Sunday, August 4, 2019

CNN and "blue-collar" Dem candidates need to stop fear tactics on Medicare for All

In another bit of data last week, we got a look at how much wages and benefits are rising from the employers' side. The Employment Cost Index report for Q2 2019 was largely in line with recent quarters, with an increase of 0.6% for the quarter and 2.7% for the past year. But I dug down toward the bottom of the report, into Tables 6 and 10, and found a fascinating contrast.

What those tables show is that wage increases over the last 12 months are happening for both unionized and non-unionized jobs in goods production. But compensation (including benefits) has basically flatlined for unionized manufacturers (especially) while non-unionized compensation has gone up.

12 month change, June 2018-June 2019

Yes, this is a relative scale that starts from the numbers that were in effect 2005, and unionized work still gives more for their employees than non-union jobs in the same field. But it tells us that employers aren’t continuing to pay as much of the cost for their unionized employees’ health care, which contradicts a talking point that has recently been made against Medicare for All (including this week’s BS from CNN during the Dem Debate).

So that “great health care” union workers allegedly want to protect might not be that great these days. Medicare for All also prevents people from being tied to their job because of a need to have health care benefits, and lowers the costs to businesses that are currently paying sizable amounts to provide health care. Other than Boomer retirees who may have their benefits locked in, why should current workers be worried that their already-shrinking health care plan go away in favor of Medicare for All? They and their employers might celebrate it!

Here's an ironworker who gets it.

Medicare for All also removes the advantage that freeloading companies like Wal-Mart get for NOT providing health care to their employees.

By the way, there’s no reason people can’t have supplemental insurance above and beyond Medicare for All to cover specific needs. A couple of Canadian friends of ours told us that’s how it works there. And it’s not like supplemental insurance is a foreign concept in America, as commercials like these have run for years.

Lastly, anyone who says that installing Medicare for All gets rid of the provisions of the ACA/Obamacare ARE BEING DISHONEST. You can keep the protections and requirements of the ACA while expanding coverage to all people and regulating cost and helping with premiums....if we choose to make the commitment.

The only reason a candidate would say otherwise is if they were too reliant on Big Insurance donations to do what was necessary to improve health care for society as a whole. Like this guy.

Those of us in the majority that want some form of Medicare for All need to start forcefully responding to status quo politicians and corporate media whose main argument against such a system is fear and greed. Sure, the ACA/Obamacare made things better than it was, but we deserve a lot more than what we have, and the average American worker deserves the freedom and security that Medicare for All would provide. SAY IT!

PS- I also noticed this item from late in the week.

That's based on news from Governor Evers on Friday about projected premiums on the Obamacare exchanges.
Gov. Tony Evers today announced that 2020 rates on Wisconsin’s individual health insurance market will be 3.2 percent lower on a weighted average compared to 2019 rates. This encouraging news further demonstrates that the individual market is stabilizing and Wisconsin residents are able to access more affordable coverage options.

The rate decrease also highlights the positive impact of that the Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan (WIHSP), or the state’s reinsurance program, is having on the individual market. WIHSP was fully funded in the recently signed 2019-2021 state biennial budget. Without the WIHSP, rates in the individual market were expected to increase by 9 percent in 2020.

“This is an important step forward as we work to make quality healthcare more affordable for Wisconsin’s families, and it is encouraging to see rates continuing to stabilize after years of rate increases and market instability," said Gov. Evers. "The WIHSP is working, that’s why I included full funding for it in The People’s Budget.”
But one problem with Tusler's comment. WIHSP is anything but "fiscally conservative." It gives $72 million in state tax dollars (and another $128 million from the Feds) to insurance companies in the hopes that those companies keep their rates down. That is big-spending CORPORATE SOCIALISM, Ronnie.

Using $200 million in tax dollars to keep the system going and not reduce costs of care is a band-aid. Why not go with Medicare for All and aggressively regulate costs? Let's move the choice to individuals, and stop forcing them to rely on what the insurance industry chooses to offer to them.

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