Democrats living in the Republican Midwest
Democrats living in the Republican Midwest
Ep. 1 Medicare for All Y'all/Ben Sasse the Ass
For our inaugural episode of Midwest Misfits, we discuss healthcare and head off on many tangents surrounding this complicated and divisive topic. From Obamacare problems to pharma drama, Healthcare is the hot button issue for the 2020 election. Let's talk about what we know and learn some lessons about the things we don't.
"The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives.”
According to data from OECD, the US government spent $10,209 on healthcare per capita, or per person, in 2017...
That's more than any other country in OECD's 36-country consortium, and over $2,000 more than Switzerland, the second-highest spending country.
US spends 16.9% of GDP. All other countries spend about 8.8% of their GDP on Healthcare. For example, Switzerland is at 12.2% and the next closest to the US on spending.
THE USA SHOWCASES: Higher spending does not correlate to better outcomes or use of healthcare.
WHAT IS A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM?
Physicians for a Medicare for All Nonprofit Agency states:
Single Payer is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands. Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs.
This is public/ private partnership- we cover everyone- but those providing the care are still managed by private companies.
Over $500 billion in administrative savings would be realized by replacing today’s inefficient, profit-oriented, multiple insurance payers with a single streamlined, nonprofit, public payer. Insurance companies would no longer spend their budgets on marketing and advertising→ instead would actually cover care
Premiums would disappear, and 95 percent of all households would save money. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as co-pays and deductibles, and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital. Doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.
WHY EXPANDING OBAMACARE WON'T WORK
About 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2023, and tens of millions will remain underinsured. Insurers will continue to strip down policies, maintain restrictive networks, limit and deny care, and increase patients’ co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.
The law preserves our fragmented financing system, making it impossible to control costs.
The law continues the unfair financing of health care, whereby costs are disproportionately borne by middle- and lower-income Americans and those families facing acute or chronic illness.
Cost/ Sustainability: Large-scale cost controls (negotiated fee schedule with physicians, bulk purchasing of drugs, hospital budgeting, capital planning, etc.) ensure that benefits are sustainable over the long term.
In A Nutshell: cost savings of advertising, marketing, administrative costs, and being able to control the price of drugs, medical devices, etc… would lower costs significantly...
In 2012, the pharmaceutical industry spent more than $27 billion on drug promotion — more than $24 billion on marketing to physicians and over $3 billion on advertising to consumers. That is a total of 54 billion that could go to actually providing care
We are also exploring the candidates looking to unseat Nebraska's, Senator Ben Sasse. For more on the Democratic candidates check out their websites listed below.
Ep 2. Government Spending Spree/Don the Con
Today we are talking about the out of control and ever-growing debt. What happened to the republicans and their grand claims of fiscal responsibility. Should we be surprised when the government is currently being run by a man who operates his businesses solely on acquiring debt and going to bankruptcy court?
ALSO, state spending is incredibly important. Public education is a large portion of state government expenditures; higher education costs us more in tax dollars than K-12... While public assistance is only 0.4% of the budget.
We also explore the race for Nebraska's District 2, which could possibly swing blue and unseat Don Bacon. It has happened before. For more on the candidates running in the primary, check out these links below:
* Ann Ashford https://annashford2020.com/* Kara Eastman https://www.eastmanforcongress.com/* Gladys Harrison https://gladys4congress.com/
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Sexy. Sumptuous. Social Security.
Today we are talking about social security. We admit, not the sexiest of topics, but something we should all pay attention to. Where does the money go and why is it running out?
The Social Security Act, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, created Social Security, a federal safety net benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped.
* FDR asked for a social security bill in Jan→ it had all the private people opposition → but passed in August the same year?! Where did our efficiency in legislation go??
* Ronald Reagan created the FICA tax to supplement the long term outlook for Social Security in the 80s.
The Trust Fund represents a legal obligation of the federal government to program beneficiaries. Under current law, when the program goes into an annual cash deficit, the government has to seek alternate funding beyond the payroll taxes dedicated to the program to cover the shortfall. This reduces the trust fund balance to the extent this occurs. The program deficits are expected to exhaust the fund by 2034.
QUICK SOCIAL SECURITY FACTS:
* Social Security supports tens of millions of Americans, providing essential benefits to help them make ends meet in retirement or if they become disabled.
* Annually, Social Security gives those receiving benefits a cost-of-living increase in the size of their monthly checks. The amount varies from year to year based on inflation figures→ 1.6% starting at the beginning of 2020.
* Research shows the program’s benefits will start to exceed its tax collections in 2020, and the program will deplete its $2.9 trillion reserve fund in 2035 if no action is taken.
* As politicians suggest “fixing,” cutting, or even expanding Social Security benefits through a variety of methods (primarily focused on increasing taxes on the wealthy), it is clear the public should expect either smaller benefits, higher taxes or both in the future as the government looks to extend the runway for a program born in 1935 that roughly four in 10 Americans rely on as their sole source of retirement income.
* The average Social Security benefit was $1,503 per month in January 2020. The maximum possible Social Security benefit for someone who retires at full retirement age is $3,011 in 2020. However, a worker would need to earn the maximum taxable amount, currently $137,700 for 2020, over a 35-year career to get this Social Security payment.
* Roughly 40% of Americans rely soley on Social Security for retirement at this moment in time.
* Social security for people who choose not to get married to their partners (as many young people are doing) AND for women who take more time off during their working life to care for family members are hurt the most.... Making sense when Social Security was created in the 30s, when it was a white male dominated framework and why we need diverse representation so that the new systems we put in place are not tailor made to white males.
* Social Security is an important income source for 7 in 10 recent retirees. According to Secure Retirement Institute research, it makes up 37% of their total income on average.
Bernie Sanders ...
Voter Suppression: Let Us Count the Ways
Voter suppression is a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting. It is distinguished from political campaigning in that campaigning attempts to change likely voting behavior by changing the opinions of potential voters through persuasion and organization.
Voter suppression → attempts to reduce the number of voters who might vote against a candidate or proposition.
The Tactics of Voter Suppression range from minor changes to make voting less convenient, to physically intimidating and even physically attacking prospective voters, which is illegal.
* Limiting the amount of places to vote* Limiting the time one can vote* Not having voting be compulsory but where you must register and keep information accurately updated works against engaging younger voters* Shutting down Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in minority neighborhoods,* Making it more difficult for residents to obtain voter IDs* Shutting down polling places in minority neighborhoods; * Systematically depriving precincts in minority neighborhoods of the resources they need to operate efficiently, such as poll workers and voting machines; and purging voters from the rolls shortly before an election
US HISTORY OF VOTER SUPPRESSION:
* First you had to own property→ white males ONLY
* Jim Crow years: poll tax, literacy test, and grandfather clause- to prove your grandfather had been born in the US- repressing slaves
* In Texas 2016: a voter ID law requiring a driver's license, passport, military identification, or gun permit, was repeatedly found to be intentionally discriminatory-- PRECISION OF SUPPRESSION: Student IDs could not be used as IDs
* In Wisconsin under Scott Walker: imposing strict voter ID requirements, the law cut back on early voting, required people to live in a ward for at least 28 days before voting, and prohibited emailing absentee ballots to voters
* In Iowa: Lawmakers passed a strict voter ID law with the potential to disenfranchise 260,000 voters. Out of 1.6 million votes cast in Iowa in 2016, there were only 10 allegations of voter fraud;
* May 2017: President Donald Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, purportedly for the purpose of preventing voter fraud. Critics have suggested its true purpose is voter suppression.
* Kansas secretary of state: Kris Kobach, a staunch advocate of strict voter ID laws and a proponent of the Crosscheck system. Crosscheck is a national database designed to check for voters who are registered in more than one state by comparing names and dates of birth. Researchers at Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Microsoft found that for every legitimate instance of double registration it finds, Crosscheck's algorithm returns approximately 200 false positives..... Kobach has been repeatedly sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for trying to restrict voting rights in Kansas
FELONS ARE CITIZENS TOO: Across this country today, an estimated 5.8 million Americans – 5.8 million of our fellow citizens – are prohibited from voti...
I am sure you have all had one of those days. The effects of the Coronavirus are felt from coast to coast. No one is immune...literally.
Today on the pod we are chatting about Covid-19, it has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces, schools, workplaces, and restaurants. It has separated people from their family and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that no one has ever witnessed. It. Was. Inevitable. So how did we get caught with our pants down? The Washington Post and many others wrote in 2016 about our inadequate preparedness for a pandemic. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. And yet, in 2018, Trump dismantled the Pandemic Response team.
"On the Global Health Security Index, a report card that grades every country on its pandemic preparedness, the United States has a score of 83.5—the world’s highest. Rich, strong, developed, America is supposed to be the readiest of nations. That illusion has been shattered. Despite months of advance warning as the virus spread in other countries, when America was finally tested by COVID-19, it failed." - The Atlantic.
We discuss the THREE options for what could go down:
ONE: As with SARS, all countries could bring the virus under control simultaneously. This one is not possible at this point.
TWO: The virus burns through the world and leaves behind enough immune survivors that it eventually struggles to find viable hosts. This “herd immunity” scenario would be quick and tempting. But it would also come at a terrible cost in lives. This does not seem to be the chosen plan, but due to the American bungled response, seems to be a little like what we are doing.
THREE: This is the plan we hope for, pretend to be doing, but is also the longest time-frame. Which is to play a game of 'Whack-A-Mole' where the virus pops up after our months of distancing... periodically social distance in locations that spike... Until a vaccine can be produced, which is 12-18 months in a BEST case scenario.
We also go off on a couple of tangents, as friends do. Leah has a 'chesty' cough and Colleen's daughter has been diagnosed 'Presumed Covid'. The local response is that we simply do not have testing in the state, even for those who are "supposed to" qualify for it.
Join us for a casual chat about what is on everyone's mind...M.m.m.m.mmmmy Corona. You may want to pour a glass of wine!
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Bonus Fry: George Floyd, Coops Gone Crazy
This bonus fry does not bring great news. With the recent murder of George Floyd and the crazy incident in New York's Central Park, we feel a little defeated and even MORE scared for the state of the country and our society. This and other news.
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Customer ReviewsSee All
Informative on a local and national level
So thankful someone is talking about the issues important to the Midwest. Local politics are just as important as national and everyone should look the be more informed.
This pod needed to happen.
Do you want to be ignorant or educated? If you choose the latter, please subscribe. Right, left or somewhere in the middle....we all need to be more knowledgeable.
*review based off Episode 1