Monday, July 31, 2017

Medicare for all ~ @BernieSanders

Friends of Bernie Sanders

Thanks so much for your ongoing support.
Let me take this opportunity to give you an update as to what's been happening in recent weeks.
As you all know, the disastrous Republican "health care" proposals have, for the moment at least, been defeated. They were defeated because millions of Americans stood up and fought back. They made phone calls and sent emails, letting members of Congress know how they felt. They got their friends involved in the struggle by utilizing social media. They attended town hall meetings. They went to rallies, including some that I attended in Michigan, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, West Virginia, Ohio, Utah, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
And in poll after poll, an overwhelming majority of the American people were absolutely clear about their opposition to these destructive plans:
No. We will not be throwing 32 million, 23 million, 22 million or 16 million Americans off of health insurance in order to give tax breaks to the rich and large corporations, and to further the right wing extremist ideology of the Koch brothers.
No. We will not be cutting Medicaid by $800 billion, raising premiums for older workers, defunding Planned Parenthood and making it almost impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to get affordable insurance.
Needless to say, while we have won at least a temporary victory by defeating horrific Republican proposals, that is not good enough. We need to go on the offensive, not simply remain in a defensive posture.
The status quo is not satisfactory. Too many Americans continue to have no health insurance. Too many are paying premiums, deductibles and co-payments that are much too high. Too many cannot afford the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs they need. Too many cannot gain access to high quality primary health care or dental care, even when they have insurance. Our goal is not complicated, and it is not radical. It is to have the United States join every other industrialized country on earth in guaranteeing health care for all. Health care must not be considered as a privilege or a commodity. It is a human right to which every man, woman and child is entitled.
Our goal is to create a rational, cost-effective health care system. Today in the United States, we are spending almost $10,000 a year per person on health care. This is absurd and unsustainable. We must not continue a system which is, by far, the most expensive, wasteful and bureaucratic in the world.
Our goal is to put health care dollars into disease prevention and the provision of health care, not insurance company profits, not outrageous salaries for health industry CEOs, not advertising, not billing, not lobbying or campaign contributions.
Our goal is to move this country to a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.
Let me be clear. This will be an enormously difficult and prolonged struggle, and one which will require the efforts of tens of millions of Americans in every state in this country. It will, in fact, require a political revolution in which the American people participate in the political process in a way that we have not seen in the recent history of our democracy.
In order to pass a Medicare-for-all, single payer system we will be taking on the most powerful special interests in the country: Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the corporate media, the Republican Party and the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. In opposition to our efforts there will be a never-ending barrage of TV ads, editorials, political attacks and lies.
If we are going to be successful in this struggle, we have got to be smart – very smart. Not only do we need strong legislation (which I will be offering shortly and an outline of which I will be sending to you), but we need an unprecedented organizing and educational campaign.
How do we counter the lies and distortions against Medicare-for-all that is sure to come? How do we make certain that all of us – men and women, gay and straight, black, white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American -– are in this struggle together? How do we bring young and healthy people to stand alongside the elderly, the sick and the poor?
The battle that we are undertaking is enormous and unprecedented in the modern history of our country. Please send us your ideas as to how we can best go forward. Please give us your vision of what a humane and rational health care system looks like. Please share your experiences with the current system. Please help us map out an effective political strategy.
We are in this together. We need everyone's ideas.
Thanks again for your support and all that you are doing.
In solidarity,

Paid for by Friends of Bernie Sanders
PO BOX 391, Burlington, VT 05402

Friday, July 28, 2017

Message from the American Medical Association

Early this morning the so-called "skinny" or partial ACA repeal package was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 49-51. Thanks in large part to the countless calls, emails and social media posts from advocates just like you, the Senate narrowly averted passing legislation that would have cut access to quality, affordable care.

This is not the end of the process. Hearings and bipartisan discussions about legislation to stabilize the individual market are anticipated when Congress returns from the August recess. Much work remains to be done to address problems and gaps in our health care system.

We greatly appreciate your partnership and your continued engagement with the AMA to improve the health of the nation.

25 Massachusetts Ave. NW | Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20001 Copyright © 2016, American Medical Association

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The election fraud commission is the fraud ~ @RevJJackson

The 'voter fraud' commission itself is fraudulent
July 25, 2017

Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach (left) and Vice President Mike Pence, attend the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on July 19 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
There’s a branch in philosophy called epistemology that deals with the theory of knowledge. How do we know what we know? How do we know what is true? What is believable? And what are the criteria we use to tell whether something is true or not? Considering his constant refrain of “fake news,” maybe President Donald Trump should enroll in such a course.
Why? Because he’s focusing on issues and creating entities that don’t correspond to real problems. Trump is guilty of not knowing the different between real problems and fake problems.
For example, consumer fraud is real, yet Trump is attempting to gut or eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. By contrast, voter fraud is virtually nonexistent, according to all credible studies, but he has put together a so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to find it.
How should we judge whether his voter fraud commission is legitimate or not? Using reason is a good way to start.
First, consider motive. What’s the purpose of establishing the commission?
Trump has argued that our state-based election systems are full of voter fraud. He believes it’s why he lost the popular vote. However, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, those who oversee the election process, have disputed his claim by affirming their voter registration rolls are sound, elections are fairly run and vote counts are accurate.
As a result of his view, many believe the commission was established to “prove” that Trump is right, that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes because there were up to 5 million illegal votes cast for Clinton.
Second, look at actions. The commission’s first act was to send a letter to all 50 secretaries of state, plus the District of Columbia, requesting voter data on every American, including such sensitive personal information as home address, party affiliation, age, voting history, military status, criminal record (if any) and partial Social Security numbers. Most states refused to comply, objecting to sending it over nonsecure connections without the ability to protect it. Others had concerns about centralizing such information, and there was no clearly stated purpose of how the information would be used. Some feared the commission would use “crosscheck,” a system with a history of carelessly matching voters’ names between states and deleting one as a duplicate.
The Justice Department also sent a letter demanding to know how states were going to “clean up” their voting lists — code for deleting voters, a practice used in the past in racially discriminatory ways.
Third, look at the commission’s composition, its members’ histories and their orientation with respect to voting rights. Currently there are 10 members, six Republicans and four Democrats. Vice President Mike Pence is the chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the co-chair.
The commission’s members make up a rogues gallery and a dream team of voter suppression. Prior to becoming vice president, Mike Pence was governor of Indiana and used “voter fraud” to support a statewide crackdown on registering African Americans. Pence supported the 2005 Supreme Court decision that found an Indiana voter ID law constitutional. He supports Trump’s false claim that millions voted illegally.
Kris Kobach is known as the “King of Voter Suppression,” a reputation he has earned by disenfranchising one in seven Kansans and by spreading his crosscheck system to states nationwide.
Another Republican commission member, Ohio’s former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, shortchanged African-American voting sites of an adequate number of voting machines, resulting in long lines. He also tried to disenfranchise voters by insisting that all voter registration forms be rejected if they were submitted on paper thinner than a postcard. He was the subject of 14 lawsuits regarding election irregularities.
Republican commission member Hans von Spakovsky was a Justice Department official in the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush and strongly argued against reauthorizing the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Connie Lawson, Indiana’s secretary of state, is proud of having co-written her state’s voter ID law that spread nationwide, even though the law has since suffered federal judicial defeats in Texas and Wisconsin (2011), and in North Carolina and North Dakota (2013).
Finally, while the commission’s goals have not been clearly stated, it seems obvious the real purpose of the commission is twofold: to validate Trump’s claim he would have won the popular vote in 2016 if not for illegal voters, and to lay the groundwork for nationalizing voter suppression legislation, making it more difficult for people of color, women, workers, young people, seniors and the disabled — traditional Democratic constituencies — to vote.
Conclusion? The fraud commission is fraudulent!

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