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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
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The Republicans put forth their “Health Care Only for the Rich” plan, and saw the public, for some strange reason, not wanting health care to be available only for the rich.Image result for rich government poor people

So now, after 7 years of searching for an idea, the GOP is searching for an idea.

We long have recommended Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity: FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (See below). The Federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, easily can fund the whole program, without any FICA collections.

Financially, the solution is a no-brainer. The federal government can afford it; the public is strapped for funds. So who should pay?

But a recent article in The Week describes problems other than mere finances. Here are some excerpts, along with our comments:

Why ‘Medicare for all’ is easy to say and near impossible to do
David Faris

Bernie Sanders premised his primary campaign in large part on a radical promise to ditch Obama’s signature legislative achievement in favor of extending Medicare to all Americans.

The phenomenal success of Sanders’ insurgent socialist campaign proved again that the ACA was unpopular in large part because millions of Americans think the state should be doing more rather than less. 

Yet there are a number of important questions about any single-payer plan that remain not just unanswered, but mostly unasked.

Let’s imagine that, somehow, progressives succeed in enacting “Medicare for all.” What does the transition period look like between the passage of such legislation and its full implementation?

What would happen to the health insurance companies that employ over half a million people? Would they be compensated for their losses?

Health insurance companies still could exist, though in a much-reduced form. They could provide coverage for those who do not like Medicare, either because they believe it to be too restrictive in its coverages, or because their doctors won’t accept it, or for other reasons.

If people have a choice between free health care from Medicare or paid health care from private insurance, most will choose free, but some will chose private.

So yes, like many industries through the years, the health care insurance industry will shrink. Think of the coal industry.  And the record-pressing companies.

And, when was the last time you used a public land-line telephone? Their manufacturers must be feeling the pinch.

Most industries that continue to exist today have become more efficient (i.e. use fewer people and more machines). Business evolves.

What would happen to the medical debt of doctors who would almost certainly face diminished economic prospects under single-payer? (Most Americans think physicians are rich — true in some cases — yet many doctors rack up over $200,000 in debt to attend medical school.)

These problems are not the fault of Medicare or of any future Medicare-for-All.  They result from the Big Lie, the ridiculous claim that somehow our Monetarily Sovereign federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency, so it needs to husband its financial resources.

For that reason, Medicare underpays doctors, a situation in need of change, whether or not Medicare-for-All is instituted.

And medical school, like all other schools, should be free.  See: Free education for everyone.  Again, this has nothing to do with Medicare-for-All.

Primary care doctors and rural areas — generally pay the worst and already have trouble attracting physicians for that very reason. What happens to the supply and demand of care when tens of thousands of doctors earn less?

And yet again, why pay them less? This has nothing to do with single payer.

Do we have even remotely the civilian bureaucratic know-how we would need to scale Medicare up to the entire 320-million-strong population of the United States? The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services employ more than 6,000 people. That number would probably need to be, conservatively, quadrupled.

That probably was one of the objections to the original Medicare.  Yet here Medicare is, functioning better than most federal programs.  It is far more difficult to begin a program from scratch than to expand an existing, functioning program, which federally funded, Medicare-for-All would do.

And note the concern about hiring more people, juxtaposed against the concern about insurance companies firing people.  Strange.

Remember that a committed and well-intentioned Democratic administration had trouble just setting up a website for a tiny fraction of the number of people who would be covered by a new single-payer system.

Running a nationalized health care system would be considerably more complicated than cutting monthly Social Security checks to people.

A Medicare-for-All  website would be nearly identical to the currently, well-functioning Medicare website.  The primary difference would be simply handling more people — an easily solved Internet problem, not a program problem.

Political questions abound as well. Republicans spent seven years hammering ObamaCare, which remained mired in negative approval ratings.

Medicare, by contrast, is not “mired in negative approval ratings.” Medicare-for-All transfers people from the less-loved ACA program to the highly appreciated Medicare program.

Americans who just months ago were complaining about the ACA’s deductibles and coverage options were faced with the prospect of losing their insurance coverage altogether, along with their right to be covered if they have a pre-existing condition.

ObamaCare has drifted into majority approval, and the Republicans’ hot, hastily conceived, cruel, vindictive mess of an alternative was opposed by a whopping 3-1 majority.

A similar problem would vex Democrats almost immediately, in the same way that it did when they got to work on the ACA in the first place. It’s what happens when various stakeholders in existing, complex, and flawed processes realize that their interests are deeply threatened.

The above is a rather pitiful argument for never making any big changes. It was true of Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and enlisting women, blacks, and gays into the military, and going to the moon.

The maximal version of “Medicare for all” would involve, in a quite literal sense, stripping hundreds of millions of people of their existing private insurance coverage.

No, it would give people the choice of free health care insurance vs. paid-for health care insurance. Undoubtedly, more people would select free, but some people might prefer what the private insurance companies offer.

No one would be “stripped.”

There are only three hundred million people in all of America, so the notion that “hundreds of millions of people” would lose health insurance is laughable or outrageous, depending on one’s sense of humor.

The GOP has waged a scorched-earth campaign against the ACA and has failed spectacularly. For Democrats, launching another huge, divisive struggle over health care would be like if Truman had decided to go ahead and fight the Soviets over Eastern Europe at the conclusion of WWII.

What a ridiculous analagy. No, it isn’t like that at all (though then, the Soviets were weak).  The first step would be to convince the populace that the Big Lie indeed is a lie.  Once people understand Monetary Sovereignty, the institution of Medicare-for-All would be a “why-have-you-waited-so-long?”

Bottom line: Medicare-for-All is a natural outgrowth of Monetary Sovereignty. The only reason not to adopt it is the affordability myth, the notion that taxpayers would have to pay for it.

Once people understand that they would not have to pay for other people’s health care, and that yes, for a Monetarily Sovereign nation, lunch really can be free, objections to Medicare-for-All would melt like a snowman in a summer sun.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY