The big debate surrounding healthcare right now is the struggle against the cruel, atavistic Trumpcare bill currently sitting in the Senate like a metastasizing tumor. This is for good reason; it’s a bill that would condemn thousands of people to death by denying them access to healthcare in order to fund a tax cut for America’s billionaires. The horrors now being considered in Congress have created an atmosphere that has helped the cause of single payer healthcare to gain more and more supporters. If you were an enterprising politician, you might think that getting on board with the single payer idea might be a good way to shore up support in the year before big elections.
You might think that. Or you might be California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Render.
He’s the man who just shelved California Bill SB562, a bill which would have created a single payer healthcare system for the entire state of California. He and the toadies defending his decision say that the bill has structural problems that could have caused the system to fail. Decent concerns, which might have been solved if you had sent the bill back to committee instead of shelving it so that it can’t be debated until 2018. Somehow, this possibility escaped him. This is a state that possesses the sixth largest economy in the world, where the government pays about 70% of all healthcare costs, and the majority of the state wants single payer instituted. If there was a state where a proof-of-concept could be made for a national model for single payer, it’s California.
Despite Render holding back this system from even seeing the Sate Assembly floor (where his party holds a supermajority), he keeps loudly proclaiming his support for single payer. Only one problem with that though: campaign and political donations are public information.
Render himself has received a whopping $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies and $50,000 from health insurance companies over the course of his political career. Companies that would lose profits were a single payer system installed in the state. The state Democratic party was given similarly exorbitant amounts of money from these same industries.
It’s plain and simple to anyone familiar with how the modern Democratic party operates how the rest of this will go down; these same politicians that worked to ensure that this bill doesn’t see the Assembly are going to dangle it in front of the voters as incentive to vote for them in 2018, they’re reelected because it’s California, and then they’ll either completely ignore it or push out some malformed compromise bill like Obamacare but somehow more horrible. All of this happens while real people face actual harm due to the healthcare bill pushed by Congressional Republicans. These politicians are more willing to appease their donors and corporate backers than they are willing to help people from a potential disaster
Single payer is the future. It’s a system that the majority of Americans want and it will be able to cover more people for less money than we currently spend right now. Healthcare is a human right, not a commodity to be bought and sold. The more that Dems continue to waffle and squirm on the issue, the more likely it is that we’ll be seeing a second Trump administration come 2020.