Harry Reid got many Progressives up in arms as he left the impression that Elizabeth Warren is not as Progressive as her campaign rhetoric indicates. I beg to differ.
A few days ago, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was David Axelrod’s guest on his CNN podcast the Axe Files. Axelrod pointed out that many rank-and-file Democrats believe Elizabeth Warren is too far left. Reid came to Warren’s defense in a rather odd manner.
Reid said that Warren asked for his thoughts on Medicare for All. He said he told her he believed they should shore up Obamacare. After all, he said, they had come close to the Public Option before.
While Harry Reid did not say what her response was, he said that he knows she is pragmatic. I find it interesting that he believes the Public Option is as good as Medicare for All and that the Public Option stance is pragmatic.
To be clear a Public Option is not as good as Medicare for All even though those who accept a public option would likely save substantially. All else being the same, it is impossible for private insurance to compete with the cost structure of a Public Option which is devoid of profits for shareholders, duplicitous cost, overpaid executives, and much more.
Several years ago I wrote that Obamacare would morph into single-payer Medicare for All for the specific reasons mentioned above.
During the Affordable Care Act debate there was a public option that would have simulated the latter. Lobbying summarily got it removed because had it made it into the Act, over a short period of time, arithmetic would prevail as the public option would be less expensive for any given plan. It would then turn Obamacare into a single payer system by attrition.
There are several different pathways to reach the same goal. It is however important that the paths are built. Obamacare is the path built with pebbles and stones. It is better than the mud path of years past. As riders demand a smoother path they won’t yearn for the mud path again but for a paved road. Americans will not go back after tasting healthcare/health insurance as a right with all the benefits mentioned above. Exchanges will become single payer entities as health insurance companies are unable to demand the profits they want. Eventually exchanges will morph into Medicare for all.
The genius of Obamacare is not that it solved the problem in its entirety. The genius is that it made reverting to an immoral system untenable.
Obama knew that a sliver had opened politically to support same-sex marriage wholeheartedly during his administration. Elizabeth Warren has likely realized that Medicare for All’s time is here now given the level of pilfering from the health industrial complex.
We want all of our politicians fighting for us. But none of them, neither Sanders nor Warren can or will do it without a base of continuous support. To assume otherwise is wishful thinking because their elective tenure and as such, effectiveness, would end at their next election.
I do not think anyone needs to be concerned with regards to Elizabeth Warren’s Progressive bona fides. Harry Reid likely misread her. She seems like a woman who has her footing firmly planted not needing to put a facade on her true self any longer. I am willing to add her to the candidates I would take a chance on without hesitation if my preferred candidate does not make it.
Many of us have watched and listened to her many times at Netroots Nation. She may use rhetoric that seems much less straightforward than Bernie Sanders. However, based on the values she expounds, it is clear that they land in the same vicinity.
Is Elizabeth Warren pragmatic? Of course, she is. Being pragmatic does not negate one’s core beliefs. It may define a different path to get to the same place. Is her definition of accountable capitalism plus her myriad of social policy prescriptions anathema to Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism? The purist would say it is. I beg to differ.
As long as America is a democracy there is likely to live a coexistence. The thing we must fight for is a more active development of the social portion. In other words, more cooperatives and fewer capital sucking corporations. One cannot put it all on a presidential candidate or president. We simply need a leader that ensures the possibilities.