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Sunday, September 26, 2021

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UncategorizedBig rally for single-payer health care

Big rally for single-payer health care

Hundreds march in Oakland for “Medicare for all”

A large and energetic crowd gathered in front of Oakland City Hall
A large and energetic crowd gathered in front of Oakland City Hall

By Tim Redmond

JULY 30, 2015 — Hundreds of people filled Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland today as part of what will be a growing campaign to bring single-payer healthcare to California.

It was billed as a 50th birthday celebration for Medicare, but it was also a pep rally for a move to get the private insurance companies out of the health-care business.

The weather was perfect, the crowd was festive .. and the momentum has begun.

Hene Kelly got the crowd warmed up
Hene Kelly got the crowd warmed up

MC Tom Ammiano kept things serious -- and fun
MC Tom Ammiano kept things serious — and fun

48hillsmedicarejovanka
Jovanka Beckles came from Richmond, where she is on the City Council

Dolores Huerta got the crowd saying that we have the power to demand change
Dolores Huerta got the crowd saying that we have the power to demand change

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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20 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, because holding rallies where everyone is photographed wearing their colored shirts behind their banners is no substitute for organizing and mobilizing enough people to make their demands political reality.

  2. Yes, if they’d just held the protest in the evening, then the Republicans would embrace socialism for everyone, not the just crony capitalists that purchased their party.

  3. A protest in Oakland in the evening instead would not materially increase the probability that a GOP-dominated Congress would suddenly start implementing socialist policies.

  4. Seems to me the best shot you have at achieving your socialist dream is in another very different nation.

    American voters have too much sense to support your view that “everyone can have free everything simply by taxing the rich”.

    And if you think that free healthcare would not increase demand, then your economic knowledge would appear to be deeply flawed.

  5. Funny thing, Sam. I know people who are moving to Canada in order to get affordable health care.

    “Infinite demand?” No comment necessary here.

    Here is my cost analysis: expropriate the rich.

  6. Totally free healthcare leads to infinite demand. And to reduced supply as the doctors and hospitals that don’t want to get paid lower government rates leave the system.

    Result? Waiting lists like we see in Canada, the UK and so on. Why is Canada sending many of their patients to the US for treatment? Because it is quicker and better, and even cheaper in many cases.

    There is no electoral mandate for free healthcare for all, even given the voters’ willingness to believe every false prophet who thinks that can have free everything.

    And, crucially, where is your cost analysis?

  7. OK, so you cannot answer my questions then?

    Unless you can cost out your grand proposal and explain exactly where the money is coming from, you might as well promise everyone a free pony.

    Provide help to those who need it, but not to everyone who doesn’t.

  8. Medicare helps many seniors get medical care, but is a lousy model for a national or state-by-state medical care system. Medicare requires seniors to pay a monthly premium, and covers only part of medical costs. Without additional insurance, seniors can easily be priced out of the market for necessary medical care.

    Both “Medicare for All” and “single-payer” are only partial remedies. What we really need is free medical care for all. If they can do it in Cuba – and they do – we can do it here. Of course they had to expropriate the capitalists in Cuba first.

  9. Interesting perspective. My recollection was that Medicare was sold as a way to protect impoverished seniors. In any event, it has set the template for what could become a California, state-by-state, or national medicare for all system. We very nearly had a public option under the ACA. My suspicion is that the big insurance industries killed it because they couldn’t compete.

  10. Clearly Frobish has never had to struggle to get health care, never had to rely on MediCare or MediCal. Frobish, you are the one living a fairy tale life.

  11. Why would you want to give taxpayer-funded free healthcare to the majority who can currently afford healthcare through their work and/or insurance?

    Where is the justification for giving a very expensive service to everyone rather than just seniors and the poor, who are already covered by MediCare and MediCaid? Even the Democrats rejected that when they controlled Congress.

    And how much higher would taxes have to be to pay for your fairy tale?

  12. Let’s see, Steve, what time of day was the event held? For the Left, which celebrates the Working Class, they sure like to hold their dog and pony shows when The Working Class is at, you know, work.

    Of course, unions don’t get grants, they make claims directly on the general fund and are in general hemorrhaging membership across the board. But it is so important to nobody that union X, Y or Z is holding up their sign. Does that sign-holding appeal gain traction amongst unaffiliated working people? Amongst policy makers? Amongst anyone but the union operatives?

    Perhaps they are losing support because they don’t represent their membership particularly well in the public sector workplace, hold events when working folks are, you know, working, and supplant rallys and demonstrations for the kind of grassroots organizing that people long since dead did that built the fucking unions three generations ago.

    We were led off of a cliff by labor when it came to Obama and the ACA. Labor then got screwed by Obama when he declined to move card check and sat on his hands while Scott Walker eviscerated public sector unions in Wisconsin. Yet another rally and demonstration is going to do the trick. Sure beats labor appealing to unorganized working people by organizing folks to participate in their political future.

    Do you have a job where you have to be in a certain workplace for a certain amount of time in order to pay your life freight?

  13. I assume you weren’t there because grassroots organizing was part of the program. And it was mostly organized by unions who don’t need grants – they have dues paying members.

  14. Unfortunately this is a political non-starter. Probably even here in California. Just look at the enormous collective tantrum caused by the ACA.

  15. Everyone got to hold up their signs.

    Photographs were taken of people holding up signs.

    Photographs will be sent to grant funders to prove that their money is doing something.

    We end up no closer to health care justice than before.

    Festive events are no substitute for grassroots organizing.

  16. The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, but single-payer would be much better. About 20% of the US Economy is in the healthcare sector, twice the OECD average. But we have worse outcomes in many cases.

    Unfortunately, our pay-to-play political system and systemic corruption will prevent us from adopting a single-payer system, at least for the time being.

  17. The creation of Medicare — national medical care for seniors only — was a compromise accepted by liberals who had agitated for years for national medical care for all. Unfortunately, that compromise made the battle for national medical care all that much more difficult, as it removed the biggest constituency for national medical care, namely seniors, from the front lines of the battle. Many seniors are still disengaged from this fight, preferring not to risk the possibility that a new national medical care system would disrupt what they have. Many seniors thus became opponents of even the limited expansion of medical care under Obamacare.

    Of course, we should continue to agitate, organize and fight for national medical care for all (which is NOT synonymous with “single-payer” health care). But we need to keep our eyes wide open and recognize that there are huge profits being made by the medical and insurance industries that the capitalist class will fight tooth and nail to preserve. It will take much more than a few rallies and speeches by liberals and progressives to win.

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