Clinton Demands To Know Where Sanders Was During The Earlier Health Care Fight . . . Sanders Releases Picture of His Standing Right Next To Her

ecd701_f7648a5091aa41c083ac6b199915d2e3This election just seems to get weirder and weirder. On the heels of her praise and then unpraise for Nancy Reagan on AIDS, Hillary Clinton is again being charged with rewriting history in attacking Bernie Sanders for his absence on the health care fight back in 1993-94. New York Times reporter Amy Chozick quoted Hillary Clinton in a tweet saying, “I don’t know where he was when I was trying to get health care in 93 and 94.” The Sanders campaign quickly responded with a picture showing Sanders standing right next to her and then released another signed picture where she commended him for his work in seeking such national health care coverage at the time. CNN and other media outfits already called out Clinton for the “cheap shot” in falsely suggesting that Sanders did not support the auto bailout. This is not going to help those low trustworthiness numbers plaguing Clinton.

Sanders is shown in this picture at a Dartmouth College event pushing for healthcare reform in 1993 at Dartmouth College and Sanders proposed his own single-payer healthcare plan in March later that year. Then there is this note commending Sanders:


It reads: “To Bernie Sanders with thanks for your commitment to real health care access to all Americans and best wishes.” It is signed “Hillary Rodham Clinton” and dated 1993. Yikes.

Yet, that does not mean it cannot be spinned. Rather than admit a cheap shot, Secretary Clinton’s communications director noted that the picture technically showed Sanders not by her side but behind her: “Hillary Clinton was out in front. Senator Sanders was in the background. She is the one that took the slings and arrows from the healthcare industry.” Now that is an Olympic quality spin.

In the meantime, Sanders supporters are flooding the Internet with videotapes that are calling out Clinton for another alleged misrepresentation.

Notably, Sanders wrote in his book that he did not favor the Clinton approach which he viewed as yielding to demands from outside groups. He wrote “the complicated and compromised bill which they brought forth was not something that I could support.” That would suggest that he was fighting for health care but did not believe that the Clinton proposal went far enough.

UnknownThe misstep is reminiscent of John Lewis’ highly controversial questioning of Sanders’ work for civil rights.  Lewis said he never saw Sanders in the marches.  However, Sanders’ supporters released pictures of his being arrested as a student at the University of Chicago and Sanders clearly was on the frontline of the struggle.

On both sides of the election, we have seen these glaring contradictions and false statements. Yet, each candidate seems to have a core of supporters who simply do not care about the allegations of dishonesty or falsity. That is what is so fascinating. It is not the shifting voters but those voters who have shown no desire to shift in the aftermath of scandals or missteps. The problem for Clinton however will be the damage to the Sanders base in later calling for them to join her if she is the nominee. Young people in particular appear to be growing increasingly anti-Hillary and not just pro-Bernie. This type of unfounded attack will hardly make such a reconciliation likely. The young people may just stay home or vote for someone like Jill Stein with the Green Party.

What do you think?

Source: CNN

71 thoughts on “Clinton Demands To Know Where Sanders Was During The Earlier Health Care Fight . . . Sanders Releases Picture of His Standing Right Next To Her”

    1. Thanks for your post, Steve. At $108 per month insurance premiums, evidently for her entire family, she is getting a real bargain.
      I have talked to some people whose “premiums have dropped” 50-70% under Obamacare.
      I’ve pointed out, not as a criticism, the fact that the actual insurance premiums have not dropped; THEIR subsidized share is far less, and the other 50% of 70% is being paid by “others”.
      The “others” subsidizing their premiums are the taxpayers and / or people who got screwed under Obamacare.
      Per capita health care costs are roughly twice as much America as in Canada…I think c.$9500 U.S. v
      c.$4700 Canada are the most recent numbers I’ve seen.
      Outcomes, measured by overall longevity, infant mortality, etc.seem to be roughly comparable overall.
      The exception appears to be in longevity for most forms of cancer, which is higher in America.
      The obesity rate is said to be 19% in Canada v. 33% in the U.S., which is probably a partial factor in our higher costs.
      Anecdotally,the Canadians I have talked to have expressed satisfaction with their system. However, virtually all of them had never experienced a major medical issue, like bypass surgery, cancer, etc.
      So my limited “polling” of Canadians is very limited, not comprehensive.
      Maybe if we had adopted a Canadian type of system c. 50 years ago, instead of our hybrid MEDICARE/ MEDICAID system, our costs would be closer to those in Canada.
      (I think the Canadian provinces went to basically “single payer” c. mid-1960s, c. the same time that we enacted MC and Medicaid.
      At the point, c. 20 million U.S. seniors were enrolled in Medicare. Maybe 7-8 million of those seniors really needed help, but it didn’t matter if it was the couple down the street just getting by (then) on $200 Social Security, or the millionaire living acrossed the town.
      They paid no payroll taxes into the system, $3 per month for pretty good insurance with much lower deductibles back then.
      I’m referring to roughly my grandparents generation, born c. 1900. Not a critcism of them, buf they made out like bandits, from benefits of a system they contributed little or nothing to.
      I’ve contrasted the miniscule payroll MC taxes in 1966 v. the enormous increase in those taxes today.
      If people entering the workforce in or after the mid- 1960s thought that they were having their taxes stashed away for THEIR Medicare benefits years hence, they were mistaken.
      That money basically went to the first, and to a degree, second wave of MC benefiaries who paid in relatively little or nothing in taxes.
      That’s why I refer to Medicard as a Ponzi scheme, with each succeeding generation facing much higher taxes, and reduced benefits.
      The “holes” in MC coverage force many to buy Medigap supplemental coverage, averaging $200 per mo.
      ( Their are some workable, less expensive options for some…e.g., HMOs, but there ard usually restriction requiring “in network only” care.
      If they accidently go out of network, they could face huge bill.
      Health care inflation probably increased at c. 2 1/2 times the rate of inflation over the past 50 years; if my estimates are correct, a c. 5% overall CPI rate was c.12.5% inflation in healthcare.
      If my numbers are incorrect, I’ll stand corrected….or change the subject.😊
      Anyway, Medicare allowed, even encouraged, things like overuse and oversupply of things like CAT Scans, MRIs, etc. in America.
      I don’t know if physician groups are still allowed to own them, but that created a real conflict of interest.
      I don’t know if Canadian hospitals get a “subsidized rate” on those machines, compared to what Americans pay.
      They certainly get a subsidized rate on drugs…the full cost of R&D development, the “full retail price”, is paid by Americans.
      Canada typically does not develop breakthough drugs. A young man ( late 20s) I know is severely disabled with MS. His infusions probablg cost c.7,000 per month, v. maybe half? that in Canada.
      I’vd watched dozens of biotech firms bleed 100s of$Billion in dollars in R&D over the decades.
      Their “breakthrough drugs”, always “5 or 10 years away” never materialized.
      The rare exceptions, like Amgen, Biogen Idex, Calgene, etc are the ones who actually developed and profited from the “goldmine” types of really unique effective drugs.
      Admitedly, price gouging and heavy advertizing expenses are also a factor.
      That puke kid who immediately jacked up the price of a drug 5,000% is the poster boy for gouging, and MAY be the straw that broke the camel’s back in getting laws/ regulations to limit these kinds of abuses.
      Without trying to review all of MC shortcomings, and shortsighted structural planning to find it, it disporportiately benefit the “early waves” of beneficiaries at the expense of later generations.
      Their was also no serious attempts for cost containment for decades.
      The AMA had a strong lobby, and was absolutely oppossed to MediCare.
      LBJ turned them around in one meeting. I don’t know what was said, but I’d bet that Johnson assured them they’d increase their business, and their would not be strict price constraints.
      A relative was about halfway through a c. 50 year practise as an MD in a nearbh city when MC was inacted.
      He had a noticable increase in his income in the years after Medicare.
      I’d estimate that the average U.S. MD would have to settle for a 30-40% cut in income to get our per capita physician provided costs down to Canadian levels.
      The “empires” which I’ve seen rise over the past c.40-50 years….I’m referring to massive new hospital/ medical centers….have fixed, built in costs.
      Admittedly, some of the facilties were aged and needed replacement, but the demolition of some still servicable structures and replacement by new “empires” was overkill, in my view.
      Anyway, I don’t think we could easily transition to a Canadian type system AT THIS STAGE, and expect the same low, lower, per capita costs.
      I do think tbs GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE proposed for Vermont is an illustration of that difficulty; our entrenched higher costs can’t be addressed simply be going single payer.
      Most of those same entrenched costs will transfer over into that system, absent very strict price controls/ price caps.

    2. Steve and Karen S. Average per capita U.S. healthcare costs in America were $356v
      c.$9500 today.
      That’s about a 26 fold increase, v. the overall c.7x increase in the overall CPI.
      Health care inflation in the previous 45 or 50 year period tracked the overall CPI.

    3. I meant to specify that 1970 per capita health care costs were $356 v. $9500 today.
      This happened after Medicare and Medicaid were enacted.
      In my opinion, these programs served as major cost drivers.

  1. Steve…I’m glad that you’ve had satisfactory experiences with the VA. My brother ( retired USAF) was generally satisfied with the care he received through the VA. military medical centers, CHAMPUS, etc.
    I don’t have any firsthand experience dealing with these agencies. Quality of care at VA hospitals/ medical centers appears to be at least a regional problem; i.e., quality of care seems to be uneven”.
    Probably at the core of our debate is differong levels of confidence in the efficiency/ desirabilty of a single payer systems.
    The administrative savings that might be gained in a single payer system are debatable
    …I have that debate, here and elsewhere, and won’t try to review it now.
    I cited Medicare as an example of the consequences and failures of massive governmental programs.
    Any CBO projections that have been made re MediCare spending have consistently been blown out of the water.
    It’s almost comical to review genuine efforts to forecast the cast of this program vs. the actual costs
    It’s a system held together by ever higher taxes, higher deductibles, copays, etc. And heavily subsidized..About 40%, I think, by GENERAL REVENUES.
    That is, all of the payroll taxes, all of the Part B premiums, etc. do not cover MediCare’s costs.
    Taxpayer dollars make up the shortfall. Expanding MC for all, a common suggestion for transitioning to a single payer system, would
    …absent massive tax hikes..likely hasten the collapse of that creaky, ill-conceived, ill-managed program.
    It’s not uncommon for retired couples to pay $700-$800 in PartB, Medigap coverage, and Part D premiums.
    As I see it, a program designed to “help the elderly” has done that for a generation or two, frontloaded with good benefits at low cost to initial MediCare recipients.
    Given its Ponzi scheme characteristics, and the huge expense involved in keeping this program alive, I see expanding MC coverage to all as compounding the problem.

  2. “While eliminating state barriers for insurance carriers may well ne part of a solution, that was Trump”s entire health care reform plan.
    Trump has stated that Americans will be “so happy with his very very good health care plan.”

    So true. If Hillary and Donald both win their party’s nomination, we could very well have both candidates spend the time before November on the witness stand for various corruption trials.

    Well, that’s historic, at least.

    1. Karen S. I read about a case maybe 7-8 years ago of a middle-aged woman who received a kidney transplant.
      I believe she was both MediCare and MediCaid eligible in her circumstances.
      The ineffective “covered” drug to avoid rejection of the new kidney was on the formulary, as opposed to the more expensive drug(s) not covered.
      So her body rejects the new kidney, and MC and MediCaid pay for a another transplant.
      I think a prolonged, time consuming intervention by her physicians finally resulted in her getting the appropriate drugs after the second transplant.
      These bureacratic brick walls are an increasing problem. It”s not like it does not happen with private insurers, it’s just that massive governmental agencies with rules and regulations rivaling the tax code in size and complexity seem to have a way of building the “highest, strongest” brick walls.

  3. tnash80hotmailcom:

    Thank you for the post. I really enjoyed it. You illustrated one of the issues with passing over control of your healthcare to government.

    I recall when my terminally ill relative was on Medicaid, the bureaucrats adamantly refused to cover the liquid form of one of her medications, only the cheaper pill form. She was on a feeding tube. They got a letter from her doctor that a dissolved pill would clog her feeding tube, requiring continual surgeries to keep replacing it. Since they were administrative bureaucrats, and not doctors, the answer was still no. They wouldn’t pay for the large bandages she needed to cover her feeding tube port. It was like the worst problems of health insurance companies were encoded into Medicaid. Her mother went bankrupt paying for what Medicaid did not. Clearly, Medicaid was no panacea.

  4. steveg:

    Don’t forget that my opinion is so strong because I was hit hard and repeatedly with the Obamacare stick. I have PTOS (Post Traumatic Obamacare Syndrome.) If government has solved all my problems, I would have been honest about it.

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