I thought Kamala Harris did a nice job of rolling out her presidential campaign last weekend. She put a good deal of emphasis on dignity and truthfulness and by doing so reminded everyone just how awful the man currently occupying the White House is.
Senator Harris also said she wants to make Medicare accessible to all Americans. This caused an outburst of indignation from a couple of billionaires, including Howard Schultz and Michael Bloomberg who immediately opined that we just can’t afford this.
So, I have a couple of questions about those touting the “we can’t afford it” claim. First, if countries like the UK, Canada, Switzerland and dozens of others can afford it, why can’t we?
Second, if medical costs per person are lower in these countries than they are here, even though their health care is equal in quality to ours, why is that? Isn’t that a consequence of the profit-taking of insurance companies?
Third, if we can give away a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, how is it we can’t afford health care for people who have trouble paying for it?
And finally, would Howard Schultz be inclined to look at his children or grandchildren when they were in need of medical attention and say, “Sorry, we can’t afford it”? I’m guessing he wouldn’t say this, which leads me to ask why he thinks people who are not billionaires should have to deny health care to their children?
There is a line in an old folk song that says, “If livin’ were a thing that money could buy, the rich would live and the poor would die.” Apparently Mr. Schultz and Mr. Bloomberg believe that their family members should not die for want of health care, but other people’s children and loved ones should.
I believe that high quality health care should be available to every family no matter how poor. President Obama made some progress in pushing us toward that goal, but a lot remains to be done. As we work toward that goal under the leadership of people like Senator Harris, we can expect to hear objections from the likes of Howard Schultz, Michael Bloomberg and the good people at Fox News, but so far, I haven’t heard any of them offer answers to the questions I listed above.
Now, let’s see if Senator Harris keeps up the impressive messaging that she has demonstrated in the first phase of her campaign. And no, I don’t believe she or any other capable Democrat will be undermined by a Howard Schultz candidacy because – Donald Trump. The selfish, sleazy, and pathetic qualities that have characterized Trump all his life are becoming more and more evident every day. He is going down.