Folks have been asking about Phase 3. What if I told you it was REAL EPIC?
I can’t make it more clear how proud I am of all the activists who stepped up to fight for relief from our failed government… We produce our own sovereign currency and the Pandemic has proven without a doubt that the poverty we experience is, in fact, manufactured for no other reason than to create haves and have nots.
If you want to catch up on phase 1 & 2 in the Facebook posts that started this, they’re included as part of my last article here → https://bit.ly/387tV3r
Basically, progressives who backed Bernie have been following the strategy we first used to push through the $600 enhanced UI earlier last year to drive Senators to take action now and things are starting to get intense.
Our Elected Officials are accountable to us and we’ve lost touch with some of the “old ways” that kept people like McConnell from being who he’s been through the last year. An incredible amount of our future hinges on what happens in Georgia in a few days, so please, if you have time… donate it.
After the moderate success of the first relief bill, we fell asleep and Congress was prepared to give us nothing… and did for several months…
UI benefits even dried up.
So, as the debate seemed like it was winding down we lit a fire, broke free from some shiny distractions, and started making contacts to build power and back Bernie in the Senate … we quickly went from no money to $600, though paltry, a win at this stage, and $300 enhanced UI which is not only a Bernie program but could easily be turned into permanent UBI.
But right now we are not here to discuss our past wins, though I do want to make it clear what is possible if we effectively use our “inside/outside” strategy opportunity. Activists rarely get an opportunity like this.
Right now session is starting back up in the House and the Senate. This means that if Georgia flips we are entering a Democratic-controlled everything and Biden’s first relief bill is due in ten weeks, remember the UI extension included PUA and that means zero UI for millions of Americans when it runs out. That’s going to happen really fast.
Now I don’t want you to think that just because Democrats control everything that suddenly means faeries will drop from the sky and meet all of our demands… not at all… Actually, it’s the opposite…
I expect them to fight tooth and nail at every stop.
But with no McConnell or Trump to hide behind then we can finally have full accountability on the Democrats to either give us progressive policy that is absolutely crucial to the recovery or they give Democrats a reason to vote differently in primaries… and that’s what this has all been about.
Now we can go after their legacies and they have nothing left to hide behind.
You are going to quickly find that very old politicians care a whole lot about how they are going to be remembered by history, by applying pressure here we are going to save lives and possibly create the largest recruitment drive Progressives have ever seen…
You can check out my other posts to get the breakdown of how to do the instate office protests that allows you to build statewide organizations and start building up Senate challengers at the end of this article… But remember, 34 Senators, 22 Republicans, and 12 Democrats are up for reelection in 2022 and Progressive Democrats have not yet put anyone into a Senate seat… Senate campaigns take a ton of money with even more sweat equity.
Let’s be honest about that and get it going.
If you don’t have trust in electoral politics anymore, then don’t worry the plan involves a ton of protesting, as creatively as possible short of violence…
In addition to all this, on January 2nd the House progressives fought for and got a PayGo exemption for Pandemic and Climate-related relief bills.
This is a big deal because it paves the way not only for things like the Green New Deal but also for what we are going to do next…
The Pandemic has been handled horrendously and the suffering has no clear end in sight. Folks who have already been left in shambles by the Pandemic cannot be forgotten, we can’t simply take care of only the “new problems.” We have to handle the damage done last year to recover now.
It's not just about helping moving forward, it's about picking up the pieces.
The first retroactive bill at the top of everyone’s list is the $2k retroactive payments from the start of the pandemic cosponsored by Markey, Sanders, and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris. This bill is currently still hosted on her website. If that doesn’t make it comparable to a campaign promise then I don’t know what it is… if she wants to ever be elected President, not saying I want that but if she does, then she and her K-hive had better make sure that gets this through.
You can view it here → https://bit.ly/2X2GneE
But it shouldn’t stop with just that single bill.
We need a catch-all for retroactive actions that can be simply said, is easy to remember, accurately describes the program, and look good on a protest sign.
We need our government to get REAL about the Pandemic and our recovery.
It can be anything, if it is Pandemic related or recovery-focused then we just got Congressional clearance to put it up without asking who pays for it.
It becomes almost a ‘COVID reparations’ and opens the door to actual reparations as folks better understand America's debts to its people.
Now the next one is a little more touchy because it relates to Single Payer.
I was already convinced that we had to start making the argument to use a new pandemic-focused name for the policy but because of the shift in the PayGo exemption, the reasoning is greater than ever to make a change.
Don’t balk at the name immediately, let me explain before you’re triggered… It is exactly like something you like a lot but with a name you don’t.
Yes, this uses some ‘Obama era language’, but Biden is going to be President and it is a lot harder for him to say no to a program that sounds like an extension of the Obama era than it is the major policy plank of his opponent in the primary… The Public Option even is just an empty shell, you can simply drop Medicare for All’s policies in it like it’s an empty box.
Bernie is the “Amendment King”… I doubt he cares who gets the credit.
But right now, this would be a program created in the same method as the UI system being used to administer assistance via PUA, by granting access to the Medicare Network but as a “temporary” program means Congress will initiate the program with a broader stroke and less nitpicking. There is no connection to the loathed Insurance market and it would be accessed without age or means-testing… because those extra steps would simply intervene in the nature of the emergency assistance required.
Plus, there is an existing precedent to set up the system this way.
Folks bouncing around the healthcare system as they are forced to quarantine, lose their job, or lost a family member who had family coverage … really the horror just goes on and on, are going to need help with stability in unstable times. Them being afraid to seek medical care or pilling on new medical debt is going to be extremely detrimental to our recovery and cause more pain in addition to the now unavoidable pain we are already experiencing from the catastrophe that is this virus.
We need everyone affected by COVID, and that’s absolutely everyone at this point, to understand that they can seek medical care without fear of bankrupting themselves or not being treated for lack of insurance. We have to stop the debt being created now, minimize treatable non-COVID deaths in addition to stopping COVID, and possibly improve on Medicare just a little bit to provide mental healthcare which is a tentpole for Republicans as the isolation is continuously required.
Not to mention, this will keep folks out of our overwhelmed emergency rooms by treating illness before it is an emergency, cutting our COVID cases too.
The bottom line? This will help stop the spread of COVID.
And just in case you can’t read between the lines here, it’s basically an M4A Trojan Horse but with just enough difference to maintain enough deniability to still push it through and educate in the process. When Republicans finally inevitably complain that it is a Trojan Horse then we can point out how Bernie’s policy is actually much better because it solves the existing Medicare issues. Then we are that much closer to the public wanting to fix them as the dialogue grows.
Using every opportunity to educate is still our biggest factor to consider.
In that line of thought, Folks say that a huge margin of folks support Medicare for All and they cite a particular Fox News Poll, but the Poll actually asked if voters supported “government-run healthcare.” I assume they used inflammatory language thinking it would turn folks off but it backfired.
Medicare for All isn’t just a specific type of policy, it's a series of goalposts.
But the idea from the Poll and our policy are technically different things.
The end goal with all of this is to create an effective single-payer system and that would include needing to fold all the existing government programs into a single one as a method to cut costs and redundancy… the Pandemic creates an undeniably effective pathway for immediate action along this line of thinking, plus its the morally correct thing to do.
As far as I can tell, based on his approach to both the Democratic Party and healthcare, Bernie is following the rules of thermodynamics that state that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed… and this is what the transformation beginning would look like from where we are now.
This means we fight to keep it and improve on it until it looks like the policy outlined in Bernie’s Medicare for All policy plank. It’s an excellent policy even for folks who hate Bernie, they just need to read it.
This is not a diversion of policy, only of tactics.
Right now millions of people have lost their healthcare but at the same time, they are conditioned to want “insurance” and assurance is what we should give them that they can keep their insurance even if they lost it, so it’s in the name but it's “in name only.”
Doing This actually has a few benefits beyond just assuring folks and creating stability by keeping the phrasing within their conditioning, this also makes the insurance market think they might get their hands on it later… So, they should let it go as a temporary program now and possibly even help fight to extend it once they shift their profits.
I call this “Balloon-Payment” theory… they are putting off dealing with it today to deal with a bigger problem later… Most of these really problematic folks are money managers or investment bankers and they will ALWAYS take the balloon payment because in investments you quickly hand it off before the large payment is due to someone else but that mentality doesn’t work in politics because it doesn’t go away and it requires upkeep.
We can use that to our advantage.
This is precisely how we got the Super Delegate Reform done and the Delegates just voted at the convention for only two things, Joe Biden (bleh), and keeping the Super Delegate Reform in place… though it should be said it can be reopened in 2022 and that fight continues.
But most importantly, right now, time is of the essence.
Once these folks get their jobs with healthcare tied to it back then the window for a national push on this scale is closed. The Neoliberals and austerity pushers understand the timetable so they are trying to stall us until they can get the Pandemic under control and their investments protected…
Because their investments are all they care about.
The short version of this is if it works then we get healthcare while we fight for healthcare and our retroactive needs met… These are technically still largely undefined but that’s the point… It's a “fluid” strategy that has already had many hands on it, I expect there to be more… maybe even yours.
So, instead of forcing a single vote that may or may not happen, but certainly won’t pass, we can force a less threatening but equally valuable vote and attach it to a relief bill which is almost certainly going to pass in the immediate future, and if they won’t then we have the fuel to turn the lockstep Democrats against them.
Plus, Biden won’t veto single-payer if it starts like this as part of a larger relief package… if he does then he just looks like Trump does right now.
As a temporary program, it will happen more quickly immediately, more folks will get access, and there is a greater opportunity to make a better program more quickly long-term. Not to mention, if millions of folks suddenly have access to this network more doctors and providers will start accepting it, bringing the overall prices of Healthcare down as well.
For the budget-hawks, this is the most cost-effective way to administer care.
For the Trumpers, it’s built on Trump’s Executive Order to pay for the uninsured at Medicare prices…
And for the folks pushing FTV… You get to say that it was your drive for healthcare that opened the door to have this conversation…
And you know what, it would be true because it did.
Thank you, your work matters.
I cannot underscore the importance enough of understanding that everyone has a different role to play in the movement and we need all of them working together to reach the critical mass where the politicians will do a damn thing!
I hope we can come together because based on how Biden’s people plan to continue to try to use austerity to piecemeal our recovery, I assume we will be dealing with Relief packages all year. The only way to solve the problem is to institute the Progressive Agenda. It looks like we will get the opportunity but it will be piece by piece, bit by bit for the next eighteen months or more.
And at the end of it, either we get the progressive policy that is needed to get American and its people back on their feet, or they get well funded primary challengers with voters wanting to vote differently in the primary.
At this point, it's not even a better world we are fighting for, it's just one where everyone has the chance to survive.
Folks are simply not surviving to see the future…
And we deserve a future worth fighting for.
**Phase 4 has gone live — > https://bit.ly/3nI0yJH**
I have since added to this acronym… GET is General Emergency Tactics.
So we need to ‘GET REAL EPIC’ about the Pandemic.
You can follow Don Ford on Twitter for updates. https://twitter.com/TheWordofDon
You can also see the first strategy for Medicare For All before Bernie wrote his policy here… → https://bit.ly/2X32VMr
It’s come a long way since 2017 but the overall idea hasn't changed much.