I was planning to vote for her in the Florida Primary, Tuesday, March 17th. To me, she was the “gal with the plan.” I’ve been following her for years; appreciated her determination to eradicate corruption wherever she saw it, from Wells Fargo opening new accounts for customers without permission, to the 1000% APR rates charged by the loan shark “Payday Loans” industry. She was articulate, quick with the facts, and a memorable debater (just ask poor Mike Bloomberg).
So where did she go wrong? She came in a distant third or fourth in every caucus and primary so far. What happened?
This is just my opinion, of course, but I blame her foolish alliance with Bernie Sanders on the Medicare for All, Free College, Free Child Care, Eradication of Student Loan Debt, and other lofty ideas. When asked in a debate: “How will you pay for Medicare for All?” Warren quickly changed the subject and didn’t answer the question. That’s when I knew she was probably finished as a candidate.
You can’t tax the rich to pay for Medicare for All. There just isn’t enough money in that pot. The sad truth is that every working American will have to pay significantly more taxes to cover such a program. Unfortunately, Fox News and other Republican media outlets have been preaching for years that any tax increase is a mortal sin; it just can’t be considered.
I worked in England for one month every year for twenty two years. I lunched with my fellow employees, got to know how their National Health System (NHS) works. They pay more than twice the price we do for gasoline. The result of this taxation is that everyone in England buys manual-shift wind-up cars that are tiny by American standards. They’re OK with that. None of them told me that they wanted to get rid of the NHS.
I also exchanged a series of emails with a Norwegian engineer, on a technical issue, for sure. But the emails eventually went to a discussion of his standard of living. He owned a nice house, has six weeks of vacation, a generous retirement, and cradle-to-grave healthcare. If he was depressed, his doctors would send him to a spa in Turkey to recover. The clincher in the discussion was his admission that over 50% of his income went to the Norwegian government. He also was OK with that.
In today’s political environment, try telling American voters that their taxes are going to be raised to over 50% of income. They’ll vote you out in a flash.
The best way to gravitate to Medicare for All is to sneak it in, over a few decades, as something called the Public Option. That’s a government program to allows you to buy Medicare insurance coverage for, say $7,000 a year. That’s about what most employers shell out for medical coverage, usually with them paying 75% of that as an inducement for you to stay as employees, and you paying the remainder.
With this Public Option plan, many companies will eventually switch to the government plan because the Feds assume all the risk. Corporations will enroll you and your family and pay 75% of the premium as an inducement for continued employment.
The United States spent $3.65 trillion dollars on health care in 2018. That’s more than the entire GDP of Canada, or Mexico, or the United Kingdom. Changing the very nature of this industry overnight as part of some cockamamie “revolution” is pure fantasy.
If you watch a Bernie Sanders rally, you can see disturbing similarities to a Trump rage-fest. Both Trump and Bernie feed off the energy and abject adulation of the adoring crowds. Both make bold promises that neither have a clue how to implement.
It was a mistake for Elizabeth Warren to throw in with the Bernie crowd. Sadly, that’s what probably sunk her at the polls this week.