Advocating “single payer” as an immediate goal is demagoguery, not progressive; AND it is really stupid politics

Turning “single payer” into a battle cry and suggesting that it is a near-term goal is demagoguery. It is also politically tone-deaf. It is extremely unfortunate that significant chunks of the Democratic Party, led by Bernie Sanders, either don’t understand that or, even worse, are taking this position even though they do.

After nearly a year of a Trump presidency, we should see “oversimplification” for the sneaky and dishonest device that it is.

A little plain talk. One hundred fifty-seven MILLION Americans get their health insurance through their jobs. The minute you say “we are switching to Medicare-for-all” you have 157 million people saying, “but what does that mean for ME?”

And the honest answer, under the best of circumstances, is “that’s complicated”. And “not the same for everybody.” But the shameful part of this is that the political “leaders” who are beating this drum don’t actually HAVE the answer. Oh, they have it theoretically. And they have it in principle. But they don’t really have a path mapped out to do the mammoth conversion they’re suggesting — nay, DEMANDING — for one-sixth of our economy.

What we should be advocating are the two obvious next steps: lowering the medicare eligibility age to 55 and offering a public option health plan. Both of these are comprehensible and achievable.

They’re just not as easily sloganable. They aren’t rallying cries for demagogues.

This “single payer” hysteria is making me sick. It is the biggest danger sign I see on our electoral horizon. We can’t afford stunts. We have a country to take back.

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