Disgraced former-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz just admitted that she likes the idea of single-payer healthcare, in theory—just not in practice, because she’d have to give up the hundreds of thousands of dollars she receives from the corporate healthcare machine.
Progressives of South Florida were there on Sunday when Schultz attended an Indivisible chapter meeting in Ft. Lauderdale. “MiamiGator” captured this video in which someone asked, “where do you stand on single-payer healthcare?”
As the Hillary Clinton clone we’ve grown to loathe, Schultz spouted off the usual talking points in response. First came the spiel that we need to fix the broken Affordable Care Act in order to cover more people, instead of simply guaranteeing coverage to everyone with universal healthcare.
“I support the concept of Medicare-for-All, but what I support now, because we’ve already adopted systemic healthcare reform, is working within the Affordable Care Act to improve it so that we can make sure that we expand healthcare,” said Schultz, before she was interrupted with boos. “We need to expand Medicaid so it covers virtually everybody, and so I support Medicare-for-All, if we were starting it from the beginning, but we’re not starting from the beginning.”
This is a strange statement for Schultz to make, as she did not co-sponsor an attempt to pass Medicare-for-All in 2009, before there was an Affordable Care Act to fix. It seems like that would’ve been a perfect time to “start from the beginning,” especially with Democratic control of the White House, Senate, and the House of Representatives.
Schultz swiftly moved on to the next token neoliberal argument—single-payer healthcare is just too pie-in-the-sky to achieve, even though every other major industrialized country in the world has managed to figure it out.
“I’m going to support the most significant healthcare reform that we can actually pass,” said Schultz. Unfortunately, she has a point here, but only because she’s part of the problem—our elected officials have been bought and paid-for by the private health sector.
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Schultz has enjoyed a total of $1.1 million in campaign contributions from healthcare industries since 2006, so supporting Medicare-for-All would upset those donors and put a huge dent in her future re-election bids.
|Industry||Donation Totals: 2006-2016|
Debbie is not the only bad apple in the bunch of Democrats we’ve elected to Congress, where the lines between liberal and conservative are becoming blurrier every day. For some reason, Democrats have been unjustly crowned as champions of healthcare. The truth is, 89 House Democrats are still not supporting a new version of HR 676, which would pave the way for a Medicare-For-All system. In the 2016 election cycle, only $5 million separated Democrats from Republicans in donations from the health sector, which is less than 10% of their total spending of $68.5 million.
Despite the fact that the majority of Americans would prefer a universal healthcare system, our Congressmen and women are choosing to represent Big Pharma and profit-hungry insurance companies, and they’re guided only by their wallets. The average citizen can’t shell out thousands or millions of dollars to earn a voice in politics, or in this case, to gain a fundamental right to proper healthcare.
People like Debbie Wasserman Schultz don’t care that you’re spending your hard-earned money on outrageous prescription costs, co-pays and hospital bills while also attempting to keep food on the table. You’re not paying her the big bucks, so she won’t fight for you or your rights.
“If, politically, Medicare-for-All actually became viable, if we elected enough people to Congress that could make it happen, then I most definitely would be supportive of it,” said Schultz. You heard her, everyone—let’s replace the fake liberals and regain control of the House and Senate in 2018.
Update 5/2/2017: You can read the follow-up to this article here.
Edited by Lydia McMullen-Laird