Today's Hillary News & Views starts with responses from the Clinton campaign over current debate regarding health care and gun control.
Health care seems to be getting the most chatter, so let’s start with that:
The Facts Behind the Health Care Debate
Hillary Clinton has spent her career fighting for universal health care, working at every level to expand access to quality, affordable care – and she continues to lay out proposals keep making progress:
As First Lady of Arkansas, she chaired the Arkansas Rural Health Advisory Committee, which focused on expanding health care access to isolated rural areas of the state.
As First Lady, she refused to give up when the insurance industry defeated health care reform. Instead, she worked with Republicans and Democrats to help create and implement the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which now provides health coverage to more than 8 million children.
As a Senator, Clinton gave her first floor speech on the importance of access to affordable health care and, in 2002 and 2003, she introduced the Small Employer Tax Assistance for Health Coverage Act, which would have allowed small employers a limited credit for employee health insurance expenses. She championed lower prescription drug prices for American consumers: she fought for Medicare to be able to negotiate for fair drug prices, supported getting generic drugs to market faster, and consistently backed safe prescription drug importation from other countries.
As a candidate for President, running in 2008, Hillary Clinton put out a specific proposal for universal coverage. And throughout this campaign, she has called repeatedly for building on the successes of the Affordable Care Act, which has already cut the uninsured rate to its lowest point in the country’s history. She has laid out detailed plans for lowering out-of-pocket health care costs, for reducing the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, and for ending Alzheimer’s by 2025, among other things.
Senator Sanders, on the other hand, has refused to give voters the details of his health care plan:
Last night, Bernie Sanders promised CNN’s Dana Bash that he would release a tax plan that included his biggest budget item and the cornerstone of his campaign – his Medicare-for-all plan.
But this morning, under pressure to explain how he’d pay for his sweeping agenda, his campaign released this chart – which remarkably omits his health care plan entirely.
That’s a pretty big omission. In fact, while the total cost of all proposals detailed in Sanders’ chart adds up to about $2.5 trillion, Bernie Sanders’ own senior policy advisor said that $15 trillion was a fair estimate for the cost of Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan.
Under Bernie Sanders 2013 Medicare-for-all legislation – the basis for his current plan that he has yet to release – “poor and middle-class taxpayers would have seen tax increases totaling nearly 9 percent,” according to the Washington Post.
As a matter of fact, Bernie Sanders has proposed health care legislation for two decades, and every single one of his bills would significantly hike middle class taxes:
That’s because experts agree it’s not possible to institute a plan like Sanders’ without hiking taxes on middle class families:
- Politico: "Economic experts have said it would be impossible to institute a single-payer system relying solely on tax hikes on the wealthy"
- Washington Post: “A single-payer health-care system would be costly for the government, and Sanders would almost certainly have to raise taxes on a broad group of Americans to fund whatever plan he puts forward.”
Year Income Tax Surtax on high incomes Payroll tax Corporate Tax Other 1993 Increases in regular income tax rates and 7.5% premium tax 10% 7.9% 4% increase Modified other deductions 1995 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - Tobacco tax 1997 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - Tobacco tax 1999 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - Tobacco tax 2001 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - Tobacco tax 2003 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - Tobacco tax 2005 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - Tobacco tax 2009 2.2% on all individuals - 8.7% - - 2011 2.2% on individual incomes under $200,000, with higher rates on higher incomes 5.4% 6.7% - Financial transaction tax 2013 2.2% on individual incomes under $200,000, with higher rates on higher incomes 5.4% 6.7% - Financial transaction tax
Despite all this – under pressure as a result of Hillary Clinton’s pledge not to hike middle class taxes at a time when they deserve pay raise – Sanders’ campaign actually claimed that his $15 trillion Medicare-for-all plan wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class.
This all explains why they’ve been so slippery about actually rolling out the details of his much-discussed Medicare-for-all plan – it can’t possibly meet all the criteria they’ve laid out. Dating back to July, Sanders himself claimed that he would introduce Medicare-for-all legislation in the “very near future” so people could see the details of his plan. But it never happened.
And just this morning, the day after Sanders promised that he’d release the details of his plan before the Iowa caucus, his own campaign manager backtracked on that promise. He says that Iowa voters won’t see his plan before they have to cast their votes.
Bernie Sanders has made his Medicare-for-all plan a bedrock of his campaign. Voters deserve a chance to evaluate the plan and how it will affect their lives. But he refuses to give them that chance.
Instead, they put out with a tax plan with a $15 trillion hole in it. And they did it because they don’t want to tell voters that the hole can only be closed by massive, across-the-board tax hikes.
And to distract from all this, they’re launching false attacks on Hillary Clinton, claiming she no longer supports the goal of universal health care by wrongly conflating it with a single-payer system and arguing that her support of the hard-won victory of Obamacare represents a flip flop.
Hillary Clinton has fought for universal health care her entire career. That’s exactly why she wants to build on the progress we’ve made with the Affordable Care Act, which has already cut the uninsured rate to its lowest point in the country’s history, rather than tearing it up.Of course, it’s hard to have a debate about health care plans when one campaign still hasn’t released theirs.
Des Moines Register reports:
News that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders may not release tax details of his universal health care plan before Iowans go to caucus on Feb. 1 sparked a heated back-and-forth between his campaign and that of his chief rival, Hillary Clinton.
As part of his populist campaign focused on working and middle-class Americans, Sanders is calling for a "Medicare-for-all" national health insurance program that would effectively negate the role of private insurers. While he had pledged to release full tax plans before Iowans vote, his national campaign manager on Wednesday told CNN that the specific tax implications of the health care plan may not be released this month.
Hillary Clinton's campaign wasted no time in pouncing on the announcement, slamming Sanders on Wednesday in a press call on the issue.
"I think one can only draw the conclusion that the Sanders campaign does not want to outline what would amount to a massive across the board tax increase," said Jake Sullivan, senior policy adviser for Hillary for America. "They want to essentially create a circumstance in which they try to lead voters to believe they can implement single-payer health care at no burden to anyone and everyone would be better off."As usual, the Sanders camp has smack talk, not policy proposals, in their response:
"Let’s be clear: Bernie Sanders will put forth details for universal coverage when he is ready and not because Hillary Clinton suddenly realized she is losing," Becker said.
"That is the clear kind of underlying concern that is animating Secretary Clinton and many others who want to see a clear and specific plan coming from Senator Sanders so that they can judge for themselves whether it makes sense," he said on a call with reporters on the subject Wednesday.
In the past, Sanders' legislation has called for tax increases to fund universal health care, Sullivan said, and the Clinton camp believes across-the-board tax increases, including increases among working class and middle class families, would be needed to fund his nationalized program.
"This is a major detail for Senator Sanders to withhold," said Brian Fallon, Clinton's national press secretary. "Like I said, it's not becoming and it's not worthy of the caucusgoers in Iowa."Economist Austan Goolsbee had weighed in on what Sanders has previewed about his plan, and come to the same conclusion as the number runners in the Clinton camp:
The Sanders folks have pushed back against these estimates mostly by saying that even if his plan would increase taxes, it wouldn't make anyone but the highest income people worse off because now people would not have to pay for things under his program that cost a lot now. So if you pay $2000 more in taxes and get free health care that you currently pay $2000 in insurance costs, that shouldn't really be considered a tax increase.
I was quoted in the original WSJ article saying that an expansion of government of this size did not seem feasible to me. But the new article got me thinking about the question of even if you could conceive of it, could you enact the Sanders program without having anyone but the rich pay for it. Three data facts here make me pretty sure Tankersley is right. Sanders' program would have to hike costs on the middle class by a fair amount.
1) On the non-health side, the Sanders proposals are well above the $3.3-$3.5 trillion mentioned in the articles. Realistically, his proposals are $5 trillion+. At that size, you almost certainly need taxes on the middle class to pay for them.
2) Sanders is right that we shouldn't just think of his single-payer health plan as a $15 trillion tax increase. We should ask whether people would be better or worse off in total. But even by that measure, lots of low and middle income workers would, in fact, be worse off and paying higher taxes.
3) Sanders' plan would raise government spending more than $20 trillion over the next 10 years. It would take government expenditures as a share of GDP in the U.S. to levels equal to the big European social welfare states. Advanced countries with governments that size rely on heavy taxes on the middle class like big VAT/Sales taxes and high income tax rates that apply to large shares of their population.Clinton also defended daughter Chelsea for her accurate descriptions of Sanders’ plan, and brushed off worries about tightening polls.
ABC News reports:
“You know, I adore my daughter and I know what she was saying,” Clinton told “Good Morning America” about Chelsea Clinton. “Because if you look at Senator Sanders’ proposals going back nine times in the Congress, that’s exactly what he’s proposed. To take everything we currently know as health care, Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP Program, private insurance, now of the Affordable Care Act, and roll it together.”
When asked whether her increased attacks on Sanders are because she is feeling nervous, Clinton laughed. “You know, I have a different rhythm about how a campaign goes,” she told co-anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“I want to win, but I have a very long view about this,” she explained, “I've been organizing in the states that come after -- South Carolina, Nevada – and in the states that come after that. I campaigned until June last time, as we all remember.”Meanwhile, her claims about Sanders’ gun record got a rare “Gepetto Checkmark” from the Washington Post Fact Checker, indicating her claim was “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”:
“You know, there was a loophole, my opponent voted for it, Senator Sanders, that at the end of three days, business days, you get that gun whether they have finished the background check or not. The killer in Charleston who brought that gun, if they had just spent a little more time, it would’ve been discovered, he should not have been able to buy the gun, because he had a federal record.”
— Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, interview with CNN, Jan. 12, 2016
Clinton repeatedly has attacked her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on gun issues. It is potentially a ripe target, given that the rural-state lawmaker occasionally supported positions advocated by the National Rifle Association.
This statement jumped out at The Fact Checker, as Clinton is drawing a direct link between a vote taken by Sanders to a recent gun tragedy — the July 17, 2015, killing of nine people by Dylann Roof at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.
Some gun-control advocates have starting calling the three-day waiting period the “Charleston loophole.” But where did that three-day window come from?
It was in the final version of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that was passed by Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
As we have noted before, Sanders voted repeatedly against the Brady bill, which in its original version had a 10-day waiting period. But he did vote for an NRA-backed amendment, sponsored by then-Rep. George Gekas (R-Pa.), that altered the Brady bill to require instant criminal background checks five years after enactment, even though the technology did not exist at the time.
The Pinocchio TestThe vote in question took place almost a quarter-century ago, but there is a relatively straight line from the 1993 vote to the 2015 shooting.
While Sanders did not specifically vote for a three-day period, he did vote for an even shorter one-day window. As a result of the amendment he supported in the House, the seven-day window was erased and the period for background checks emerged from House-Senate negotiations as just three days. Then Sanders ended up voting against requiring any background checks at all.
Clinton earns an elusive Geppetto Checkmark.Clinton’s campaign has also provided the facts about that gun manufacturer immunity bill:
In the United States, you can sue a toy company for making an unsafe teddy bear—but you can’t sue a company that manufactured an assault rifle used to kill a classroom of elementary school students.
That’s because the gun industry has a unique legal protection, thanks to their allies in Congress.Under a law passed by a Republican-controlled Congress in 2005, victims of gun violence cannot legally hold irresponsible gun dealers or manufacturers accountable in most cases where their actions endanger Americans.
Here’s what that means: The families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting will likely be prevented from suing Bushmaster, the company that made the military-style rifle that took a deadly toll in that classroom in Newtown, Connecticut.
And the family of one of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting was legally blocked from suing an online gun dealer that sold 4,000 rounds of ammunition to the shooter without checking his driver’s license.
The executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, has called the immunity law “the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years.”
This law, which has been on the books for more than 10 years, is a startling example of what’s at stake in this election. Because if you agree with President Obama that we need a president who will stand up to the gun lobby, the choice is clear.
Hillary Clinton (and then-Senator Obama) stood up to the gun lobby and voted against shielding firearms manufacturers and dealers from legal liability.
Bernie Sanders voted with the gun lobby. In fact, he did it twice: once in 2005, and once in 2003.Senator Sanders’s votes to give the gun lobby legal immunity are even more puzzling when you consider this: He voted to reject that same immunity for fast-food restaurants and five other industries.
The law that lets gun manufacturers and dealers act without consequence should be overturned. There’s only one candidate in this race who has what it takes to do that.Even now, Senator Sanders says he doesn’t regret the vote. But he does say he’d make one change: He’d modify the bill to allow consumers to sue gun companies if they knowingly sell guns to criminals.
That’s a great idea—such a great idea, in fact, that it’s already part of the law.
Hillary has a more straightforward solution: Repeal the bill entirely and hold the gun industry accountable.
Vox reports on the accuracy of Clinton’s claims that women leaders are better listeners:Ending the gun industry's legal immunity is an important step in tackling the epidemic of gun violence in this country. For Hillary, that’s not just talk: She’s been standing up to the gun lobby for years. And when it really mattered, Senator Sanders stood with them.
"I just think women in general are better listeners, are more collegial, more open to new ideas and how to make things work in a way that looks for win-win outcomes," she said.
These comments fit Clinton’s narrative: that as a woman, she can break through partisan vitriol and gridlock with a more collaborative approach. But are her assertions born out of facts?
The body of research on women in leadership roles is large and unwieldy, but taken together, the social science suggests there are indeed some substantive differences in the ways men and women lead. "As a social scientist, I would give [Clinton's] statements a pass," said Alice Eagly, an expert on women in leadership at Northwestern University.
There are two qualities where this difference is starkest. Women consistently rate higher than men, on average, in promoting "relational" and "participative" leadership.
A person is a "relational" leader when he or she derives some authority from relationships with aides or employees. So a relational boss would get to know members of his or her team — by asking about their families or weekend plans — in order to forge a tighter bond. Bosses who lean in the opposite direction are "transactional," a self-explanatory term that describes a leadership style that’s more directed.
In a similar vein, a "participative" boss is someone who involves team members in brainstorming and decision-making. Someone on the opposite end of that spectrum would be a "directive" leader, delivering the results of a decision to her team without prior input.
So on these points, Hillary Clinton is right: Women do listen more. They are more collegial and open to new ideas. All of those traits are hallmarks of the two psychological qualities that set women apart.Variety reports on the latest union to endorse Clinton:
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.
The below-the-line union, which has about 125,000 members, cited “her long record of fighting for workers’ rights and working families.”
“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that reached out to discuss issues affecting members of the IATSE,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “She spent her valuable time discussing our unique issues and challenges with me, demonstrating not just her support of workers in general, but also that she is concerned with the well-being of members of the IATSE.”
IATSE said it looks forward to working with Clinton on digital piracy, workers’ rights, misclassification of workers and other issues affecting behind-the-scenes entertainment workers. The union noted in the announcement that it had released a statement in July that praised Clinton for “calling out companies that misclassified workers as independent contractors.”Clinton responded to the endorsement:
Hillary Clinton released the following statement about the announcement that the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Clinton now has the endorsement of 21 national labor unions or labor alliances representing over 12 million American workers.
“For decades, members of IATSE have entertained and delighted Americans, but that’s not all. IATSE has fought for good pay and safe working conditions and the chance for everyone who works hard to get ahead. As President, I will stand with IATSE and with hard-working Americans across our country.
“We’ll fight back against corporate efforts to misclassify workers as independent contractors in an attempt to shirk paying fair wages and earned benefits. And we’ll stand up for the right to organize and bargain collectively. I’m proud to have the Theatrical Stage Employees standing with me and I’ll always stand with them. Together we’ll protect the hard-won progress we’ve made, not let a Republican President rip it all away —because when workers are strong, families are strong, and when families are strong, America is strong.”DREAMer activist and Clinton campaign staffer Lorella Pareli shares her story:
When I was two years old, I was hit by a car and pinned against a wall in Peru. I survived, but my right leg was amputated. Mi mamá, Chela, and mi papá, Manolo, moved heaven and earth to get me to the United States for the specialized medical treatment I needed. When it became clear that the best treatment options were in the United States, my mother made the decision to overstay her visa.
For the past 16 years, she hasn’t been able to go back to Peru. If you are undocumented, and you leave the country, you may never make it back in.
But this Christmas, my mother’s dream came true: she got to return to see her father, Papá José, who is sick. And I got to be there with her.
My name is Lorella, and this is my story.
I had a relatively normal childhood. My mom, sister, and I settled in Connecticut, and I went to the local public school.
Then, when I applied to college I had to fill out the FAFSA form to apply for financial aid, everything changed.
That’s when my mom told me three w ords that are seared into my memory: No tenemos papeles.
We are undocumented.
Initially, I felt powerless. I was angry, I was hurt, and for some time, I felt ashamed. Then I met fellow DREAMers and I realized — this is my country just as much as it is anybody else’s.
This country was founded by millions of immigrants like me and my family, and I wasn’t going to let fear define who I was or how my future was going to unfold. So, I became an activist, too.
Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail talk about us as if we don’t have families, as if we don’t laugh, cry, and love like any other person. They’re wrong.
We will not be spoken about as if we were cattle — we will not be “rounded up” by the millions and deported.
This past June, afters years working in the immigration activist community, I joined Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as Director of Latino Outreach. Some were surprised. They didn’t expect somebody with my background as an outspoken DREAMer activist to be working on her campaign.
Since joining, I’ve watched as vitriol invades the airwaves, permeating every aspect of a once reasonable party. How dare Republicans speak that way about millions of hardworking people, leering at us as if we were the source of the nation’s woes. And how is it that candidates with backgrounds like mine turn a blind eye to — and in some cases participate in — the hatred engulfing their party?
Millions of Latinos — who are just as revolted as I am — are listening. Hillary está con nosotros, she is with us, and that is why I am fighting with her.
Hillary will stand up to ugly rhetoric and fight for families like mine. She’ll fight to defend DACA and DAPA, President Obama’s executive actions that provide relief from deportation for DREAMers and parents of Americans and permanent lawful residents. And she’ll fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship.
That is why, as your fellow American, I am here luchando every day.