We have some very big problems that need to be addressed by our federal, state and local elected officials. Voting has never been more important, so please vote in the November midterms and get all your friends, family and colleagues to vote as well.

Medicare for All – A Single Payer Health Care System for California and the Nation

 

Medicare was established back in 1965 under the Johnson Administration. It’s a program for seniors (65 and older) and for many of the nation’s disabled. It has advantages such as freedom of choice of providers and regulated rates and disadvantages such as uncovered costs and services and shaky financing.

President Trump’s supporters and enablers are stretching credulity in their efforts to protect their favorite commander in chief’s tenure and reputation. If President Trump commits a crime, like shooting or jailing his political rival(s), of course he could be charged with murder or other crimes and tried in a criminal proceeding in state or federal court depending on where the crime occurred. He does not first have to be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate; that appears nowhere in the Constitution or in the nation’s jurisprudence. In my opinion, that’s a Giuliani/Kavanaugh/McConnell myth. On the other hand any President of either party should not be subjected to a series of political/judicial persecutions as President Clinton was by Judge Starr, Speaker Gingrich and their associates (among them Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh). If President Trump descends from his fitful rages into a full fledged, disabling mental illness or has a heart attack and can no longer fulfill the duties of his office, the 25th Amendment is the right recourse for his cabinet to remove/suspend him from office. If indeed he and President Putin and others cooked up some deals to finance him, and get him elected, and he’s been selling our nation and its allies down the river since acceding to the presidency, the right remedy is impeachment and conviction then removal from office.

 

As yet there is no evidence he has done any of the above, so the most important steps for all Americans is to let the Mueller investigation take its course and to vote in the November elections.

In my view, all workers should have the opportunity to join unions, and those unions should play a major role in representing us in the workplace and in the public square. Men and women died for the right to form unions, to strike, to bargain collectively. We need unions now to become the inspiring force and to play the vital roles in our democracy that they did during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. We need unions to become associations that workers want to proudly join.

We will dearly miss his courage, his wisdom and his judgment. He never shrunk from duty; he always spoke his mind on the great issues of the day; he embraced the difficult challenges facing our nation. He sought bipartisan solutions.

Trump aligned gubernatorial candidates in Georgia, Minnesota, and Kansas upended more conventional Republican candidates. It’s unclear that these candidates will win in November, but it is clear that Trump is enormously popular among Republican voters, and if you’re an elected or campaigning Republican candidate, you cross him at your peril.

Today’s (8/13/18) New York Times has an excellent piece on the impacts to date of the Trump corporate tax cuts: share buy backs leading to higher stock prices for investors, no increases in spending on plant and equipment, no increase in worker’s real wages and a very large increase in the national debt.

California has reduced its uninsured rates from 17% to about 6.8% due to the Affordable Care Act. About 40% of the remaining uninsured are eligible for Covered California or Medi-Cal, so we need to improve enrollment in both programs, this paper looks at Covered California. Less than half (400,000) of those eligible for Covered California are eligible for premium assistance and more than half (550,000) are not.

Covered California released its preliminary premiums for 2019. All existing plans have stayed in the market. Overall, their premiums will increase by 8.7%. Without the changes promoted by the Trump Administration to eliminate the “individual responsibility” (individual mandate) requirement, their premiums would have increased by roughly 5%.