Senator Kerry Flip Flops on Universal Health Care

Now that's a commitment of a supporter to say anything to agree with whom they've endorsed.  He would rather back track from the Parties principle, and an issue a huge majority of Americans believe is a right, and what he himself had proposed as a presidenital candidate, so he could agree with the candidate for president he endorsed (Obama) and not mandate Health Care coverage for all americans?

Senator Kerry revealed his new position on This Week with George Stephanopoulis, when he NOW claims Hillary's Universal Health Care is a "non starter".  Why?  Because he claims "because it starts with a mandate that is unachievable in the Senate in what we need to do,”.  WHAT?  "In what we need to do"?  

I think what THEY need to do is pass Universal Health Care, but apparently he no longer sees that as a moral right or a human, or even an American right.

Or is he saying he just doesn't want to try now, because he doesn't THINK he could pass it?  Not according to:

"Mrs. Clinton’s proposal “does seem to me to be a plan that has the potential to achieve bipartisan support in the Congress,” a scholar at the Center for American Progress who served as policy director for the Edwards campaign, James Kvaal, said. Health care mandates have “historically been an idea that has some support among Republicans,” he said, because of their element of individual accountability and responsibility."

So did he think this way when HE proposed his mandated Universal Health Care?  Or is he telling us he would not support Universal Health Care now because Obama isn't offering it?

How one can sacrifice the Democrats core principle, the American people's overwhelming desire for Universal Health Care and a moral right to our human race, because, at least we now get to the truth, even by Obama's own supporters, he does not offer a Universal Health Care.

I'm sure Senator Kerry's new position was equally disturbing to his former running mate, John Edwards, who has made Universal Health Care and ridding Poverty two important policies for the next Administration.


Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John Kerry, mandate, universal health care (all tags)



Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops on Universal Health C

You don't have to have a mandate in order to have universal care.


by Cycloptichorn 2008-04-04 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops on Universal Health C
How would you accomplish universal healthcare in the U.S. without a mandate? Not trying to be snarky, just genuinely curious.
by sricki 2008-04-04 09:26AM | 0 recs
He can't answer...

Because it doesn't make sense. The only way for us to have truly UNIVERSAL health care is to require that everyone be covered. So many progressives love the idea of single-payer, but what many of them forget is that single-payer is MANDATED through taxes. Any functional universal health care system operates on some form of mandate.

by atdleft 2008-04-04 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...
Precisely. I like single-payer, too. But you've got to have mandates. Without mandates, we'll have people gaming the system. Then costs go up for all of us.

But I really would love to know how people think it's possible to achieve universal healthcare without mandates. Do these people think Obama's plan is universal, or something? How do they get that impression?

by sricki 2008-04-04 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...

I'd like to see the evidence that the costs would go up, based upon the truly small number of people who wouldn't buy into the system.  Do you have a link?

by Cycloptichorn 2008-04-04 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...
Taking human nature into account, you honestly think it'll be a insignificantly small number?
by sricki 2008-04-04 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...

Yes, I do.  Tell me why you don't think this will happen.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-04-04 10:50AM | 0 recs
He means cost shifting, to get the statistics up..

Well, my guess is that he means to offer some kind of minimalistic plan that will shift a lot of the costs to people and not offer drug coverage.

For example, if you have a several thousand dollar deductable and also a cap on benefits, you could tailor the yearly cost to be next to nothing ;)


However, the person WOULD technically be 'insured', and the coverage would be so cheap that it could be made 'universal'. However, it would not protect people from the costs of healthcare, except for a certain range of costs.

The person would get the bills for the difference between what the plan paid and what the provider charged, and if their bills went over a certain amount, all of that difference there too.. Plus they would have to pay the deductable...

If they disagreed with the award, they would have to go through a long, time consuming bureaucratic process that would have most people just giving up.

by architek 2008-04-04 11:05AM | 0 recs
Oh, and drugs..

Drugs would probably not be covered, because drugs can be very expensive.

Even generic drugs that literally cost pennies to produce can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars 'because they can' (get away with it)

They claim to spend this money on research, but in reality, they spend much of it on HUE executive salaries and of course, the omnipresent advertising..

However, I suppose we should be happy in that by paying the highest prices in the world, the US public, including the poor, subsidizes drug research for the entire world.

So - we are philantropists!

by architek 2008-04-04 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...

Truly small number? Where did you get that statistic? Without universal coverage that includes subsidies and a cap on the percent of income amount for premiums (ala Clinton's plan), the premiums will be too high for many people, especially those with chronic medical conditions, and millions of people will still be uninsured.

by LakersFan 2008-04-04 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...

Incorrect; I can answer.

You give health care coverage to all who seek it.  Then, you have a universal system without requiring a mandate; those who don't seek it, don't get it.

How complicated is this?  The mandate is immaterial anyways; 98% of people will seek the coverage.

by Cycloptichorn 2008-04-04 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: He can't answer...

"single-payer is MANDATED through taxes."

Yes, this is exactly correct. People often forget that single payer is essentially a mandated insurance plan that everyone must be enrolled in and pay for.

It's benefits are that everyone is in, so the risk is spread through the entire population, everyone pays into it automatically through their taxes, the administrative burden is greatly reduce to 6% of total health care costs instead of the whopping 31% that the current plethora of insurance plans imposes on the system. That is a considerable savings right there.

Drugs could be bought in bulk at much lower prices, the way the VA does, we could get another significant savings there.

Treatment for many diseases could be team managed and integrated so that preventive efforts could be more effective, which also is proven to lower costs.

We could then more safely institute electronic medical records, which might at some point offer some savings. Their main benefit is improved patient care.

by 07rescue 2008-04-04 11:21AM | 0 recs
Of course you do

Just like Social Security.  

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course you do

Social security is government run.

This is like if FDR had offered a privatized social security.

by Mostly 2008-04-04 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course you do

Uh, you're mixing things here.  We're talking about mandating programs.

Social Security is a mandated program.

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 11:36AM | 0 recs
don't you?

Turns out you do, just like a mandate for social security and for medcare.  If you want people to pay their fair share you have to make them, some would, others woudn't, the some who would pay for those who woudn't unless there are mandates. This is a no-brainer, but one that Obama likes to dismiss, saying it's about affordability when everyone had admitted that if the pool is smaller and has sicker and older people in it, it costs more per person.  

by anna shane 2008-04-04 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops...

Good diary Linda!

If I had had a single shred of respect left for John Kerry (and I was for Kerry before Iowa in 2004) I just might have lost it here and now. However, nah, there's no respect left whatsoever. All's gone already.

Somehow I'm sort of glad he's not with Hillary. With friends like these...

by DemAC 2008-04-04 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops...

roflmao...oh, yes, same here.  Two fold.  I was in Cinci during 04.  And, I was making calls from my apartment verifying votes when he walked away from the disaster AFTER PROMISING to count every vote.  He couldn't have conceded any faster, the weasel.  Then to top it off, here in my new home, he came to push his environmental book at our step it up event.  He said, he wanted to thank them for their 04 support and then said, "too bad I couldn't have gotten you all to move to Ohio", I yelled out "oh no, he did NOT just say that"!  His actions dictate what he is.

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 09:49AM | 0 recs
I'm so sorry, Linda...

And that just confirms to me what so many friends have been telling me since 11/2004. I had always wondered why Kerry blew it in an election year that could have been an easy one for Democrats. With his people now firmly in Obamaworld, I'm now starting to wonder if we'll see "2004-redux".

by atdleft 2008-04-04 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm so sorry, Linda...

I hope not.  I think Kerry lost because he failed the charisma test.

by Mostly 2008-04-04 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm so sorry, Linda...

Yes.  Thanks for the sympathy.  Kerry lost most of his support.  I was volunteering for a local Congressional race, because I couldn't stomach to put my leather to the pavement for him.  Rally, fine, the full day at the polls in the cold rain, fine.  But one of the Congressional workers was supportive of Kerry and we used to get in to it.  As time continued on and Kerry kept messing up, it was harder for that supporter to continue.  I forget which was his last straw, and that was before walking away from the election, I walked in to the Congressional candiate's office, he looked at me, said "oh, don't get me started.  I don't know what his problem is".  lol

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

While we are endorsing Republican spin, let's not forget that known liar Al Gore invented the internet!

by LandStander 2008-04-04 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

Oh, that's rich.  Are all Obama/Kerry followers anti Gore that you want to spread lies?  You should stop trying to align yourselves to the Goracle then.

Facts, Al Gore never said he invented the internet, That was a tale Chris Matthews claimed and it got repeated as news.  Al Gore said he created the Bill that enabled the internet.  And he did.

"In the late 1980s, Gore introduced the Gore Bill, which was later passed as the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. Leonard Kleinrock, a key player in the development of the ARPANET, considers the act to be a critical moment in Internet history."

"Gore has been involved with the development of the Internet since the 1970s, first as a Congressman and later as Senator and Vice-President. Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn stated in the 2000 article "Al Gore and the Internet", that Gore was "the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development.""

And that is why my license plate still reads


by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

You miss Landstander's point - he's saying "Well if you're going to adopt the 'Kerry is a flip-flopper line, then why not go the whole nine yards and start making 'Al Gore invented the internet'?

It's a good point.  I'm sick of this Kerry/Kennedy/Richardson bashing based soley on the fact that they endorsed Obama.  You seem angry, and I wonder if after this primary is over we'll ever be able to accomplish anything ever again.

by Mostly 2008-04-04 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

Thanks for clarifying - meaning so often gets lost in text.

by LandStander 2008-04-04 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

'Mostly' explained my comment - I certainly didn't mean to disparage Al Gore. I was just making a point about Democrats repeating ridiculous right-wing lies.

For the record, I adore Al Gore and greatly appreciate all he has done both in regards to expanding technology and publicizing climate change. I'm still hoping that someday he will be our president. The man is a visionary!

by LandStander 2008-04-04 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

You know, I so regret all the money and time I ever gave to Sen. Kerry. This is a preposterous argument. And, certainly, it's a preposterous argument that could only be made by a hypocrite, who now finds himself so invested in seeing BO be the nominee that he will twist himself into a pretzel in order to do it.

It's called HYPOCRISY, Sen. Kerry.

It's why Kerry and his former running mate, John Edwards parted company.

We need universal health care in this country. More than 59% of doctors want national health care in this country. And, there is no earthly reason why we should not have it:

PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PROGRAM -  Reflecting a shift in thinking over the past five years among U.S. physicians, a new study shows a solid majority of doctors - 59 percent - now supports national health insurance.

Such plans typically involve a single, federally administered social insurance fund that that guarantees health care coverage for everyone, much like Medicare currently does for seniors. The plans typically eliminate or substantially reduce the role of private insurance companies in the health care financing system, but still allow patients to go the doctors of their choice.

A study published Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading medical journal, reports that a survey conducted last year of 2,193 physicians across the United States showed 59 percent of them "support government legislation to establish national health insurance," while 32 percent oppose it and 9 percent are neutral.

The findings reflect a leap of 10 percentage points in physician support for national health insurance since 2002, when a similar survey was conducted. At that time, 49 percent of all physician respondents said they supported NHI and 40 percent opposed it.

Support among doctors for NHI has increased across almost all medical specialties, said Dr. Ronald T. Ackermann, associate director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at Indiana University 's School of Medicine and co-author of the study.  "Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy," he said.

Support for NHI is particularly strong among psychiatrists (83 percent), pediatric sub-specialists (71 percent), emergency medicine physicians (69 percent), general pediatricians (65 percent), general internists (64 percent) and family physicians (60 percent). Fifty-five percent of general surgeons support NHI, roughly doubling their level of support since 2002.

Doctors have often expressed concern about lack of patient access to care due to rising costs and patients' insufficient levels of insurance. An estimated 47 million Americans currently lack health insurance coverage and another 50 million are believed to be underinsured. At the same time, health care costs in the United States are rising at the rate of about 7 percent a year, twice the rate of inflation.

Read Anglachel:

by Tennessean 2008-04-04 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

by Tennessean 2008-04-04 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

"PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PROGRAM -  Reflecting a shift in thinking over the past five years among U.S. physicians, a new study shows a solid majority of doctors - 59 percent - now supports national health insurance.

Such plans typically involve a single, federally administered social insurance fund that that guarantees health care coverage for everyone, much like Medicare currently does for seniors. The plans typically eliminate or substantially reduce the role of private insurance companies in the health care financing system, but still allow patients to go the doctors of their choice. "

You realize that that does not, in any way, resemble the Clinton plan.  They're endorsing single-payer.  The Clinton plan is Mandatory Health Insurance.

There are good and bad ways to achieve Universal Health Care; this is a bad one.

by Mostly 2008-04-04 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

I'm glad you liked our PNHP press release. It was an exciting result for us to achieve.

The Clinton plan is the only plan that could segue into a single payer plan. The Obama plan cannot, it doesn't utilize the needed tools.

Unfortunately the American public does not support single payer, largely because they do not trust government to run a single payer program, where government would be setting the reimbursement rates and deciding which services would be covered. They are afraid to put their health care solely in government's hands. Many people (85%) are basically satisfied with the insurance that they have according to even the latest Consumer Reports polls. They want to keep what they have.

There is a chance that the publicly administered "Medicare like" option that would be formed under the Clinton plan could eventually turn into a single payer plan, if enough Americans chose it. It could come in through the back door, so to speak.

There is no way to turn a 3 trillion dollar health care industry  upside down to institute a single payer system, there needs to be a transitional plan. The Clinton plan could do that, with the mandate and Medicare like option. The Obama plan makes no sense and cannot do that.

by 07rescue 2008-04-04 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

UHC does not equal mandates.

I do think that Clinton's healthcare plan is better than Obama's plan (I was an Edwards supporter first).  It is the main area that I prefer her, but her plan is not great.  

by labor nrrd 2008-04-04 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

Yes, where the money comes from is the detail only.  If every one gets it, the moey to pay for it comes from somewhere.  

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flops

The money isn't the problem, it's how you enforce complaince.  I understand the argument that if you get 90% of Americans into the plan, that health care would be cheaper for everyone because you wouldn't have freeloaders.  But how do you get to that?  How do you get even close to that?

No one has adequately explained to me how you would enforce coverage.  It would require an entire new layer of federal beaurocracy just to make sure people were in compliance.

by Mostly 2008-04-04 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry in 2004

Like I said, it's called HYPOCRISY, Sen. Kerry. If you think you're going to magically achieve universal health care in 2012, or any other year, without a mandate, you're lying to the American people. 59

by Tennessean 2008-04-04 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

Ya know, I honestly don't think Kerry (or his wife) is a great asset for BHO.  His reputation among Dems is average at best, don't you think?  When he goes up against Rendell on TV, he looks weak and tentative.

thanks for the info in this diary, recommended.

by TexasDarlin 2008-04-04 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

I know that politically his wife was a problem, but I actually like her much better than him.  At least she has some balls and says what she wants no matter what anybody thinks.

by AnnC 2008-04-04 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

I agree.  I thinks it's the opposite that attracts thing.  She seems to be the fighter in that household.  

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

Oh, that's fine. B O can keep J Kerry.  I don't think he even rates average from my experiences.  Massachusettes seems to agree with us TOO! :)  

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops

Kerry has very little insight into his own behavior, which often borders on pandering; and his frustrated ambition for the white house has soured him on the Clintons who he thought should have done more for him. I never thought his endorsement did much for Obama, and in fact may have hurt him some.

by linfar 2008-04-04 10:08AM | 0 recs

Kerry flip-flop? NEVER!

by owl06 2008-04-04 10:29AM | 0 recs
He's got a snazzy hunter's outfit
to wear in PA. He wants to get in touch with the Deerhunter crowd.
Kerry is an albatross. So is McPeak, Zbig and Susan Rice. Should he win, he's really got to can those folks.
by durendal 2008-04-04 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Kerry Flip Flops on Universal Health C

Kerry is probably the worst surrogate that Obama has.  It's a shame because I think he's probably a decent guy; when I voted for him in 2004 I imagined that I was voting for the 1973 John Kerry.

I have many, many problems with Hillary Clinton's plan, but this isn't one of them.  And it's stupid to argue that it can't be passed, because it plays right into the argument that you start with maximum goals, and negotiate from there.

I'm against the Clinton plan because a) once it's enacted, it will become much harder for anything truly progressive to be enacted.  After this, the insurance companies would have complete control over the entire system and the entire debate, and b) it's administratively unworkable.  I can't figure out how you would force compliance.

by Mostly 2008-04-04 10:56AM | 0 recs

   Hillary flip flops on MI and FL situation!!

  Hillary flip flops on caucus states!!

  Hillary flip flops on why she stays in race!!

  Hillary flip flops on Obama's religion!!

  Seems only fair, as long as we are talking about flip-flops by politicians...=)

by southernman 2008-04-04 11:02AM | 0 recs

lmao...oh, so you just like to post anything.  Facts be damned, huh?

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 11:44AM | 0 recs

   Not really, no, I just thought I'd post some breaking news about Hillary, as long as we're on that topic.

  She did flip flop on MI and FL and whether their delegates should count. That's just common sense.

  She did flip flop on whether she thought Obama was a Muslim.

  where exactly did I say something that wasn't factual?

by southernman 2008-04-04 12:04PM | 0 recs

Where do you get your tales?

Do you hear someone make up a story and you think its the truth or what?

Like I said, you're just posting anything and oon this lists, lies.

Hillary is the only consistent person on counting Mi and Fl so I don't know WHAT you're talking about.

Same for that muslim remark.  Where did you did that up?

Really.  Next time if someone makes a claim like that, ask for proof before repeating it, OK?

by LindaSFNM 2008-04-04 01:43PM | 0 recs

   Hillary first said the comments about Obama being a Muslim were ridiculous, then she was asked flat out whether she thought Obama was a Muslim, she said "I don't know." That's a flip-flop, and a disgraceful one, for she knows that Obama is not a Muslim.

  Hillary has had more positions on MI and FL than any other candidate in the race. She didn't they should count in January. Then she wanted the delegates sat, as is. Then she wanted a re-vote. Now she's refusing a 50-50 split (so clearly its not about getting the delegates sat, it's about whatever is favorable to her).

  Both of these examples are clear, easily proven and obvious. If you wish to deny them, that's your right. Part of whats great about America is you can believe what you want. Its too bad you are in complete denial of reality if you choose to believe this way. It's so obvious that I almost obligated to blush for Hillary in embarassment.

by southernman 2008-04-06 08:07PM | 0 recs
it is why Kerry is a loser and endorsing the loser

and he endorsed against will of the people - so he CAN go against popular vote in MA but others cannot and have to do whatever will help to Obama? very cool logic in his head. But saying he is against universal plan means he is not just a flip-flopper and loser - it means also he is not a real Democrat anymore, just like Obama.

by engels 2008-04-04 11:23AM | 0 recs
Universal commercial or non-commercial?
the American people's overwhelming desire for Universal Health Care
Do you know this to be the case, "overwhelming desire" for mandated commercial universal health insurance per a poll or study you can cite? Without guarantee (beyond HRC's campaign promises) of strong regulations and consumer protections to govern commercial insurance practices (up to now irresponsible and nearly criminal in some cases), this finding would surprise me, especially when "affordability" of commercial premiums per HRC is at expense of federal government (already in debt) via subsidies/tax credits. As opposed to universal non-commercial single payer for publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare? Maybe the latter was what you meant? This latter seems to me more responsible and moral than sandbagging the government with a gigantic mandated corporate boondoggle.
________________________________________ __
Get on board California's single payer bill, SB 840
by purr 2008-04-04 09:54PM | 0 recs


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