Accuracy in Media

One topic of conversation in the Republican race for the White House has been whether President Obama has been incompetent, or actually knows what he’s doing. On the matter of Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare, self-declared socialist Professor Gerald Friedman seems to agree with conservatives that it can’t and won’t work. Friedman, a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “Medicare for All” single-payer plan, says that Obama and his advisers knew that the ACA was a “bad idea” that would not control costs, and that a total federal takeover of the health care system was inevitable.

The problem with a federal takeover of health care is that it would bankrupt the U.S., leading to left-wing demands for even more federal control. This is how socialism is coming to America.

More than two years ago, in an article entitled, “A Century and Counting: The Campaign for National Health Insurance,” Friedman wrote, “After a century of struggle, the ACA commits the United States to providing universal access to health care. This is a great achievement, one to be treasured and nurtured. Now the real fight begins, to turn this commitment into a reality that the ACA itself cannot produce. Barack Obama was right the first time: only a single-payer program can provide universal coverage, and only a single-payer program can control costs. The ACA may be the last bad idea that Americans try; after it fails, we will finally do the right thing: single-payer health insurance.”

A “single-payer” plan means the federal government would abolish the private health insurance market and eliminate private health insurance companies. “Private plans divert health care spending into channels that do nothing to actually deliver health care, such as advertising and profit,” argues Friedman.

Speaking to the Illinois AFL-CIO on June 30, 2003, Obama said, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

I asked Friedman, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), if he thinks Obama knew that the ACA wouldn’t work when he proposed it as President. He said, “It depends on what you mean by work, I suppose.” He added, “I’m sure that Obama knew—and economists around him knew—that this program, the Affordable Care Act, would not control costs.”

Obama said his plan would cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year. Since then, health premiums have climbed an average of $4,865 for family plans.

Trudy Lieberman, past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists and an adjunct professor of public health at the CUNY School of Public Health, says that while Obama is still telling Americans that the ACA provides “affordable, portable security for you and your loved ones,” the news coming from Ohio and Colorado is telling a different story: “one of less security and unaffordable insurance.” Lieberman, a contributor to the Remaking Health Care blog of the Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, says that in Colorado, for example, premiums “always on the high side, are now out-of-reach.” She notes, “Health insurance premiums are as high as mortgage payments, sometimes exceeding $2,000 a month.”

Dr. Tracy C. Miller, an associate professor of economics at Grove City College and fellow for economic theory and policy with The Center for Vision & Values, had predicted this kind of outcome. Among other problems, he wrote, “Premiums will rise to reflect the higher health care costs of those who purchase insurance, making insurance too costly for people with good health who do not qualify for government subsidies.” He added that rising costs could be addressed through government-imposed rationing. However, he said, “Expanding access to health care without cost control will further hasten the bankruptcy of the U.S. government. If that happens, fewer people will have access to health care than was the case even before Congress passed the ACA. If the ACA’s provisions to expand access to health care survive, don’t be surprised if the U.S. government eventually faces a sovereign debt crisis similar to what Greece is now facing.”

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) was in on the deception. He told the Las Vegas PBS program, Nevada Week in Review, that the ACA was “a step” toward a single-payer system. “Reid said he thinks the country has to ‘work our way past’ insurance-based health care,” the Las Vegas Sun reported. “What we’ve done with Obamacare,” Reid said, “is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever.”

The costs will keep rising, especially under the single-payer plan. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says that Sanders’ proposed offsets to pay for his $14 trillion program “would cover only three-quarters of his claimed cost, leaving a $3 trillion shortfall over ten years.”

Sanders calls his single-payer plan “Medicare for All,” arguing that Medicare “has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over the age of 65.” Dr. Jane Orient, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, counters, “What will Sanders do about the more-than-$40 trillion in promises Medicare has already made without provision for the revenue to pay for them?” Referring to Sanders’ single-payer plan, she added, “What does he imagine will happen when he adds on the demands of the entire rest of the population, and removes any brakes on utilization like co-pays and deductibles?”

Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told me that Sanders has not offered full-blown socialist proposals, only “New Deal liberalism.”

But the DSA, which endorses Sanders, goes far beyond “New Deal liberalism” and the nationalization of the health insurance industry. DSA National Political Committee member David Green has written, “Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production.”

This is a complete socialist takeover. By accident or design? We report, you decide.




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Comments

  • RMThoughts

    If Cliff were to take the time to read history, he would see the National bankruptcy and end of Empires comes through two things; endless wars that suck treasuries dry. Cliff’s globalist neocons have put the US into cycles of endless wars around the globe to maintain America’s hegemony. Second, they have transferred our industrial base to China and other cheap labor markets draining our country through massive trade deficit and impoverishing the American worker. That is what is going to bankrupt America .

  • rivahmitch

    Wasn’t that the purpose behind it in the first place?.. just a part of “overwhelming the system”.

  • jeremyrnr

    We could do the thing we never tried…socialists. Have an open pricing competitive capitalists system where hospitals and doctors compete on price and services. Socialists always want to fix a government mess with a bigger government mess of a program. These “free money” programs on top of enless regulation, monopolistic hospital setup, lawyers running rampant and lack of doctors because of the mess is only raising prices. The answer isn’t more government intervention, that is the problem
    How do you propose single payer is going to cut costs? If you aren’t making the government tax money you are a problem.

  • jeremyrnr

    If you want a preview of our savior single payer take a look at the VA. People are dying waiting months for an appointment, if they even bother to call them back for one.

  • jeremyrnr

    Don’t forget the highest wage cost per worker in the world. How do you think democrats are destroying the middle class? Chasing jobs out of the country and raising taxes on those left. Do you like how the democrats are spending your healthcare money (or taxes) people?

  • RMThoughts

    They are only spending the money the GOP gave them in the budget. We live in a one party state. One coin/One party, one side of the coin, Dems, other side GOP. The corporate globaist elite who fund the GOP want Obamacare as much as the corporate globalist elites who fund the Democrats.

  • Jerry

    I got an idea,Cut loose the insurance companies. So I can buy my insurance anywhere, Give America back its 40 hour work week. Keep the government out of it. Then the Government can put anyone that can’t get insurance for what ever reason on Medicaid. The prices will adjust automatically, because of the competition. This way employers can go back to helping insure workers.

  • MARYSWEET

    The only reason obama came up with obamacare is to get control of our healthcare and to bankrupt America. That is why he spends as fast as he can to get our debt out of control. obama hates America and wants to destroy us in every aspect, politically, economically, overload of illegal immigrants, muslim refugees and anything else he can think of.

  • BakkenBill

    I find it absolutely astonishing that anyone Past the 6th grade could even begin to think this would work. Not to mention the socialistic society it will eventually create here in the U.S.
    With all of the immigration and health care for illegals we are broke. Printing more paper money won’t help.
    But consider this, What if our country’s financial state is in such disrepair that the government Has to take in all of these refugees by order of whomever now owns our country? Perhaps it’s been smoke and mirrors for years, our illusion of freedom.
    The main bottom line question is “How much more will we as a nation put up with from this run amuck government?” Riddle me this Batman.

    God Help us.

  • Ted

    Well, Bush and Cheney willfully pissed away $3 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan … with a couple trillion more to come in providing ongoing medical care for those military who were severely wounded … plus their other G.I. benefits.

    The ACA didn’t piss away any money (and kill tens of thousands … if not hundreds of thousands including foreign national civilians). Healthcare insurance was rising 18% annually BEFORE the ACA came into being … and any rate increases now are being generated by the insurance companies and their whining about losing their regular cop-out … their historical refusal to provide coverage for “pre-existing conditions”. (And, as the man said, for those people with pre-existing conditions … their option was simply to die!)

  • Ted

    Why not look at France, England, Germany, Canada … etc. ???

  • Ted

    Single-payer cuts costs because the government is the ONLY buyer … and if healthcare providers want to stay in that business, they have to organize their operations and cost structures to exist within the strictures required by that single buyer … the government … rather than pricing based on feathering their own nests and the nests of their shareholders.

  • Ted

    Right on!

    Run amok capitalism and globalism are what’s killing this country. At least the majority of the money spent on healthcare in this country stays in this country!

  • Ted

    The middle class got to be the middle class because of a rising stream of income, a continully developing stream of better-and-better paying jobs … and unions! Otherwise, workers would be making the same $9 per week they were making during the last heyday of The Robber Barons … while remaining the “lower” class to the feudal masters’ “Lord of the Manor” status!

  • john robel

    Yup, and Both political parties have bent us over. I somehow resent it more from the GOP, I expect it from the commie dems.

  • Rich Schmidt

    People with life threatening conditions in single payer (socialist) health care countries come here for timely/effective medical procedures and surgery. If they can afford it. Otherwise they wait and suffer in equality.

  • TopAssistant

    America is now $19 trillion dollars in debt and if we could find politicians with the guts to pay $10 million each day towards the debt how long would it take to pay the debt?

    I asked two of my grandkids to figure it out; will you do the same with your kids and grandkids? They figured it will take 5,219 years to pay this off debt off not counting interest and additional borrowing. I then asked them if we could ever pay this off! The look on their faces was priceless.

    What happens when America goes bankrupt? As my dad told me when I graduated from high school in 1961…When you have more money going out than you have coming in you have a problem! American has a problem and that is we have allowed our politicians all levels of government to utilize our federal tax dollars to be used to buy your votes. They call it “bringing home the bacon” thus they buy you.

    Are they correct?

    What does it cost annually for each illegal alien?

  • RMThoughts

    America as we know it is over as the large sectors of the world are abandoning the dollar as their reserve currency and the petro-dollar. We only survive by our ability to print money and export the consequences to the rest of the world.

  • RMThoughts

    What your saying then is we need a two tiered system for basic care for those who can’t afford advanced care in the private sector. Some very wise Godly man said “The poor you will always have you”.

  • RMThoughts

    We can let the people die in the socialist system or let the people who can’t afford care or premiums, or have pre-existing condition, die in the crony capitalist system. Both systems are broken.

  • RMThoughts

    The important thing is it can push the cost of healthcare of the uninsured and low wage workers to the taxpayer and increase corporate earnings.

  • RMThoughts

    The GOP and the Dems both support AHA aka Obamacare — their corporate sponsors demand it.

  • RMThoughts

    Great idea. Two tiered. Basic care for the poor, Advanced care for those who can afford it.

  • Rich Schmidt

    Not exactly. If we do so lower tier will necessarily mean minimal care.
    I have advocated a different two part Health care system elsewhere.
    One for routine illness, health maintenance and injuries. Private and competitive.
    Another for life threatening and end of life medical care which is where all the expense lies but is utilized infrequently by each subscriber. This can be pooled in the same msnner as Medicare but would not be subject to as much fraud.

  • MARYSWEET

    Well, when you consider the GOP establishment are all rinos I have to agree with you. They worked together like they were all in the same party instead of opposing parties. They were looking out for themselves, their power and their bank accounts.

  • terry1956

    Large scale central planning and monopolies do not work, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely so it is a must for the sake of our country that everything dealing with health care in the states involving US citizens be totally removed from the US federal government except the must for US troops.
    Also the US must no longer have any dealings with the UN including the WHO, the WTO,NAFTA,CAFTA, IMF, World Bank, Bank of international Settlement,NATO or any other foreign entanglement that takes away from US Sovereignty , the Sovereignty of 50 States and the Sovereignty of Individual US citizens in the states.
    It is best that all federal debt and valid long term obligations such as to Vets, Military Retirement and to those who paid the federal payroll tax for 10 or more years be passed to the 50 individual states.
    Also it is best to eliminate the US Department of Transportation and the US Postal service passing those to the individual 50 states.
    Doing the above will reduce the federal budget by two thirds or more going by the budget since 2010 and the CBO projections to 2025.
    In other words for fiscal year 2017 instead of a federal budget of around 3.7 trillion dollars it would be 700 billion or around 4% of GDP instead of over 19% with around 600 billion of that 700 billion going for defense or around 85% of the federal budget instead of only around 16% and growing to less than 15% by 2025.
    Actually the DOD budget should be increased by at least 50% to 900 billion which still would make the federal budget only around 1 trillion dollars with DOD making up 90% of the federal budget.

  • terry1956

    All that 19 trillion is not what is called debt held by the public, the federal reserve and other federal government sectors hold a big percentage but lets say 19 trillion or better yet 25 trillion because that very well may be what will be the debt not held by the federal government by the time we start actually paying the debt off.
    25 trillion divided by 30 years equals roughly 833.4 billion a year in principle payment not counting interest payments.
    Divided by 100 years on the other hand the principle payment would only be 250 billion per year.
    The projection in the per capita GDP for 2016 is for around 56,000 dollars so with an average annual growth of only a modest 5% in real ( 2016 dollars) per capita GDP in 12 years would be over 100,000 dollars.
    833.4 billion would today be roughly around 2,604 dollars per capita or a bit under 4.7% of per capita GDP while 250 billion would be roughly 781 dollars per capita or under 1.4% of per capita GDP.
    With a real per capita GDP in 12 years of 100,000 dollars and if the population is 335 million then the real GDP will be 33.5 trillion dollars in 2016 dollars and 833.4 billion under 2.5% of real GDP and the 250 billion would be just a bit over 0.7% of real GDP.
    With such modest or higher average real growth in per capita GDP plus passing the obligations to the state governments and them passing it to the local level except for foreign holdings the debt would be much easier to negotiate and pay off early.

  • terry1956

    No matter what wars the US was involved with since the end of world war 2 or if they were necessary the fact is since 1950 defense and related federal spending has not caused a penny of red ink in the federal budget thus by 1980 the federal debt could have been paid in full.
    Since 1950 the federal government in every year has had more than enough tax revenue to pay for defense spending plus paying off the debt, plus paying for basic founder’s intent other spending without the use of the federal payroll tax ( social security/ medicare/ unemployment).
    Even today defense and other Founder’s intent federal spending amounts to only around 700 billion dollars or 19% of the federal budget and a tax with an average rate of less than 10% on Foreign transactions could cover that thus all of the other important spending and paying the federal debt passed to the individual 50 states.
    Foreign Transactions would be made up of 3.7 trillion in imported goods, services and income, 3.2 trillion in exports of goods, services and income plus I add 800 billion in the gross income of Foreigners living in the US.
    Together that would total 7.7 trillion dollars and 9.1% of that is over 700 billion.

  • terry1956

    globalism is the problem not capital but in fact lack of capital is the problem. Foreign Trade is not free since the proper US legal system is better than any of the foreign nations and far superior to nations under third world style thinking nations such as Red China.
    Foreigners is the real reason we need the federal government so justly and logically when possible the cost of the federal government should be bore by transactions with foreigners and when not entirely possible as much as possible.
    If the cost of the US DOD is 690 billion dollars a year that would be an average of 100 dollars per capita to the population of the world who are not US citizens but if US citizens have to pay say 300 billion through internal transactions with US citizens of that then that is 1000 dollars per US citizen or 10 times what the cost per foreigner would be per capita in the world.
    If internal US citizen transactions was the only source of revenue to fund the 690 billion dollar DOD budget that would be 2,300 per US citizen.
    The 100 dollars per capita per US citizen would be just 30 billion dollars so to be just the average cost to Foreigners around the world to fund the US DOD should be an average maximum of 2,300 dollars or a total of over 15.8 trillion dollars on the 6.9 billion foreigners in the world but we can not get that nor do we need it although maybe we do need 1.58 trillion to fund the US DOD.
    Total Foreign transactions in the US is over 7.7 trillion so an average of 9% of that would be equal to the 690 billion DOD budget but of course the cost should not be bore equally with all foreign transactions or all foreign nations, Red China and Mexico are a bigger security risk to the US than Canada and Ireland plus the legal cultures and compliance cost with those legal cultures are much closer to the proper legal culture in the US and the compliance cost of that legal culture than the far far inferior legal culture in Red China and Mexico so the import taxes and other customs duties should reflect that.
    Hamilton, Ross Perot andCalvin Coolidge were far more right on Foreign trade and Coolidge on immigration( only those who really values the proper American legal culture) than Bill Clinton, GW Bush and Obama
    Hilaire Belloc in the ” Servile State” got it more right than Adams Smith in the Wealth of Nations and totally more right than Marx ” Capital”.
    The authors of the Capitalist Mainfesto Adler and Keslo got a lot right and Marx’s Communist Manifesto so totally wrong athough Adler andKeslo went wrong in recommending so much federal subsidy of individual and family capital accumulation.
    Total assets in the US not counting government assets is over 100 trillion dollars that would average over a million dollars per family of 4 but the thing is the vast majority of familes have no where near that and the assets of those who have more and much more should not be taken to give to those who don’t but assets should be increased so that every family could have a million or more in not only assets but net assets.
    Net assets could besides stocks and unimproved real estate be in the internal household production of the family.
    If the average net asset of a household below the median level was valued in 2016 federal reserve dollars at 10 million and the average real return was only 1% that would be an average income for the household in 2016 dollars of 100,000 a year.
    With an average real return of 2% the 100,000 a year could be had for 5 million in assets.
    With a 5% real return the 100,000 a year could be had for 2 million.
    When goods and services goes down in price because of increases in productivity, quality and the value of currency then real returns can actually be higher than nominal returns.
    For example if a nominal return is 2% but the currency loses 2% of its value through inflation then the real return is zero but on the other hand if the value of the currency increases by 3% and the nominal return on the assets is 2% then the real return is 5%.

  • terry1956

    10 dollars a week in 1890 was equal to half an ounce of gold or about 600 federal reserve dollars today. So 9 dollars a week was equal to about 540 federal reserve dollars a week today
    When Coolidge was president the average wage was around 20 dollars a week or an ounce of gold a week equal to around 1,200 federal reserve dollars a week or 62,400 a year today.
    Unemployment was under 2% when Coolidge was president.
    Not long after central planner Hoover took office the stock market crashed, unemployment went through the roof and Hoover’s internal interventions and increases in internal taxes made it worse.
    Under FDR things did not improve much until 9 years later in 1942 durning WW2 when most of the men were employed in the Miltary.
    FDR also made it worse long term for American workers by violating the property rights of owners and the first amendment freedom of association( freedom of assembly and association is the same thing) rights of owners and workers who did not want union representation or be represented by the union that a majority of the employees wanted even just a simple majority.
    Unions were better off for workers and America when they did not have un American unconstitutional illegal privileges.
    Most of them not ran by the Fabian style socialist,fascist communist or the do gooder A hole control freak Progessives on the Left or the Right ( like TR) also were against the government and or employer taking control of the members health care giving a rational reason that the members knew better what was best for them than either the government or employer.

  • terry1956

    Good point and politicians have come to favor fascism over socialism although it seems they would have more power ( which is what a politician craves) with socialism or the central government owning the means of production but actually they are better off with Fascism because although they lose a little direct power they gain in being able to blame the private sector while controlling it plus also gain with investments because they could not invest in a centralized socialist system and the bit of competition they allow they allow under Fascism rather is a bit more efficient than Socialism which makes more of the people better off than under Socialism plus the politicians investments gain because of the little bit of competition and because of the insider info of the politicians who can gain through investing on not only calls but also puts and naked shorts.
    What Mark Twain said in 1890 is even more True today, Congress is Americas only Native criminal class.

  • terry1956

    Good points except towards the last which is a bad idea.
    Keep the federal government totally out of it.
    As far as my state and county goes keep them out of it also.
    If anything turn the county hospitals and the state university hospitals over to the US citizens who live in that county.
    In fact turn over ownership of the state universities and state colleges to the US citizens in that county as a private Co-op.
    Turn over the TVA, the national parks, the national forest, the state parks and the state forest to the county governments.
    The same with all other federal land and buildings in Tennessee not being used by the US military or the Cherokee people.
    Split the Great Smoky Mt into three parts with part going to the counties in Tennessee, a bigger part going to the counties in North Carolina and the largest part going to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.
    Turn over the Eastern Band of the Cherokee reservation totally to the Cherokee and other US citizens who live there, end the BIA.
    Turn over the VA hospitals to the Vets who live in that state and the local VA clinics to the Vets who live in that local area.

  • terry1956

    Actually it is Congress who still is the ruling class in the US so the corporations still take orders from Americas only native criminal class.
    While the president and the Supreme Court Judges are also members o the ruling class they are out numbered by congress and congress can removed them from office. Unlike the president Congress has no term limits, the two party system favors incumbents in Congress and with electronic voting and same day registration elections are easier to rig these days, likely another reason Rubio or Bush or Kasich or Clinton will be our next president rather than Cruz, Carson, Trump or Sanders.
    Now yes the International Chamber of Commerce and one of its top members the US Chamber of Commerce wants to rule the world which is the main reason they were the first private group to be the first UN NGO advisor ( a Soviet Union backed international union group was the second) but the ICC and the Business round table has not gained enough power yet so in the US they are still taking orders from Congress which also wants to rule the world, in Europe for the most part they are still taking orders from the EU parliament and EU bureaucrats, in Red China they are still taking orders from the Chinese Communist Party and in Russia they are still taking order from Putin and what used to be known as the KGB.
    You see those others including Congress is competing to rule the world with each other and the ICC.
    I’m not saying every Chamber member, every member of Congress, ever member of the EU staff approves or even knows about the goals of its leaders, very possibly they don’t including most members of congress who very well may be split between those who go out of their way to keep from knowing and those who are just useful idiots to their party leaders press.
    As far as most Business chamber members including most sizeable corporations ( medium to smaller large cap) they have no idea of the evils of the ICC.

  • Jerry

    Congress and Senate have oversight of Insurance Companies, agreements can be made to make sure these people have better healthcare with the insurance policies Government will be issuing out. It would depend on each and every individual and their medical cases, If their working, How much money they contribute to their own health. After all people are responsible for them selves. Not the government

  • Jerry

    He is a psycho path simple answer, and yes he knows what he’s doing

  • TopAssistant

    So who is going to do it?

  • IronChefSandwiches

    Obamacare was a compromise. It was necessary because the GOP (and several Democrats) are in the pocket of the health care insurance industry. Single-payer is the only viable option and this has been known for over 2 decades. Thanks to the GOP, we have to take baby steps to get to where we need to go.

    Instead of blaming the president for trying to do SOMETHING to get us out of the mess YOU caused, look in the fricking mirror. For ONCE.

  • rvborgh

    The US national debt (bonds) replaced gold as the backing for currency in this country. It is not designed to be paid back since it serves as the base money for all the bank credit that circulates in this country. If you paid back all the bonds… there would be no money aside from coins circulating…

    The best that can be hoped for (with this existing fiat money system)… is that the value of each dollars in terms of goods and services created in this country that can be bought… stays approximately the same.

  • smithmm

    Every other industrialized country offers government-sponsored healthcare to all citizens. There is a reason and it is that non-profit healthcare is more affordable and single-payer systems negotiate better deals for citizens.