Alon Preiss: Dems Should Heed Lessons from Kentucky, Virginia and 2018

Nov. 6, 2019. Well, let me say this about that.

We won big in Virginia, and we also won in Kentucky, of all places. (By “we,” I mean the Dems, with whom I caucus, but only because there is no Trotskyite party.)

The key to winning elections

It turns out that people don’t love it when the government threatens to take away their health care. This is a central key to beating Trump in 2020. Once this idiotic impeachment distraction is over, let’s promise to preserve and protect, and improve, the health care system in America.

Look, if God existed, and if I were God, and if I were creating the world from out of darkness and light, I guess I would give humans a better health care system. It would be free, and provided by the government. I would also make human beings good (rather than bad), so that the system would run without corruption.

But we cannot start fresh. We have the healthcare system that we have; it is Obamacare, and although there is plenty to improve, Obamacare can work. If we merely promise to improve Obamacare (which we know how to do), the insurance industry, which employs so many Americans, and, through workplaces, insures so many Americans, will remain in place, which avoids economic disruption. Individuals who are self-employed, or who do not receive insurance through their employers, buy through state-run insurance exchanges. If we return to the original mandate, everyone must have insurance, even healthy people who otherwise would take their chances, and prices come back down. Americans who cannot afford insurance on the exchanges get a subsidy. And (in another improvement) those who prefer Medicare may buy in to Medicare. This was an important element in the original plan, which didn’t make it past Joe Lieberman’s treachery.

How Dems can win

Instead of Protect and Improve Obamacare, Dems are saying this: Remember the last time we were in power, a brief three years ago? Remember how we gave you Obamacare? Wow, oops! It was really bad! Sorry about that!

Not a good slogan. And not even true.

People actually like their healthcare; they want it improved, but they don’t want it to go away. And people are afraid of change. Dems could be the party promising to protect and improve everyone’s healthcare. Or they can scream, Medicare for all! which lets Trump, ironically but correctly, claim to be the protector of the current healthcare system.

Don’t do it, Dems!

A better idea

If you want to do something big and disruptive, I direct your attention to the Green New Deal, which will revitalize the U.S. economy by pouring government resources in new green industries, and it will save the world.

You know, I’m all in favor of better healthcare, but if we don’t have a planet to live on, what is healthcare good for?


Alon Preiss is the author of A Flash of Blue Sky (2015) and In Love With Alice (2017), which are both available from Chickadee Prince Books.