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Calcified Corporatists: Dems Out-Lefted by Trump on Healthcare

The Democrats have placed on glaring display their lack of self-awareness as well as their corporatism. In response to the health crisis that is a pandemic, the party, as well as its nominee, has shown how out of touch they truly are. In this piece, I want to look at the Corporate Democrats’ ‘response’ to the health crisis and compare it to that of the Trump Administration. This will likely not be popular among Democratic partisans, but that is irrelevant. Your party is proving itself to be a collection of out of touch elitists. Their response to a pandemic is yet more of their failed ideology. They have refused to adapt to the situation. They embody the phrase that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The criticism is apt.

Exhibit A: Hillary Clinton: Let them Buy Insurance

We begin with the political zombie that just will not die. On the third of April, Mrs Clinton tweeted that in response to this pandemic, Trump should ‘Re-open the health care exchanges’. This is a reference to the Affordable Care Act. This piece of legislation compelled citizens to purchase health insurance in the private market. Government-mandated purchasing of private insurance: land of the free indeed. So, Secretary Clinton’s solution to a pandemic was to once again force people to buy private insurance. A simple question, Madame Secretary: using what? The immediate context is that people have lost their jobs! They have no money with which to buy insurance. What would you have them use? Blood plasma?

The sheer elitism in her comment says it all: let them buy insurance. You lost your healthcare because you were laid off due to no fault of your own? Well, why not just buy some insurance using the savings that you do not have? The Secretary is evidently not aware that almost half of Americans cannot afford a one-off $400 emergency, to say nothing of recurring monthly payments. She is aware that many people’s healthcare is tied to the very jobs they have just lost, but she still wants them to buy insurance. Incredible. So out of touch, so elitist. Finally, it is noteworthy that her response to this crisis was, at least in part, to funnel yet more money to the private sector. The insatiable greed of capitalism never takes a back seat, does it, Madame Secretary?

Exhibit B: Joe Biden and the Veto Pen

During an interview on MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell posed the following question to Joe Biden

Let’s flash forward: you’re President. Bernie Sanders is still active in the Senate. He manages to get Medicare for All through the Senate in some compromised [form]…Nancy Pelosi gets a version of it through the House of Representatives. It comes to your desk. Do you veto it?

Actually a decent question there. Consider this: all of the political work has been done. The battle is won. The bill has made it through the House and the Senate. All Biden has to do is sign it. He still said he would veto it. Now, before anyone argues that this was three weeks ago, nothing has changed. In a more recent interview in the last few days, Mr Biden said he still opposes any form of single-payer Medicare for All, despite accidentally arguing for it. Hashtag coherence.

Let us ignore for the moment the raw political stupidity it takes to alienate your base by saying you would scuttle their chief issue. Focus instead on the sheer lack of courage and leadership on display. Mr Vice President, it is not a crime to change your position to adapt to changed circumstances. It is not ‘politicising the tragedy’ to call for a Medicare for All system in response to this pandemic. Indeed, the very mental flexibility that such a change would involve is the most important character trait of a President. Your continued insistence, Sir, that Medicare for All is dead despite its wild popularity will suppress the Democratic base. This is because, as I said previously, they have no reason to vote for you.

Blindsided from the Left: Trump Responds 

President Trump’s response was to, in the words of former Obama health official Andy Slavitt

Announce another plan. People without insurance can get cared for for free. And hospitals would get paid for at Medicare rates.

In other words, even without private health insurance, citizens (no mention of age) can go to a hospital and receive care and treatment, free of charge. In addition, the government would pay for the cost of the consultation, testing and treatment at Medicare rates. So the coverage offered in Medicare is being extended…to all. Hmm – where have I heard something like that before? Medicare…for ALL! You calcified corporate cuckolds have officially allowed Trump to take the left-wing position on healthcare! Jesus Christ how can you be so incompetent?! You clowns are so far up your own arses that you cannot even play the populist part for purposes of a pandemic (or, more cynically, an election year).

This is, in all likelihood, what Trump is doing: assuming the role of a populist on the issue of healthcare for purposes of an election cycle. His ability to read the room that is the electorate and assume a popular position is part of the formula of his success. However, motivations to the side for a moment, this is the correct position. Whether or not he realises the precedent that adopting such a plan puts in place (why should this system only apply to COVID-19) remains to be seen, but on this issue he is right.

Trump is assuming the role of a populist

Conclusion: Die, Democrats, Die

This incident is a shining example not only of Trump’s ability to read the electorate but of how utterly calcified and corporate the Democratic party is. The sheer political ineptitude of refusing to adapt your position to circumstances is actually remarkably conservative. In previous pieces, I discussed conservatism’s petulant insistence on sticking to their guns and demanding that reality bend to their ideology. The Democrats are doing the exact same thing. Hey, Dems: when you are out popularised by Donald Trump, you need to, like the dying animal you are, walk into the forest and not return.

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8 comments

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  1. John OCallaghan

    At last an article in an Australian publication telling the raw truth about the stupidity and raw elitism of the Democratic party in America. I know Trump is a blatant opportunist and he knows this will win him the next election, but the people who can now not worry about going to the hospital and not having to pay $34000 ,,yes you heard me…$34000 to receive treatment if you have the Coivid19 disease wont care a flying fig if it was Trump or Thump who allowed free health for the first time in their lives.
    I think there will now be no turning back on medicare 4 all after this decision,and as a progressive voter myself i dont really care which side of politics brings this in and the millions and millions of folk wont either… but they will care who they vote for this Nov… and no second guess who it will be for! ….. You stupid stupid idiotic elitist corporate Democratic Cretins….

  2. Klaus Petrat

    I am a little upset that the moderator didn’t let my comment through. I am not sure why as I wasn’t explicit or personal. But the junk written above and by Mr John OCallaghan is mind boggling.

    Trump, with his reckless misjudgment of Corona, will have 10000+ avoidable deaths on his shoulders. Specifically his heartland is suffering.

    The trade wars, the treatment of Palestinians, the friendship with MbS, the mishandling of Russia, China, Europe, the constant lying, not knowing where his father is from (actually frightening), intellect/vocabulary of a year 10 student….

  3. andy56

    Klaus, dont you think you are both right? Trump does things for the wrong reason some times and sometimes he gets it right, not through any real attempt, but right is right . Other issues, i agree he screwed up on his own ego. But the Democrates are unelectable now. Where is the enthusiasm for Mr Biden when all he has to offer is not trump? You cant beat a Narcissist at his own game, FACT. And they have tried that game already and lost. Trump is a higher class of narcissist than clinton and biden combined.
    No point crying but, but, but. Voters are born stupid and remain stupid, face facts.

  4. Klaus Petrat

    andy56 I agree with you. And yes, voters may forget as fast as Corona is gone. First the people need to see that the money really arrives. Secondly, the democrats had a lot to do with amendments (not unlike in Australia) so that money is also supposed to flow to households.

    And yes, he can’t afford to let people die because of his ideology, stupidity etc. He wants to be elected. And what bigger present from the house of reps then buying the populace.

    But the money is not there yet and many are driven to the wall before a penny is sent.

  5. New England Cocky

    Shucks Dr Tim ….. the USA (United States of Apartheid) is certainly being screwed over by the monied classes and so what is the possibility of a co-ordinated armed uprising in several states?? Not a very high probability I would imagine, probably about the same as Australia provided the action did not occur on Saturday afternoon during the football, or Sunday during the surfing season, or weekdays when all the metropolitan foot soldiers were jammed up in congested trains between stations waiting for the decrepit signalling system to re-start …….

  6. Trevor

    In Amerika Money talks.
    The political system is beyond corrupt.
    Instead of helping, assisting the populace, making profits rules the day especially in Trumpistan USA.
    $34k for coronavirus test and treat is unaffordable to the ordinary workers and now Trump brainfarts free health care.
    No doubt it will have the same or similar unpacking as MorriSCUM and his “notional $2 million fire fund” cruel fantasy for vote catching.
    Sick joke America.

  7. andy56

    new england cocky, i too had the thought but nah. The land of the free is too divided and the military too powerful. Sure a few nutters may try it on but i recon a few days and they are goners. Like everyone else, we have been watching too many movies, zombies comes to mind, hahahahah. In truth, most americans would be shit scared when they realise they are totally out gunned.

  8. Brad Black

    Well, I would’ve thought getting rid of the orange (t)rumped gutter snipe would be the first and foremost thing to do, even at the expense of the Sanders model of government whose impact is already changing the Democrats, but we’ll all be fkcd with the orange rumped horror show in charge for another term. A planet tipped over the edge? or an institutionalised opposition with a chance to pull back from the precipice? Seems obvious to me.

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