Chuck Schumer shows his true Wall Street colors
Senator Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) appeared at the National Press Club to discuss the 2014 midterm election. In his speech he made some rather distressing statements about healthcare reform that makes one wonder if he is as politically apt as many thought. Or just maybe he continues to be Wall Street's Democratic hack intent on stymieing true progress for middle class America with a facade of concern.
"Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them," Senator Chuck Schumer said. "We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem, healthcare reform. ... But it wasn't the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs. Not changes in healthcare.
Chuck Schumer must understand that any statement made by a Democrat, especially one of his stature would be used as an effective talking point that could erode confidence by those being helped. In the speech Schumer continued to make statements that showed a fundamental misunderstanding of economics and the Affordable Care Act. He repeated the talking point Republicans used that stated 85% of Americans were satisfied with their healthcare insurance. He also implied that rates would have been better if the system was left alone. Worse he made it OK to have 15% of Americans suffer because healthcare reform was politically difficult.
The reality is the Affordable Care Act did not just help the 15% that were uninsured. It helped every one and was responsible for stabilizing health insurance rates. Moreover it meant that the insecurity of having insurance that would not ultimately pay or insurance that could be rescinded was gone. That helped ALL Americans, not just 15%. It also gave those who wanted to innovate the ability to leave their jobs and form new businesses as they could not get affordable insurance irrespective of pre-existing conditions.
The thought that working on progressive policies to move the economy forward would have held the Tea Party at bay is wishful thinking. Every progressive idea is deemed government overreach and as such would have been fought to the nail by the Tea Party. No other President has been able to pass healthcare reform using tactics suggested by Schumer. President Obama use his own tactic and got it done. Chuck Schumer should shut up and make it better, single payer/Medicare for All.
Today, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) used Chuck Schumer's words against Democrats. "I will start with something I never thought I would do or that I have never done before." Kevin McCarthy said. "I agree with Chuck Schumer. And I want to quote Senator Schumer when he talked about Obamacare." He then quoted Chuck Schumer verbatim. This should have been expected and it is effective.
On Sunday Governor Deval Patrick gave the best push back to Schumer's self serving statements.
Well, I respect Senator Schumer, but no, I don't agree with him. I mean, I think Americans understand the interconnectedness of a whole host of solutions that government should pay attention to. Not that they think government should solve every problem in their lives. But that government should help them help themselves. And you ask somebody who is not insured and is sick, or someone who is getting buried by healthcare-related debt, whether healthcare reform makes a difference. And they will tell you that it does make a difference.
Deval Patrick was not done. He admonished Democrats like Chuck Schumer for being spineless and unable to articulate their successes in giving Americans what they really want and not realize they received.
Well, I think it ought to be. I mean, I think Election Day was a good day for Republicans, a great day for Citizens United. And a bad day for Democrats who don't stand for anything. And when Democrats stand for something, or as I have said in the past, grow a backbone, and standup for what it is we believe, we win. Because what we believe is what the American people are ...
You know, this is a president who's presided over explosive growth in corporate profits, in stock market returns, employment that's come back strong after the worst economic collapse in a generation or two. Universal healthcare, bin Laden's removal and the end of two wars, and on and on and on.
And one problem I think that the president has is that he doesn't tell that story very well or very regularly. You know, the importance of repetition is something I had to learn. And it's not to say that everything has been solved. We've reached the promise land. But we're certainly better off than we were.
Deval Patrick would make an excellent President ready to build on progressive successes. Unfortunately certain realities make him implausible at this time.