John McCain diagnosed with brain cancer


Please explain to me the magic process that is used to make a bill better without debating it? Let’s say he vote NO to proceed. HOW THE HELL DO WE FIX HEALTHCARE IN THIS COUNTRY?


Institute a single payer system like we have here in Canada and raise taxes to pay for it? That’s my suggestion. It’s not perfect, but it does work to a large extent. And nobody gets desperate or bankrupt in order to stay alive.


Yeah, but that plan just benefits your society. We need our plan to benefit a select few only.


Do the work in committee and then bring it out with bipartisan support. Score the bill. Then debate on the Senate floor and offer amendments. Then vote.

Not: Let’s do it all live on the floor in two days starting from nothing.


If you think Republicans will have anything productive to do with fixing healthcare in any way that could possibly meet the dictionary definitions of those terms, I struggle to wonder what you’ve been doing for the last 20 years.


You vote to proceed to debate on a bill that is actually written down in public, has been public so people have analyzed it, has been analyzed by the CBO, etc. Not on a bill where nobody knows the final text. I’m not sure there are even people behind closed doors who know the final text. They are doing it like this specifically so there is as little time as possible for the public to know what specifically is being voted on. This is exactly the undemocratic process McCain was railing against!


That’s a solution. What’s the process we use to convince skeptical people like myself that it is the right one? In the specific case of single payer. If it works in state with the population of Canada like CA than I’d be more to happy to consider it for the whole country. But the fact that liberal politicians NY and CA and VT have all rejected single payer in their state as too expensive is telling.


They’ve done committee work already. Admittedly not in a bi-partisan way. They have a variety of CBO score and they all fall within a fairly narrow ranges so that not a big deal. The text of the bill will be available after the amendment process is done.

I doubt they are going to get the bill done is few days, but it is possible they get something done in a couple of weeks.


It may be because universal, single-payer health care is “too expensive” in the current political climate of the United States, even in the most liberal states (which still have sizeable conservative populations). I can understand that there is a large cultural divide in terms of how much tax is acceptable in return for you/your family/your neighbours/everyone never having to worry about the personal cost of health care. So, I propose that skeptics look at data from countries the world over that have instituted various forms of single payer, universal health care and look at the outcome variables that would best convince them. Look to Canada, the UK, France, and Germany and then do it even better, because you have the opportunity to build a better system than anyone.


This is SO far from normal Senator order. There is nothing standard about this.

Pass whatever health care you want but don’t destroy Democratic norms because of the way you do it.


I’ve been living in the real world, where governments have budgets, and people have objections to having marginal taxes rates of over 50%. It is super easy to provide wonderful benefits to people if the way you pay for them is to stick it future generations. Which is what 90% of the stuff you and Bernie propose does.


:Lets pass weed legalization, and use the taxes on that to fund it!



I guess the real world doesn’t include western Europe, then?


I’ve lived in places with good social services, affordable universities and excellent, universal health care. I have yet to see my marginal rate top 50%. I have always been in the highest tax bracket when living abroad.

These issues can be solved without taxing everyone into oblivion. In fact, this has already been done all over the globe.


How would single payer for a single state even work if the government cannot negotiate the price of prescription meds, etc. et al.

It’s telling to me that (some) people think paying more taxes is more immoral than providing health insurance for all. Or that spending literally trillions of dollars on wars and things that kill people is more desirable. Or providing tax cuts for CEO pay, or subsiding resource extractive corporations, or refusing to eliminate the carried interest loophole, or taxing capital gains at a much lower rate than labor. The world’s largest economy can afford all these things, but it can’t afford single payer (which should in turn eventually bring down this country’s enormous health care costs.)


I’m not a Senate historian but this process has been on occasion in the past. For instance, because the Civil Right bills were likely to be bottled up in committee forever. It was taken out of the committee and put on the Senate floor, where amendments were offered to it in a similar fashion. It worked for Civil Right act of 1964, which doesn’t mean it will work here, but it not accurate to describe this as “destroying Democratic norms.”. There are a million ways bills become laws especially in the arcane world of the Senate.


Exactly. It does require a shift in culture and attitude away from rugged individualism, “I worked hard to get mine, so screw you if you can’t!” to “I worked hard to get mine, but maybe if I give some of that away, I won’t have to worry that the peasants are going to rise up and kill me and my family because they can’t afford to pay for their mother’s cancer treatments.”

Anyways, this is a bit of a digression from McCain having brain cancer. And, to be frank, I guess the Senate doesn’t do any type of cognitive assessment on Senators before they vote, because I’d be worried that McCain’s cancer is actually affecting his ability to make decisions. Diseases of the brain can affect personality at a fundamental level. It’s scary to think that if McCain went all “Phineas Gage” before he died, and stuck around voting in the Senate, he could do real harm that he might not have otherwise done.


What convinces me is the fact that it works in several wealthy modern democracies who seem to enjoy better overall health care than we get.

Of course, there’s always lots of special pleading about how somehow ‘America is different’ and it wouldn’t work here. Funny how that sort of argument always redounds to the detriment of social services.

I’d be happy to be a part of a California trial balloon, however. It was frustrating that the CA legislature tabled the single payer bill, but I suspect that story’s not over with yet.


Did you listen to the speech? Does that sound like a speech somebody gave who’s suffering a cognitive decline? That’s pretty damn insulting to Sen. McCain.


No, I didn’t listen to the speech. Nor did I state that he necessarily has a cognitive decline. You can have personality changes absent any type of cognitive decline. He could behave like a completely different person if the cancer affects him in such a way. It wouldn’t necessarily touch his verbal capabilities at all.

And, for the record, I’m not stating that any such thing has happened. Simply that it could.