursday has issued a public admonishment of President Trump, telling ABC News that the president’s tweets about US Justice Dept. matters “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

    Of course the question never ask is. Which job?
    Yea it is getting hard to hide the fact that his main job is as Trump toadie.

  27. Hope-y can come back because the acquittal was the all-clear signal.   She admitted to lying for Trumpsky.   Ivanker can’t be on-call with her demented daddy all of the time.  I will continue to pray for a lightning storm during SFB’s next public-funded golf outing because November can’t come soon enough.   

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