Launching “Patients over Profits”; Nevada’s Culinary Union attacks; John Oliver takes on the public option

National Nurses United and partners launch a new campaign to expose and fight back against industry influence in the Medicare for All debate, inspired by the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge led by Sunrise and other climate change organizations. We’ll tell you how to get involved.

The Nevada Culinary Union has come out hard against Medicare for All – but how does their plan stack up against M4A? Andrew Yang Drops out of the Presidential race, ending the most dramatic about-face on Medicare for All seen this year. And John Oliver’s segment on Medicare for All – what he got right, what he got wrong.

Show Notes

Ben and Stephanie talk about the massive new Medicare for All campaign launched this week by National Nurses United and a national coalition of organizations: the Patients Over Profits Pledge.

The Pledge asks elected officials not to take campaign contributions from the corporations involved with the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future (PAHCF) – the coalition of Big Pharma, health insurers, and other corporate forces fighting Medicare for All.

Why is this new campaign needed? As the Medicare for All movement has grown and racked up victories, the PAHCF has started spending millions to undermine healthcare as a right through ads and campaign donations. The campaign is based on the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, which the environmental rights movement has successfully run since 2017. Almost every Democratic candidate for President in 2020 has signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, and our goal is to similarly make money from the healthcare industry politically toxic.

Some details of the campaign: any elected officials can sign the pledge, including local elected officials, and state legislators, but we particularly want to target Members of Congress. The campaign will start off by collecting petition signatures from members of our communities, and we will then deliver petitions to our elected officials during a week of action in April.

Ben & Stephanie dive deep on the Nevada Culinary Union’s opposition to Medicare for All, and feud with Bernie Sanders. Although the Union has not endorsed a candidate in the elections, they put out an incredibly misleading flyer for their members claiming that Sanders’s Medicare for All plan would “end” their Culinary Healthcare plan, while other candidates would “protect” Culinary Healthcare.

The Culinary Union then released a press release claiming that they believe “healthcare should be a right, not a privilege,” and that “We [the union] have already enacted a vision for what working people need.” It turns out, however, that the Culinary Union’s plan allows more than $6,000 in out-of-pocket costs, and borrows some shady policies from the for-profit insurance industry to leave patients with huge ER bills. Culinary workers also have to work more than 30 hours/week for 3 months, plus an additional 1 month waiting period, before qualifying for health benefits, which they can lose if they don’t work enough hours permanently. This is not a just healthcare system for workers.

In other news, Andrew Yang has withdrawn from the presidential race. Ben goes off on how horrified he was when Yang, after running moving ads about his son with autism and the need for Medicare for All, abandoned his support for M4A in the middle of his campaign and announced a healthcare plan that would change – as far as we can tell – nothing for American patients.

Finally, we love, love, love John Oliver’s new segment on Medicare for All and his characterization of the public option as a “shit sandwich with guacamole.” Ben & Stephanie take issue with Oliver’s characterization of cost savings under Medicare for All, though!

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  1. Laura J Berben on February 20, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Out in America, there is a phenomenon happening with Family Practice doctors. They are calling it Concierge Medicine, which means they can’t make a living on Medicare or Medicare and a Supplemental Combined. They are slowly dropping out of Medicare! I pay $200.00 per month for my supplemental to cover what Medicare doesn’t, which is constantly dropping (Thanks Republicans!) Now my physician wants to do a contract with me personally where she will deduct a monthly payment for the “privilege” of getting medical care from her. That will amount to an additional $80.00 per month! I only see the doctor for routine bloodwork and an occasional sinus infection and I am having a hard time trying to justify this added monthly expense just to keep my doctor. I believe this will have a negative impact on the healthcare industry since many people will be forced to drop their doctors to save money and begin using the local quick-care facilities. Please open a discussion about the potential impact of this trend that doctors AND patients are facing. The doctors do us no good if they can’t keep their practices open and the patient will lose a Primary Care Physician. How will the Insurance Industry deal with this trend? They and the government could be literally killing us on Mainstreet.