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    • I'm from New Hampshire originally i'm supposed to like Bernie or Warren but I can't.

      God help us if our politics are determined by where we used to live.

      Do you mind if I ask which of Bloomberg’s plans are most attractive to you?

    • God help us if our politics are determined by where we used to live.

      New England has a particular culture, and each state in New England being very different from one another. New Hampshire is one of the only states in this country that will consider voting for someone from both parties. As a student at the University of New Hampshire I met almost every legitimate candidate that ran for president in 2004. We spend a lot of time with the candidates and those from our neighboring states tend to spend the most time. I'm sure many people would assume and probably correctly that someone from their state or region probably shares many of their values.

      "New Hampshire was the only state that Bush won in the 2000 presidential election but lost in the 2004 presidential election." - source: wikipedia

      100% I think that both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would be better presidents than Trump and have a desire to make our lives better. I firmly disagree with some of their ideas. I'm a moderate, I even lean a little right on economic issues, very liberal socially.

      To your original question. I live in NYC now. Most of my family lives in NY so I have some exposure to what it was like during his time as Mayor. Bloomberg is proven as a moderate politician. He also is a rational business person and built a profitable company, he lives in the real world, I don't think Bernie and Warren do given their ideas. They haven't explained how they would fund their ideas and that's because they can't, they won't happen and they won't get moderate independents to vote for them. Warren is no longer going to be a candidate because she couldn't answer how she would fund her health care ideas, she no longer could be trusted as a candidate. I like her as a Senator. Bernie is doing well because we all still trust him. Maybe he'll get the youth vote out but they don't really vote and if he doesn't ... he's not winning moderate republicans IMO.

      What I like the most about Bloomberg... he doesn't need the job and I believe with that freedom he genuinely wants to make the US a better place. Unlike our current President who doesn't really want the job and uses it mostly to enrich himself and the rest of his cohort.

      In the end, I would vote for Bernie/Warren but I just don't think they can win. So i'll vote for the guy who can fund the whole thing himself and I trust to be a good president.

    • he lives in the real world, I don't think Bernie and Warren do given their ideas. They haven't explained how they would fund their ideas and that's because they can't,

      I don't understand why the United States should be incapable of funding universal healthcare when every other country in the industrialized West can. The US spends almost twice as much per capita as European countries do yet has worse coverage and poorer public health outcomes.

    • I don't understand why the United States should be incapable of funding universal healthcare when every other country in the industrialized West can. The US spends almost twice as much per capita as European countries do yet has worse coverage and poorer public health outcomes.

      I'd like to think there is way to make universal healthcare possible and funded. I don't think any of these candidates currently have a realistic plan for that, it's a nice idea but how do you execute on it? Unless they are specifically proposing to eliminate the for profit insurance companies that take money out of the system and the frivolous malpractice lawsuits the drive up insurance costs i'm not sure the ecosystem will allow it. Preventative health care is a good idea.

      I'm not an expert in this matter, I don't know enough but both my parents are Doctors, voted for Obama twice and were firmly opposed to Obamacare. My Mom worked in an ER and planned parenthood for 25 years, she's on the front lines of what it looks like when we don't provide basic health care for families. We need it. How?

      Most of the politicians who propose legislation for health care have no idea how the system actually works or what's needed for the patients to deliver healthy outcomes. Too many career politicians and lawyers driving policy... not enough Engineers, Scientists, Doctors and rational business men and women who speak facts, understand P&Ls with realistic plans.

      What drives the 2x per capita cost?

    • What drives the 2x per capita cost?

      1. Administrative overhead because of the insanely complicated financing. A single payer system--like Medicare--greatly simplifies reimbursement rules. So providers can concentrate on delivering care rather than fighting to get paid. When I use the national health service here in Spain, there is no bill. Period.

      2. Profit by the insurance companies.

      3. Profit by pharmaceutical companies. As a matter of law, the US government cannot bargain for better prices with big pharma. This is utterly insane, and explains why Americans pay so much more for medicines than anyone else. I don't understand why you tolerate it.

      4. Marketing expense incurred by pharma and insurance companies.

      It's not really mysterious. There would probably be some tax increases, but for the typical citizen, they would be more than offset by the savings of premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses.

    • 3. Profit by pharmaceutical companies. As a matter of law, the US government cannot bargain for better prices with big pharma. This is utterly insane, and explains why Americans pay so much more for medicines than anyone else. I don't understand why you tolerate it.

      I've heard good arguments for a single payer system although medicare has some drawbacks... the system needs to work for Doctors as well and we'll probably have a shortage / crisis of not enough Doctors soon enough, our current system is not very good for them.

      Can you expand for #3? Profit by pharmaceutical companies. What's the original rationale for not allowing the US Government to negotiate?

      Should there be no profit or some profit or.. ?

    • Pharma lobbyists pushed it through as they were afraid the government would be able to set prices. There is no justification, just sheer political clout. They wanted to be the ones to set the prices. It's not reasonable to expect no profit, I suppose, but Swiss and German pharma aren't doing too badly, and they have to negotiate their prices with national health systems.

    • One more point about Klobuchar's age. If you look at the age of current Democratic candidates vs past presidents (when assuming office) she and Warren are the only ones who won't break a record if elected. The men candidates all will (either youngest or oldest)

    • In calculating the 2X higher cost of medical care in the US, we should include collection and write-offs of unpaid medical bills.

      This is part of the cost of doing business for doctors and hospitals in the United States: medical care is provided and then the patient is mailed a bill for the amount not covered or rejected by the insurance companies. And there’s no guarantee that the patient will be able to pay it.

      In the United States, one-third of Go Fund Me campaigns are for medical expenses. (Source: Time Magazine)

      So doctors implicitly have to charge higher fees in the US in order to cover the cost of medical care provided that will never be paid.

    • So doctors implicitly have to charge higher fees in the US in order to cover the cost of medical care provided that will never be paid

      One thing I know for sure, Most doctors don’t and can’t legally set the prices for care even if they own their practice. But to your point those who pay do subsidize those who can’t. And those who pay cash pay the most.

    • I've drifted left over my lifetime wrt economic policy because, counterintuitively, it seems to have worked best for the economy.

      Remember the pushback for Obama when they bailed out GM & Chrysler? No one would touch that but it turned out to be a huge boon for everyone. And the craziness of FDR's projects to build Hoover Dam, roads on the sides of cliffs in Zion's? Kennedy's insane man on the moon expensive project that was so unpopular until it wasn't? Clinton's budget surplus and great economy on the backs of a tax raise for the rich, which was completely undone by conservative trickle-down tax cuts for the rich by the Bush administration?

      I knew a lot of doctors, including my son-in-law family practice physician who were violently opposed to the Affordable Care Act until it worked and now they aren't. My right-wing conservative Utah relatives were seething mad about Obamacare until members of the family had to either face bankruptcy or sign up for it. We couldn't get them to sign up for Obamacare but they were willing to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, thereby getting good care and staving off bankruptcy. Just please don't let them know they are the same thing.

    • It's hard to dispute that tax cuts have resulted in recessions and the wealth gap is getting out of hand. The wealthiest Americans should be taxed more.

      If we raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, what should be done with those tax dollars? Seems to me there is a lot of waste. Personally i'd like to see more efficient use of tax dollars. California, my home for ten years seems to be struggling despite the prosperity. I'm not sure more taxes are the solution there? We need ideas, and innovation. I lived in the Marina in SF, probably one of the most expensive zip codes on the planet... the roads are falling apart. The state taxes are high, the city taxes are high, the payroll taxes are high. Something is broken.

      I was happy to pay the 3% AMT tax to fund the ACA. I'm all for preventative care, much better to treat someone early for something vs. waiting until someone has no choice but to go to an ER and it's too late or significantly harder and more expensive to treat. Invest in health.

      However, my health insurance cost has increased significantly every year for the past 3 years and the quality of my plan has gone from a gold plan to a silver plan and this year i'm a simple bronze plan which is more expensive then when I had a gold plan in 2018 (in NYC). All of the PPO plans have left NYC.

      How are we defining the success of Obamacare? I want it to be successful but what are the KPIs? I think it will take a generation before we see the long term benefits.

      It's better then what we had before but I'd argue we're not even close to where we should be. Why aren't smokers required to pay 10x more then everyone else. Shouldn't we be taxing fast food, and soda? I don't mind subsidizing roads, and education as I'm sure we all benefit from it, not so sure about health costs. Bad credit? Higher interest rate. Bad health due to life choices, should be higher insurance rate. I'm not sure why I should have to share health care costs with smokers and unhealthy individuals when I work hard and invest in my own health.

      If someone is obese and doesn't exercise, should they get a heart transplant? If someone smokes should they get a lung transplant? Should the system pay for it? Should we raise taxes so a single payer system is fully funded... or maybe we should balance our health budgets first :)?

      What if everyone was vegan @Chris might that solve a lot of our health problems?

    • In my mind, some of those questions are common good questions: I don't have kids, why do I have to pay for schools? Why should I have to vaccinate my kids? I'm healthy and take care of myself, why do I have to pay so much for health insurance? Good questions.

      And my answer is almost everyone benefits from the common good. People without kids benefit from kids getting an education so they don't turn to a life of crime and instead earn enough money to buy the products the rich sell. People who don't want to vaccinate their kids benefit from it being a requirement so other kids don't give their kids something awful, yada.

      Yes, there's waste and the roads and schools aren't good enough. But the rich's successful efforts to engineer big tax cuts simply leads to offshore tax havens, yada. Does Bezos really need 5 mega mansions he rarely visits? And if the conservative pundits like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, etc., really hated the waste of blue havens, why do they all live in them?

      I think a waste to rule them all is the invasion of Iraq. I don't think Gore would have done it. I think waste is borrowing an additional trillion a year and having to pay the interest on it. Or becoming the largest incarceration country in the world, locking up 2.3 million people that we have to pay all expenses for — facilities, food, insurance, education... They get all that free, but hard-working people don't.

      As for the high cost of medical care, the giant sucking sound is from the insurance companies. The US has done a good job of educating about smoking.

    • Yeah, Bernie will have to address his radical past. As a veteran of the McGovern debacle, I do worry some about going too far to the left. I think we can expect to see moderate Dems attack Bernie with the socialist label as he gets closer to being the nominee, though probably not as harshly as Trump will. The good news is that we will have a chance to see how well his response is received.

      If you want to talk about skeletons in the closet, nobody beats Trump, yet somehow he was elected. Polling data shows younger Americans are less afraid of socialism than their elders. Bernie's challenge is to explain to everyone that socialism is not the same as communism, that all capitalist countries have a mix of private and public sectors. I suspect that his frequent claim that the US has socialism for the rich will resonate among many people struggling to make ends meet. It may not be too difficult to pivot from labels to specific policies and concerns, like universal healthcare, affordable housing and education, minimum wage, family leave and the like.

    • Polling data shows younger Americans are less afraid of socialism than their elders

      Just because they're ok with it doesn't mean they're inspired by it. Bernie and none of the Democrats inspire like Obama did, I don't think socialism translates into votes IMO. So the only hope to beating Trump IMO is getting the moderate republicans and independents to vote for a Democrat. I don't think socialism will be the calling card for that cohort.

      Voter turn out as a percentage of eligible voters was DOWN compared to 2008. This is a bad sign. Iowa was worse. The last sentence on fivethirtyeight.com in an article describing how Bernie won, actually should be the lede.

      As a percentage of eligible voters, turnout in the Democratic primary this year was around 26 percent, while it was 29 percent in the 2008 Democratic primary. Source

      ***

      I feel like I've had a negative tone on this thread. @Chris knows me well, i'm a super optimistic, happy guy. Trump needs to go and it has to come from someone in the middle.

      I'm a moderate Democrat that agrees with some Republican principles and I think I'm very much like a large portion of this country including some folks who voted for Trump. I would vote for Mitt Romney over Bernie Sanders.

      How do we get independents and moderate republicans interested in a candidate who is a Democrat?

      How do we bring back the people who voted for Trump that we thought would vote for Hillary?

    • How do we bring back the people who voted for Trump that we thought would vote for Hillary?

      To answer this, I think you need to first figure out why Trump’s own behaviour isn’t enough of a reason.

    • To answer this, I think you need to first figure out why Trump’s own behaviour isn’t enough of a reason.

      great point, I think his behavior is in theory enough to bring back some votes but the person on the other side needs to not be scary. I don't see someone who voted for trump jumping on the socialism bandwagon. Other option... if they get the youth vote out then more socialist ideas have a chance but i'm not optimistic.

    • The Democratic party was scared of Thomas Eagleton in 1972. Yet Eagleton was a senator until 1986.

      Just because a cat is not a canine doesn't mean that it is not a mammal. I think that it is wrong when someone tries to suggest that communism was not socialism.

      There are much more recent examples of why many Americans are afraid of "socialism." The situation in Venezuela since 1999 is one example.

    • Hmmm...what about Norway? Denmark? Democratic socialism is not authoritarian, as communist regimes were. It is not a command economy--markets decide investment, but are regulated to protect citizens from, say, poisonous food or unsafe aircraft. Wait, doesn't that happen already in the US? Of course it does, and most Americans wouldn't want that to change.

    • Did anyone catch all the Instagram meme / sponsored posts from Bloomberg last night? It was an interesting strategy. Well coordinated if nothing else.