A Wrong-Headed Attack

hillarysandersTonight – yes tonight, on a Sunday – the candidates will once again make their case for the Democratic nomination, and you might want to skip “Sunshine Superman” to catch it.

You won’t hear much that is new, except Hillary’s misguided attack on Bernie’s health care plan.

And is it ever misguided!

Of course expanding Medicare would be far better than the convoluted system brought us by Obamacare. That’s what President Obama would have done if he could’ve mustered the votes, but the Blue Dog Democrats let him down.

The Affordable Care Act that was eventually passed is a compromise among a zillion or so special interests. You know the old saying, a camel is a horse created by a committee? That’s what Obamacare is.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Obamacare is a vast improvement over the old system. It’s a lifesaver for millions. But Medicare for all would be better.

And no, Hillary, expanding Medicare doesn’t have to mean a financial burden for middle class families. Yes, Bernie has said he would fund the plan through taxes, but he added that the tax will be less onerous than the insurance premiums those families pay now.

I can see how that would work. Can’t you?

And, without the need to fund costly employee health insurance programs, businesses would be more able (if not more willing) to pay realistic wages.

To those critics who worry that America’s massive health insurance industry would crumble under Bernie’s plan, putting thousands out of work, I would cite the Medicare Advantage program covering seniors like me. It seems private health insurance companies are doing quite well under that program.

Medicare didn’t put the insurers out of business. It provided new opportunities to replace the old ones.

Of course, Hillary might decide to abandon her stance on Medicare for all, and stick to tried-and-true issues like gun control. Bernie does seem vulnerable on that one. He’s from Vermont, where hunting is almost a religion, and his Senate voting record reflects it.

As for me, I’m voting for Hillary – even though I like Bernie’s ideas better. You see, I remember Walter Mondale’s rout, and I know how timid American voters are about radical change.

I also realize that with so many red districts locked in by gerrymandering, and with so many single-issue voters like anti-abortionists and gun nuts, Republicans are likely to retain a lot of clout in Congress.

Also, there are states so mired in mythology that Democrats have little or no chance of winning control of the legislature – or of occupying the governor’s mansion. They would present a huge stumbling block to implementing Bernie’s agenda.

I can see Hillary actually getting some of her program approved by Congress and implemented by the states. With Bernie, I’m afraid that even if the voters surprise me, Congress won’t. As President, Bernie could very well usher in another period of horrific gridlock.

And that’s the last thing America needs.

Click for more on health care issue.

Click for Mondale’s defeat.