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Archive for June 4, 2017

California Looking At Single Payer

Medicare for all

Way back in my youth there was a saying that California will be ten years ahead of the rest of the country. That has held to be somewhat true from the ‘50s to know.

In the long arc we have seen California as the harbinger of the takeover of radical right government in the late 60s (with Reagan) which eventually showed up in the early 80s (also with Reagan). We then saw California go through a huge tax cutting era that nearly bankrupted the state. Iowa is among many states following that script as is the national government.

We then saw California pass rules for the legislature that placed any governing into the hands of a small radical right minority. About a decade ago, we saw Californians throw off the yoke of of the radical right oligarchs, raise taxes and once more right their ship to at least once more start sailing in the right direction.

So it is with great interest that observers are once more casting their eyes to California to peer into the nations future. Looks like California is digging into offering some form of universal health care in their state. As many Republicans like to say, the states are the laboratories of democracy. This looks like an experiment whose time has come and will be a boon to most Californians that will also point the way to implementing in other states.

Of course there are entrenched interests with deep, deep pocketbooks that will be opposing any move that will cost them money. So this will also be the laboratory where the strategies for and against will be pitted against each other.

Here is a snippet of the story from Jacobin magazine:

After the implementation of single payer, the report says, health expenditures in the state of California would total $400 billion per year, or 15 percent of the state’s GDP. This is three percentage points lower than the share of GDP the United States overall spends on health care.

The reports indicate that, currently, government spending on health care in California is around $200 billion and employer spending on health care is between $100 billion and $150 billion. There is no indication of how much individuals currently spend on top of employers and governments on individual premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

Nonetheless, net of current government spending ($200 billion) and employer spending ($100-$150 billion), the single-payer plan requires an additional $50 to $100 billion of spending, or 1.9% to 3.8% of CA GDP.

For that extra 1.9% to 3.8% of GDP:

The state would pay for almost all of its residents’ medical expenses — inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care — under the plan, and Californians would not have any premiums, copays, or deductibles.

That’s an incredible deal for just 15% of GDP, which again is lower than the United States as a whole already spends on health care.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful in Iowa? Imagine waking up one day and seeing a headline on your screen that there would be a good chance that in exchange for a raise in taxes, you could be done with insurance payments, deductibles, co-pays and the ever hateful pre-existing conditions. In addition to medical care you would also get vision and dental insurance AND nursing home care.

This instead of the headlines we see now such as this one from the other day:


If it is a true single payer plan in California, that would eliminate the need for medicaid, medicare, medical in your car insurance, I believe workman’s comp would also be greatly curtailed. No separate vision insurance, dental insurance, long term care or drug insurance.

Sunday Funday: Wonder Woman Weekend Edition

What could have been

Many of us thought we would see Wonder Woman somewhere around the 20th of January. We needed her badly then and now our need is even greater.

At this point in her administration, Republicans would have had a dozen impeachment bills drawn up, but America would be having a love affair with their new President.

In the real world the loser who was inserted into the White House continues a path of destruction unmatched in our history on both the international and domestic fronts:

Internationally he has begun the destruction of the European Union, NATO and the Paris Climate Agreement. Vladimir Putin approves these actions.

Domestically he continues to careen like a bull on the tax cuts for the rich. This will include destroying Medicaid, parts of Medicare, Meals on Wheels, SNAP, the ACA, the environment, public education and voting rights among others. But he is getting behind such outdated ideas such as coal, oil and racism.

America needs Wonder Woman

Getting harder and harder to pay attention – they are wearing me down.

1) The current president moved to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Accords. What other countries will the US join that are not part of the Accord?

2) The attacks on the press became literal last Sunday morning when a newspaper in what city had its windows shot out?

3) During his address on climate change, the current president said he was elected to represent which city, while the mayor of that city responded that he (the current president) hadn’t been?

4) Lebanon is seeking to ban showings of “Wonder Woman” in their country. Why?

5) Even though he blew a 0.0% on the breathalyzer what noted golfer was arrested for DUI in Florida last week?

6) Sticking with sports, what basketball icon had a racial slur sprayed on the front gate of his home in Los Angeles Wednesday?

7) What Iowa labor leader joined the crowded Democratic gubernatorial race last week?

8) Oh boy! What became legal to sell in Iowa as of last Thursday?

9) “Operation Overlord” was the code name for what historic military operation?

10) In a historic ruling on June 7th, 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court struck down laws banning what practice associated with sex?

11) Jobs decelerated last month when it was reported Friday that the economy added how many jobs in May?

12) What automobile executive resigned from the current president’s Council of Economic Advisors over the decision to leave the Paris Accords?

13) What three states formed a climate alliance shortly after the US was withdrawn from the Paris Accords?

14) Must see TV next Thursday. Who will be testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee in open session next Thursday morning?

15) The administration is moving to return what to Russian control after the Obama administration closed them due to espionage activity?

16) Star Wars returns! The US conducted what test Tuesday in response to North Korea’s recent missile tests?

17) Before announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accords, the current president apparently consulted with who on the decision?

18) The administration is working on a draft to reverse the ACA requirement that most employers provide what coverage free within their health insurance?

19) A noose was found in what museum Wednesday causing the museum to be closed for 3 hours to investigate?

20) The current president created diplomatic concerns along with concerns about secrecy and security when he gave what to several world leaders?

You have to love John Fugelsang:
Donald Trump gets to say ‘fuck you’ to science & every living thing on Earth because he ran for president and came in second


1) Nicaragua and Syria. Syria is in a civil war and Nicaragua said the Accords didn’t go far enough.

2) Lexington, Kentucky

3) Pittsburgh, Pa.

4) The star – Gal Gadot – is an Israeli

5) Tiger Woods. Apparently he was messed up on prescription pain killers

6) LeBron James

7) Cathy Glasson

8) fireworks. I hope they are a dud

9) D-Day or the invasion of Normandy June 4th, 1944

10) contraception

11) 138,000

12) Elon Musk of Tesla

13) California, Washington and New York

14) James Comey

15) compounds on Long Island and Chesapeake Bay

16) a missile intercept test. It was successful, but diplomacy would be better.

17) Fox News talking head Kimberly Guilfoyle

18) contraception

19) The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History

20) his cell phone number

See you next week