Super Tuesday, the “Electability” Argument, Workers’ Rights, Elizabeth Warren & the Tax Problem

Medicare for All wins Super Tuesday, even if its most loyal candidates did not. The stock market – especially healthcare stocks – freaked over Sanders’s rise, and then stabilized after Biden’s comeback. Profits safe! Gillian Mason, Director of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, talks about giving power back to workers with Medicare for All. Elizabeth Warren’s descent in the polls is attributed to her support of Medicare for All, but really was it? We end with Warren’s eloquent takedown of Pete Buttigieg’s Medicare for All Who Want It.

The pod is co-hosted this week by Gillian Mason, Co-Director of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, who met Ben over a decade ago when they were arrested at a civil disobedience action outside of Cigna’s offices! Gillian in a previous life was an adjunct Professor, but couldn’t get access to healthcare through her job(s), and so became an activist to fight for workers’ rights instead.

A majority of Democratic voters supported Medicare for All in every single state that voted on Super Tuesday, including huge majorities in states like VT, ME, TX, and MN. However, the candidates championing M4A did not do nearly as well. Ben & Gillian discuss some explanations for the disconnect, including the media and the role of local gatekeepers, but are mostly confused. Ben suggests that Medicare for All should run for President.

The day after Super Tuesday (post-traumatic stress Wednesday?), healthcare stocks also sky-rocketed based on the diminished chances of a M4A champion becoming the Democratic nominee for President. Most for-profit health insurance companies saw double-digit increases in their stock values. It’s clear that Wall Street is afraid of the Medicare for All movement, but this also highlights what an unethical investment for-profit healthcare is – it is literally built on the denial of care.

The Economic Policy Institute released a white paper outlining the many benefits that Medicare for All would have for workers and the labor market: increased wages and salaries; job growth, even in the healthcare sector; elimination of “job lock” where people are held hostage at jobs just to keep their health benefits; and would particularly help female workers, who disproportionately work at jobs that don’t provide benefits.

Gillian highlights the destruction our healthcare system has on the union and non-union workers she works with at Jobs with Justice: it is the number #1 issue that unions strike over.

Finally, Elizabeth Warren drops out of the Presidential race. Pundits have started arguing that she fell in the polls after leaning-into Medicare for All by releasing a financing plan and a transition plan. Ben and Gillian feel the more compelling reason was her hesitancy to embrace taxes as a financing mechanism for Medicare for All, and distancing herself from the Senate bill.

We end the podcast with a thank-you to Warren for her epic take-down of Pete Buttigieg’s “Medicare for All Who Want It” proposal during the debates.

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