Blog

February 3, 2020

[All In: February] Bernie leads with Iowans while M4A leads with doctors

by DSA M4A

Hello and thank you for reading our first issue of 2020! 

Sen. Bernie Sanders leads Joe Biden by 9 points in Iowa and 15 points in New Hampshire. In fact, he’s favored over Trump in every major poll conducted in the last month! But with Super Tuesday on the horizon, it’s more important than ever to continue building support behind Sen. Sanders because he’s the only candidate committed to enacting Medicare for All from day 1.

It’s also key to remember that Sanders is the only candidate whose healthcare plan adheres to our campaign’s 5 principles and truly earns the right to be called Medicare for All. Other candidates’ plans just don’t stack up, and this recent campaign video explains why:

Watch the full video here!

We’re still encouraging individuals and chapters to put pressure on their representatives to support Medicare for All, and now we’re also asking that people canvass, make calls and/or send texts for the Sanders campaign. Keep the momentum up!

As the Medicare for All movement grows, it’s also picking up support from crucial players in the healthcare system itself: doctors. The American College of Physicians — the country’s largest medical specialty organization representing more than 159,000 doctors — announced their support for a single-payer system in January. The group outlined their position in the Annals of Internal Medicine, saying in part, “Major changes are needed to a system that costs too much, leaves too many behind, and delivers too little.”

Separately but on the same day as the ACP announcement, more than 2,000 doctors took out a full-page ad in The New York Times “prescribing” Medicare for All. Their message read in part, “Oppressive costs and the fear of financial ruin amplify the suffering of illness. Meanwhile, doctors and nurses struggle to provide good care in a bad system... It is time to transform the way we pay for care — to embrace improved Medicare for All.”

It’s not just doctors who recognize we’re at a critical moment in the fight for single-payer. In Washington, UFCW 21 jointly endorsed Medicare for All and Bernie Sanders as the presidential candidate who will achieve it. UFCW 21 is the largest private sector union in the state and largest UFCW local in the country, including over 46,000 workers in healthcare, retail, grocery stores and other industries.

Board member and emergency department assistant at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Medical Center Jose Hernandez said, “As someone who works in an ER, I see the effects of our broken health care system every day, as patients skip getting the care they need because they can’t afford it, leading to worse health outcomes and higher costs for everyone. And as a union member, Medicare for All relieves us of the burden of long, drawn-out fights to maintain our health care plans, freeing working people from the crushing consequences of getting sick and opening doors for wage increases and other benefits.”

We can’t miss this tremendous opportunity to achieve a healthcare system that truly works for the many, not just the privileged few.

For a full list of Bernie’s current labor union endorsements visit laborforbernie2020.org/endorsements.

If you have friends, family members or colleagues who are interested in keeping up with the campaign, tell them to sign up here to receive All In straight to their inbox. Thanks for reading, and see you next month! 


📋 FROM THE CAMPAIGN 📋

News from the M4A blog and the broader campaign

More than 60 chapters participated in our Week of Action in January! Held in partnership with the DSA for Bernie campaign, chapters in North Texas, East Bay, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Kern County, Seattle and dozens more cities held canvasses and events in support of Bernie Sanders and Medicare for All. Not even snow kept some canvassers from hitting the streets! See our full recap here.

Medical device manufacturers have a friend in Elizabeth Warren, writes Zaid Jilani for Jacobin. Sen. Warren aided the industry in a multi-year battle to fight off a 2.3 percent excise tax that would’ve been levied on the companies — many of which are headquartered in her home state of Massachusetts — to help fund the Affordable Care Act. She even went so far as to write an op-ed in 2012 for Mass Device, an industry trade publication. “When Congress taxes the sale of a specific product through an excise tax, as the Affordable Care Act does with medical devices, it too often disproportionately impacts the small companies with the narrowest financial margins and the broadest innovative potential,” she wrote. That doesn’t sound like a candidate who is going to put people over medical industry profits.

“The spectacle of national labor leaders defending a system that is the biggest cause of strikes, lockouts, and concession bargaining is mind-boggling,” writes Mark Dudzic for New Politics. Labor leaders such as AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten have stoked fears that Medicare for All would “take away” their members’ hard fought union benefits, but Dudzic — National Organizer and Chairman of the United States Labor Party — urges rank-and-file union members to resist their logic. He also explains why Medicare for All would be uniquely beneficial for union members, and why the Medicare for All movement needs union workers at the forefront of the fight. “Medicare for All would take health care off the bargaining table and increase union bargaining leverage in nearly every negotiation,” he writes.

🗞 NEWS 🗞

Related news articles, essays, articles from outlets beyond the campaign

Research has shown time and again that Medicare for All is cost effective and will save money. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that “an increase in overhead from private insurers caused spending as a percentage of total US healthcare costs to surge from 31% in 1999 to over 34% in 2017,” mostly driven by significantly higher spending on per-patient admin costs compared to countries with a single-payer system. “The US' sky-high healthcare costs are driven in no small part by the oversized admin spending burden private insurance places on hospitals and other providers — and these costs could have negative implications on patient health,” according to an article in Business Insider. 

Adam Weinstein’s tweet thread could only go viral in America. 

In January the national security editor for The New Republic was told by his doctors that he needed a CT scan of his neck after experiencing months of tonsillitis, sore throats, and fatigue. In his thread, he describes an absolutely baffling series of contradictory and obtuse statements made by the hospital, the medical providers and his insurance — simply because he asked how much the scan would cost. A self-described “Ayn Rand-loving libertarian” prior to the experience, he now writes, “the American health system is an insane patchwork of privileged, cash-hoovering cartels and fiefdoms, and everyone knows it... And I worry about a thin, pale version of national patriotism that believes the fault lies with the underemployed, sick and afflicted, rather than the system that’s supposed to tend to them.”

“Oh my god, we can't afford this,” Bee immediately thought after tripping over a tree root on a hike and shattering her leg. The 25-year-old had been recently laid off from her job and was without health insurance. She spent a year recovering from the catastrophic injury and then had to face a new hurdle: the medical bill. “Today, I’m $33,993 in debt from my leg injury alone,” she says. “One night, I was feeling so depressed and defeated about this whole situation from beginning to end. My husband was sitting next to me, and I looked up at him and told him, ‘I wish you would have shot me out there. A funeral would have been cheaper.’”


😎 SOCIAL MEDIA 😎

The best stuff from our feeds

😤 If your boss likes your plan, you have to keep it

🚴 Yeah, pretty much

💖 DSA M4A really loves the NHS (and Rob Delaney)

🗣️ Bernie has been on-brand for longer than most of us have been alive

🔥 Medicare for All is attractive in more ways than uhhh, one

🐬 Even animals want Medicare for All