California Democrats Betray Single Payer

by William Skink

Posting at RD will be light for the next month or two. That said, there will still be opportunities to point out how duplicitous Democrats are.

Health care is getting lots of attention right now because Republicans are positioned to do some serious harm to this country’s most vulnerable people. This effort is, of course, disgusting and it’s made even more disgusting by the cowardliness of these Republicans to face the people they are going to screw over.

The problem with only focusing on what Republicans are doing is that their legislative effort is only half the story. The other half of the story I’ll frame as a question: will Democrats do everything in their power to advocate for a single payer approach to health care?

In California the answer is a very discouraging no:

Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party—for all progressive intents and purposes—than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on Friday afternoon that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year.

The Democratic Party finds itself in a bind in California. They hold the governorship and a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, so they can pass any bill they want. SB 562 had passed the Senate 23-14.

There was enormous enthusiasm among California progressive activists, who, with organizations like Campaign for a Healthy California (CHC,) and the National Nurses United (NNU,) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) were working tirelessly, and hopeful of success. After all, Bernie’s people were taking over the California party from the bottom since the election. I recall a night of drinking last year with an old friend who has been spearheading that effort, as he rebuffed my skepticism, and insisted that this time there would be a really progressive takeover of the California party, and single-payer would prove it. After all, once enough progressive pressure was been put on the legislators, the bill would be going to super-progressive Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown, who had made advocacy of single-payer a centerpiece of his run for President in 1992, saying: “We treat health care not as a commodity to be played with for profit but rather the right of every American citizen when they’re born.” Bernie foretold.

Unfortunately, today that Governor is, according to Paul Song, co-chair of the CHC, “doing everything he can to make sure this never gets on his desk.” And it won’t. Unfortunately, all the Democrats like Rendon, who “claims to be a personal supporter of single-payer,” will make sure that their most progressive governor is not put in the embarrassing position of having to reject what he’s been ostensibly arguing for for twenty-five years, of demonstrating so blatantly what a fraud his, and his party’s, progressive pretensions are.

Thus unfolds the typical Democratic strategy: Make all kinds of progressive noises and cast all kinds of progressive votes, while carefully managing the process so that the legislation the putatively progressives putatively support never gets enacted. Usually, they blame Republican obstructionism, and there certainly is enough of that, and where there is, it provides a convenient way for Democrat legislator to “support” legislation they know will be blocked and wouldn’t really enact themselves if they could.

Progressives take note, Republicans aren’t the only ones you are going to have to fight if you want to get progressive policies moving forward.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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23 Responses to California Democrats Betray Single Payer

  1. The lesson here, a tough one for me to absorb over the years, is that of controlled opposition. Jerry Brown, Bernie Sanders and Anthony Rendon are controlled opposition. It is the only reason they have been allowed to rise to prominence within the party.

  2. steve kelly says:

    It is time to stop beating a dead horse. The Democratic Party is nearing extinction. A beast that can no longer stand on its own should never be flogged. To cruel.

    This development in California may be a blessing in disguise for pro-single-payer advocates. States, even big states like California and New York must balance their budgets and cannot spend as the monetarily sovereign federal government can. This is not “too expensive” for the federal government. The biggest lie of all: “It’s to expensive.” If states try universal Medicare-plus or single-payer and fail, it will set back any national, universal health care plan, or may hand the opposition the perfect excuse to kill it indefinitely.

    • Big Swede says:

      States can continue to issue bonds in order to outspend their budgets. A perfect example of which is Illinois which has layers and layers of inefficient unaccountable bureaucracies.

      So why not immerse themselves in another aspect of our lives in order to rob from the working classes and give to the non-workers.

      • My mother, echoing her mother, used to say to me and my brothers “Paper does not refuse ink!”, meaning do not believe something just because it is written in a newspaper, magazine or book. Use your brain. In the same vein, in the Internet age, I suggest “Computer chips do not refuse bits and bytes!” You seldom go in depth, Swede, and often report the flimsiest of stories just because they resonate with your prejudices.

        • Big Swede says:

          You’re right Mark. Illinois has no problems financially.

          By the way, why am I debating you when I’m still banned on your site?

        • News to me. Two possibilities … one that first-time commenters are sent to moderation. Seems unlikely. The other is that WordPress puts you in Spam for links. I’ll check. In the meantime, try commenting without linking, just as a test. You are not banned.

          It has nothing to do with Illinois, by the way. It is how your thought processes stop when you find a link that says what you want. Illinois might or might not be in trouble. That’s only what the news says, us news cannot be trusted. Any news. You need to dig deeper, satisfy yourself without authority sources that it is true. It takes work.

        • Big Swede says:

          Has everything to do with IL. Gov. Brown saw the projected budget for SP and backtracked on his promise. They can’t pay their current bills let alone $400B additional.

        • Big Swede says:

          Glad to see you’re on the “fake news” bandwagon.

        • “Fake News” is just another psyop, and I am not on that bandwagon. It is meant to discredit work like ours, where we genuinely search for truth, and to reinforce mainstream news, which is indeed full of lies and misdirection. It has not been a successful psyop, but I see it worked on you.

          This stuff is complicted Swede. You really have to lay attention, dig deep. I’ve got thousands of hours now doing this. My John Denver piece, for instance, (he faked his death) took months. I relied on no one but myself, made phone calls to Monterey County and the courts in Aspen and a company called Scaled Composites (who made the aircraft), read reports and mapped out witness locations, learned about the presence of ether in corpses, tried to run down the background of the Sheriff of Monterey County, tracked down the makers of a video of Denver that appeared in 2009, and hours upon hours of writing and rewriting and thinking hard, trying to piece it all together and resolve contradictions in the official story. My piece is what the “fake news” psyop is about … they want people to automatically distrust any work that is not mainstream.

          You, in the other hand, trust authority sources and surface skim, and are an easy mark for lies and misdirection. You know nothing about the situation in Illinois because you haven’t spent any time researching it. You’ve just read your trusted sources and parroted their words.

  3. Big Swede says:

    People will die.

  4. Eric says:

    I remember when John Denver died – his body was pretty mangled up when it drifted towards the beach along with the plane wreckage. I assume he cut his hands off to fake his own death, since his fingerprints matched the ones he had taken when he was arrested for drunk driving?

    And I’m sure the plane manufacturer settled the lawsuit brought by Denvers’ family just to complete the illusion?

    And who did they cremate with the guitar and ashes scattered?

    I quit listening to the hippie well before he died, but if he shows up in concert somewhere let me know – I could maybe sit by Elvis, James Dean, or Steve Fossett.

    • You’d have to read the article I wrote (at 7500 words I am not betting on it), but all your concerns and more are addressed. It is my humble conclusion that they substituted a cadaver, perhaps from a medical school nearby, for the body. This would explain the presence of ethanol in the liver even as his toxicology screen was clean … the body had been sitting in cold storage for a while. Fingerprints were faked.

    • JC says:

      John Denver a hippie??? LOL! I don’t think you’d find a “real” hippie that would agree with you.

    • That lawsuit was interesting, but I don’t think it was ever anything more than a planted news story. I tried to run it down. Think about it: The cause of the crash was supposedly a fuel tank lever that had been moved behind the pilot’s seat by the first owner of the aircraft, forcing him to turn around to move it using a vise grip. It was not done by Rutan/Scaled Composites, maker of the Long EZ. Why would they be responsible?

  5. Eric Coobs says:

    Mark I don’t think the world is holding it’s breath on this one !

    Maybe if JFK was his co-pilot.

    • Since you are not going to read my piece, which is a compilation of evidence and examination of contradictions (and I know you’re not – I lost you and Swede both when I said it is 7,500 words) then all you are telling me is that my evidence, whatever it is, does not stack up against your unexamined beliefs. I am very used to that. People do not like to be fooled, and getting them to admit to having been fooled is far far harder than actually fooling them.

      I do not research and write to convince people, as that is a fool’s errand. The public mind is a vast wasteland. I do this only because the search for truth is all by itself a worthy activity.

      • Big Swede says:

        Keep doing what you’re doing Mark.

        Your research is so incredibility important to all of us.

      • Of course you are being sarcastic, and again I don’t have any missionary ideals. Think about it this way: Only a small slice of the public is able to read, process and criticize large volumes of information, which is what it takes 1) to do what I and my colleagues do, and 2) to read and process what I and my colleagues write.

        People can only be “reached” in a meaningful sense by undermining them. This is what propaganda does, and what has informed you all of your life. Everything you believe was subtly planted in your brain by “news” and “trsuted sources” and mostly by radio and TV. You are no closer now to anything true than you were when you first opened Atlas Shrugged, and then gave up on it. So no, Swede, I do not expect you to read our blog posts (they do not lend themselves to skimming first and last paragraphs before inserting a link in the comments), not do I expect you to have an awakening, ever. Propaganda, especially agitprop, destroys the human brain, permanently.

        • Big Swede says:

          Forgot another destroyer Mark, the twisting of a word’s meaning.

          Halfway way down is a favorite of yours, “It’s Complicated”.

        • Big Swede says:

          And of course the opposite of propaganda would be telling the truth.

        • Good lord.

        • Big Swede says:

          Figured on a light weight response Here’s some more tidbits which seem to align themselves with your motives.

          There is no truth, only competing agendas.

          All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

          There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

          The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

          Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

          The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)

          For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

          When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

        • This is a large part of your problem, Swede. You don’t listen to others. You make assumptions and otherwise don’t give people the time of day. Everything you just (parroted) above is your projection of what you think I believe. You don’t read what I write, and so have made me a poster child for all the things you think are right about what others can’t see than you can. You are wearing blinders.

          Just take your last point “When confronted with terror…” My last piece just put up a few days ago dealt with the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando last year. It’s quite long, so don’t bother. You don’t have the attention span. I will give you the upshot. It was fake. No one died. Mateen was a ghost. Victims were manufactured people, the “injured” were crisis actors. Since you are not going to read it, I will quote an early paragraph, which reflects my outlook, the me you don’t know because you don’t listen:

          You might ask why – why do they fake these events? The answer should please you. If they did not fake these events, there would be no events! People are good. We do not go around randomly shooting each other … not even Muslims do that. (Please note the sarcasm. I don’t have access to emoticons.) There is violence among us, most of it fueled by alcohol and drugs, but it is of the one-on-one type – bar fights, broken romances, desperation. Add raging hormones, and life is quite a trip.

          There are no “terrorists,” Swede. It is all made up. THeynhave to, because otherwise life is calm and people behave, for the most part.

          It is what I meant when I said you are nothing more than a product of American propaganda.

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