Recently a caller called into Politics Done Right to complain that many Democrats seem to be more concerned about primarying Democrats than Republicans. I told her that a misbehaving Democrat is more dangerous than a Republican.
Outgoing Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly is a classic example of a misbehaving Democrat. Many refer to him as a centrist Democrat. He is likely either ill-informed or willfully ignorant.
Donnelly appeared on CNN and claimed that Medicare For All would lose voters in the middle of the country.
Outgoing Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly said Democrats need to be careful in promoting too many progressive ideas in red states like his because they'll "start losing the people in my state." Medicare-for-all" is a progressive stance that some Democrats worry could alienate Midwestern voters from the party going into the 2020 presidential election. It has become popular thanks to liberal leaders like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
When asked by CNN's Dana Bash on "The Lead With Jake Tapper" if Democrats could be viable without appealing to interior state votes, Donnelly replied, "I don't know how you do that." Donnelly said that during President Donald Trump's visits to Indiana in the weeks before the midterms -- in which Donnelly lost his seat -- the President made not voting for Republicans seem like a personal betrayal by voters.
"We have not made enough of a connection … that the people of my state understand culturally, we (Democrats) want to make sure you succeed," he said. "But when you talk 'Medicare-for-all' …you start losing the people in my state," Donnelly added. "When we start talking about, 'Hey, we're going to work together with the insurance companies to lower premiums,' that's what connects."
Donnelly's statement is provably false. He is at best ill-informed, willfully ignorant, or outright lying. But his false utterances would not go unanswered. Common Dreams reported the following.
The notion that an ambitious left-wing platform only resonates "on the coasts" and is not electorally viable in more conservative states has become a common trope among "moderate" Democrats, but progressives were quick to push back on Donnelly's evidence-free claim, noting that Medicare for All has high levels of support in Indiana and throughout the Midwest.
"Given that Sen. Donnelly lost saying stuff like this, perhaps the lesson is the opposite—Indianans don't want a Democrat who, like Republicans, opposes
goodpolicy," argued Ben Spielberg, co-founder of 34justice, in a tweet on Saturday.
According to the progressive policy shop Data for Progress and the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare for All polls at 55 percent support in Indiana—and many were quick to point to this data in response to Donnelly's remarks.
Recently the Intercept reported about the formation of the Partnership for America's Health Care Future, a Medical Industrial Complex's ad hoc alliance of private health care interest intent on destroying any possibility of Medicare For All.
Over the summer, leading pharmaceutical, insurance, and hospital lobbyists formed the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, an ad hoc alliance of private health interests, to curb support for expanding Medicare. The campaign, according to one planning document, is designed to “change the conversation around Medicare for All,” then “minimize the potential for this option in health care from becoming part of a national political party’s platform in 2020.”
Behind the scenes, the group attempted to sway candidates during the midterms, encouraging several of them to focus on shoring up the Affordable Care Act instead of supporting single-payer health care. The documents show that Partnership representatives spoke to the staffs of Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and received confirmation that both senators would maintain their “moderate position.” When the team met with Rep.-elect Lori Trahan, D-Mass., she said that although she does not speak about the issue, she agreed that “language around single payer should be tempered.” (None of the three politicians’ offices provided responses to inquiries from The Intercept.)
The misinformation campaign has already begun. Medical Industrial Complex lobbying arm will try to convince Americans that all the laws of math fail for health care. They will have Americans believe that having shareholders of insurance companies sit back for unearned profits, having overpaid executives, having duplicate billing, computer systems, advertising, and more which you pay with premiums is more efficient than a government just taxing and paying a bill. We have fallen for that for too long. Americans are waking up. Single-Payer Medicare For All is the only answer.