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My Political Philosophy

September 29, 2009

Will the Supreme Court Allow Corporations to Buy Elections?

September 24, 2009

Mark on The Leslie Marshall Show discusses the pending case of Citizens United v. FEC before the United States Supreme Court. Congress has banned corporate contributions to Congressional campaigns since 1906, but if the Supreme Court holds that corporations have the same rights as individual American citizens to “free speech,” this will allow the floodgates to open.
Think about it. Barack Obama raised more money than any political candidate in American history:  more than $750 million from more than 1 million Americans. John McCain raised almost as much.  All political parties combined raised about $1.5 billion for American Presidential candidates.
But Exxon’s profit last year was $42 billion.  That means if Exxon would devote a paltry 5% of its profits (not its revenues, just its profits) to a Presidential candidate–a total of 2.1 billion– this one corporation could influence American elections 40% more than the grand total of every single American contributing to every single Presidential candidate and still keep 95% of its profits.
This may be what the five-member right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court vote for soon.
Allowing the single CEO of a single corporation, a “legal fiction,” to play with other people’s (his shareholders’) money and use that power to trump all 300 million Americans combined would be devastating to American democracy.
Thought Bush v. Gore was bad?  Now, in one obscure case, the Supreme Court will determine not just one President, but all future federal elections for all time.  Yikes!  And the CEO of Exxon will simply get the only vote that matters.
Might as well as pack up those voting booths….we won’t be needing them anymore.

The Mark-Levine One-Sentence Solution for Health-Care Reform

September 23, 2009

Many on the Right and even some on the Left have complained that Democratic bills for health-care reform, from Hillary Clinton’s to Barack Obama’s to those in the various Congressional Committees, are too complicated. Even John Stewart mocked the 1000-page bill.

Well, I, Mark Levine, can fix America’s health-care problems in one sentence.

And no, I’m not joking.

So now, without further ado, I present a one-sentence bill to resolve the health-care problem.

H.R. LEVINE
“Medicare for All”
Section 1: The current Medicare system shall be available to all Americans regardless of age.

That’s it!  The entire bill.  Ta-dum….

Here’s the beauty of it.

1.  Medicare is a known commodity, not some new-fangled thing the Republicans can create scare-tactics about (like “the public option” or “single-payer”).  And folks like it.  An astounding 94% of Americans on Medicare are satisfied with it.  (Poll: Suffolk University)

2.  Medicare is cheap.  My parents are both on Medicare and they pay 1/3 to 1/2 of what I do.  And I’m healthy (and relatively young).  So Medicare would help me if I could join it.

3.  Adding all of us under 65 would FIX Medicare’s financial problems.  Medicare currently takes care of the oldest and sickest among us and has a shortfall of funds.  But that’s because it charges so much less than private insurance and takes care of the most difficult health problems.  If young people joined Medicare and paid premiums, that would financially benefit Medicare because Medicare would take in more money and pay out less in health care bills (because young people, on average, are healthier than the elderly).  So I would help Medicare if I could join it.

Win-Win

When younger Americans join Medicare, they get a sharp discount in their insurance.

When younger Americans join Medicare, Medicare makes a sharp profit.

Sure it’s functionally the same thing as single-payer.  (Shhhhhhh….that’s our little secret.)  But Medicare for All helps everyone, from the elderly (who benefit from a financially-stronger Medicare that can pay for their needs) to Americans under 65 (who get cheaper insurance) to doctors, medical professionals, hospitals, and even drug companies (who get more patients, including those who are currently uninsured and underinsured because they can’t afford health care) to the insurance companies (who….ooops…guess it doesn’t benefit the insurance companies who would lose a lot of their profits.)

Oh well, 6 out of 7 ain’t bad.  Sorry insurance companies.

What do you think?

Any comments on the Mark-Levine One-Sentence Bill to Reform Health Care?

Build me a movement and I’ll run for Congress.  🙂

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers on "Medicare for All Who Want It"

September 22, 2009

Mark and Garland Nixon ask John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, about his single-payer health-care bill.
How ironic that the elderly are more opposed to “Medicare for All Who Want It” than young people! Because it is precisely young people paying into the system that would strengthen Medicare for those who have it now.
What do Canada, Australia, England, France, Germany, and Japan know that we don’t know? That single-payer is not only cheaper for everyone. It also provides better care. For everyone.

Demagogues: Getting Ordinary People to Believe Big Lies

September 21, 2009

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