Monday, September 25, 2017

Wage Slavery


Trump Again Shows His Racism And Disdain For Equality

(This image was found on the Facebook page of Kevin Karstens.)

Throughout his life, Donald Trump has acted in ways that show his racism. From his banning Blacks from living in his buildings repeated in the 1970's to his remarks on the campaign trail to his remarks supporting the white supremacists in the Charlottesville demonstrations. A couple of days ago, he added more proof of his racist views.

In a rally for a Republican senate candidate in Alabama, he veered off-topic to denigrate Americans who act to call for racial justice in the United States. He offensively labeled them as "those people" and called the "sons-of-bitches". He was, of course, referring to minority individuals who peacefully protest racial injustice. He even called for them to be fired from their jobs.

During his campaign, he claimed he was a "uniter", but that was evidently just a sick joke. He has done more since assuming office to divide this country than any other American president has -- by far. He has made it clear that he doesn't believe in a diverse country, but only a country where whites rule and make all the decisions (and minorities are not treated equally under the law).

He should be ashamed of himself, but he has made it very clear that he has no shame (or ethics or morality). He's also made it clear that he doesn't believe in the rule of law or the Constitution upon which that law is based. The Supreme Court made it clear in 1943 that no American can be forced to stand for the pledge or the national anthem. And the Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to peaceably demonstrate.

To America's great shame, we now have an unrepentant racist living in the White House.

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In response to Trump's racist speech in Alabama, more NFL players than ever took to their knee during the playing of the national anthem yesterday, and some teams did not even come on to the field until after the anthem was played. They made it clear that they support equal justice -- not racism.

But Trump is nothing if not obstinate. In his defense, he tweeted:


Of course, all that tweet did was show his own idiocy. American soldiers do not fight for a flag or a song. They fight to support and defend the Constitution (which guarantees all citizens the right to peaceably demonstrate for a redress of their grievances). Here is the oath they must take:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." 

 Note that there's nothing in that oath about fighting for or defending a flag or a song -- only the Constitution of the United States.

Sadly, that's not a document that Trump seems to care much about.

Disgusting ?

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at darrinbell.com.

The Public's Opinion Of The Two Major Political Parties



The two charts above reflect the results of the latest CNN News / SSRS Poll -- done between September 17th and 20th of a random national sample of 1,053 adults, with a 3.7 point margin of error.

It shows the Democratic Party with a 12 point advantage in favorable ratings over the Republican Party (41% to 29%). That 29% favorable rating for the GOP is the lowest rating it has ever received in the CNN/SSRS poll.

The Democratic Party also has an 11 point lower unfavorable rating than the Republican Party (51% to 62%).

A word of caution to Democrats. This will not automatically turn into a win at the polls in 2018. There's work to be done to make sure that we have an extraordinarily large turnout for the off-year election. If we have a large turnout, I believe we can flip one or both houses of Congress.

Hypocrisy

Political Cartoon is by Lalo Alcaraz.

18% of Children In The United States Still Live In Poverty


We have both good news and bad news regarding child poverty in the United States. The good news is that the child poverty rate fell to 18%. The bad news is that 18% of the children in the United States are still living in poverty.

That translates into millions of children. There are about 74.5 million children in the United States. 18% of them means about 13.4 million live in poverty. Is it acceptable to you that over 13 million children live in poverty in the richest nation in the world (a higher percentage than in most other developed countries)?

It seems to be acceptable to Republican officials. They have cut programs designed to help these children to the bone (food stamps, welfare, school lunches, Medicaid, etc.), and they want to cut more. Oddly enough though, they can always find billions more to funnel to their rich buddies in the military-industrial complex (you didn't think that increased military budget actually went to soldiers for salaries and benefits, did you?).

The following article on child poverty is from the Economic Policy Institute:

Last week the Census Bureau released data on income, poverty, and health insurance, which showed a slight decline in the national poverty rate (from 14.7 percent in 2015 to 14.0 percent in 2016). There was an even sharper decline in the poverty rate for children under 18 years old, from 19.7 percent in 2015 to 18.0 percent in 2016. While any decrease in poverty is welcome news, national numbers can hide the stark differences in poverty rate by race.

Native American, African American, and Hispanic children continue to face the highest poverty rates, all hovering around 30 percent. Despite a small increase in Native American median household income over the year, 1 in 3 Native American children were in poverty in 2016—completely unchanged from 2015. Native Americans are the only ethnic or racial group where child poverty did not go down this year. African American and Hispanic children saw the largest percentage point decrease over the one year period (-2.1 percentage points and -2.3 percentage points, respectively), but still, approximately 1 in 3 children live in poverty. Native American and African American children are also three times more likely to be in poverty than white children. Similar to 2015, Asian childhood poverty rates continue to be similar to white children, and below the overall national childhood poverty rate.

Childhood poverty declines when working parents are able to find quality jobs with a decent wage and benefits including child care and paid family leave. While the federal minimum wage sits at $7.25, many states and localities have increased their minimum wages, which helps lift working families out of poverty. At the same time, government programs including Social Security, refundable tax credits, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are directly responsible for keeping tens of millions out of poverty across the country. While some policymakers continue to try and gut the investments that cut poverty in half year-in and year-out, such as Medicaid and affordable health care, broad-based wage growth is the best way to fight poverty.

In The Sandbox

Political Cartoon is by Bruce Plante in Tulsa World.

Joe Kennedy III


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Questions / Answers


Majority Thinks The Russians Affected 2016 Election Result


We've known for a while that Russian trolls spread misinformation on social media during the 2016 presidential campaign. Now we learn that Facebook actually sold ads to Russians trying to affect the election in favor of Donald Trump. The question, of course, is did that Russian use of social media actually affect the outcome of the presidential election?

A majority of Americans (54%) think it did affect the outcome, while only 43% don't believe that -- a difference of 11 points. Women (by 18 points), under 45's (by 16 points), over 45's (by 6 points), Nonwhites (by 42 points), those making less than $50k (by 23 points), Democrats (by 66 points), and Independents (by 13 points) agree that Russian use of social media did affect the election outcome.

Men (by 7 points), Whites (by 6 points), those making over $50k (by 1 point), and Republicans (by 67 points) don't believe the Russians affected the outcome of the election.

The chart reflects the results of a new CNN News / SSRS Poll -- done between September 17th and 20th of a random national sample of 1,053 adults, with a 3.7 point margin of error.

Experienced (At Failure)

Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Republicans Are The Party Of Corruption





Republican officials love to parade their religion in public, and they claim to be the party of "values". But that doesn't seem to matter when they get one of their own in the White House. Republican presidencies have been far more corrupt than those of the Democrats -- especially the administrations of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush II.

The current administration seems determined to continue the GOP tradition of corruption. Trump has refused to distance himself from his business interests, and has used government money to enrich himself. And that doesn't even take into account the amount of money foreign governments spend at his businesses to curry favor with the administration. Or the corrupt officials he has appointed to government jobs.

I think the Trump administration will undoubtably be the most corrupt administration of all -- making the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush II administrations look good by comparison. Our only hope is to limit the damage by making sure this administration gets no more than four years.

The charts above are from Daily Kos.

If Poor Whites Were Treated Like Minorities

Political Cartoon is by Jen Sorensen at jensorensen.com.

Graham-Cassidy Version Of Trumpcare Would Hurt Millions


The Republicans say they want to repeal Obamacare to help all Americans. That is nothing more than a sick joke. Every plan they have come up with would take health care insurance away from millions of Americans. The latest version is the Graham-Cassidy bill, and it may well be the worst plan yet.

The truth is that congressional Republicans don't believe decent and adequate health care is a right of every citizen. For them, health care is just a product to be sold to those who can afford it. That's why every plan they've come up with would hurt the poor, the working class, and many in the middle class.

This latest plan is no different, which is one reason they want to try and get it passed before the CBO can score it. They know it will hurt millions, and really don't care as long as they can undo the help given to citizens by Obamacare.

But while the CBO hasn't yet scored the latest version of Trumpcare, the Brookings Institute has done it -- and here is a tiny bit of their report:

On September 13, Senators Graham and Cassidy, together with two other Republican colleagues, introduced legislation that would repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Press reports indicate that the legislation has gained considerable support among Senate Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s office announced on Wednesday that the Senate would hold a vote on this legislation sometime during the week of September 25.
This legislation has not yet been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and CBO has indicated that it will not be able to provide a complete analysis of the legislation before the Senate vote. Notably, CBO stated that its analysis would not include “point estimates of [the Graham-Cassidy legislation’s] effects on the deficit, health insurance coverage, or premiums.” To help fill the gap left by the Senate’s decision to hold a vote in the absence of a complete CBO analysis, this analysis draws upon CBO’s estimates for prior legislation to evaluate how the Graham-Cassidy legislation might affect the number of people with health insurance coverage.
For years prior to 2020, this new legislation broadly tracks prior Republican bills, most importantly by immediately repealing the individual mandate. CBO’s analyses of these prior bills imply that the Graham-Cassidy legislation would reduce insurance coverage by around 15 million in 2018 and 2019. The reduction would be larger if uncertainty about the effects of the more radical changes implemented by the legislation in 2020 caused some insurers to pre-emptively withdraw from the individual market.
Starting in 2020, the Graham-Cassidy proposal would eliminate the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and Marketplace subsidies. Also in that year, the legislation would begin providing block grant funding to states, as well as allowing states to seek waivers from ACA regulations that bar insurers from varying premiums based on health status and require insurers to cover certain health care services.
To estimate the effects on insurance coverage during these years, we consider the various ways in which states might respond to the options provided by the legislation, using prior CBO analyses to evaluate the likely coverage outcomes for each of four broad categories of states. We then make assumptions about how many states will take each broad policy approach.
Based on this analysis, we estimate that the Graham-Cassidy legislation would reduce the number of people with insurance coverage by around 21 million each year during the 2020 through 2026 period. This estimate likely understates the reductions in insurance coverage that would actually occur under the Graham-Cassidy legislation, particularly toward the beginning and end of the seven-year period, because it does not account for the challenges states will face in setting up new programs on the bill’s proposed timeline, the possibility that uncertainty about the program’s future will cause market turmoil toward the end of the seven-year period, or the bill’s Medicaid per capita cap and other non-expansion-related Medicaid provisions. These estimates are, of course, subject to considerable uncertainty, most importantly because predicting how states would respond to the dramatic changes in the policy environment under the Graham-Cassidy proposal is very challenging. What is clear, however, is that the legislation would result in very large reductions in insurance coverage.
The Graham-Cassidy legislation’s adverse effects on insurance coverage are likely to increase after its block grant funding expires at the end of 2026. After that time, the legislation is similar to the “repeal and delay” proposal that the Senate considered in July, which CBO estimated would reduce the number of people with insurance coverage by 32 million people in the long run. Reductions in insurance coverage would likely be somewhat larger under the Graham-Cassidy proposal because of the legislation’s non-expansion related Medicaid provisions, which would further reduce insurance coverage.

Warning Table

Political Cartoon is by Ruben Polling at tomthedancingbug.com.

Religious Bigotry


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Same Opportunity ?


Democrats Slightly Ahead In Generic Congressional Vote


This chart shows the results of a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between September 17th and 19th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,292 registered voters), with a margin of error of 3 points.

Democrats can take heart that they are 6 points ahead of Republicans in the generic vote (39% to 33%). But that is not enough to carry the day in 2018 (and flip control of Congress). There is still a significant 19% who say they are unsure how they would vote, and that 19% could decide the election (if most of them break the same way on election day).

The message Democrats should take from this is twofold.
1. It's not yet time to celebrate, because Trump having low numbers does not insure victory in congressional races.
2. And there's a lot more work needing to be done before November of 2018.

Dodging Bullets

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at darrinbell.com.

Independents Want Congress To Focus On Fixing Obamacare


Republicans still want Obamacare repealed and replaced. Some Democrats are now willing to abandon Obamacare and pursue a single-payer system. What do Independents want?

The chart above shows what they want. By a 34 point margin, the Independents want the Republicans to stop trying to repeal Obamacare and concentrate on fixing its problems. And by a 17 point margin, they want Democrats to also concentrate on fixing the problems with Obamacare.

The two parties need to pay attention to what Independents want. Neither party has enough members (i.e., voters) to win in 2018 or 2020 by themselves. Independents will decide the election in those years, and the party that gives Independents what they want will be the party that wins.

I personally think a single-payer system would be best, but that's not going to happen right now. Democrats need to focus their efforts right now on fixing Obamacare.

The chart above is from a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey -- done between September 13th and 18th of a random national sample of 1,179 adults, with a 3 point margin of error (with the margin of error for Independents at 6 points).

Pocket Man

Political Cartoon is by Steve Sack in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Public Overwhelmingly Opposes Graham-Cassidy Bill


It's starting to look like the latest version of Trumpcare (the Graham-Cassidy bill) is in deep trouble. Yesterday, Senator McCain (R-Arizona) came out against the bill. He said:

"I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will (affect) insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions."

That means only one more Republican "no" vote will kill the bill, and Senator Collins (R-Maine) has said she is leaning toward voting against the bill. Sen. Murkowski (R-Alaska) has not said how she would vote, but she voted against the last version of Trumpcare and many expect her to vote against this bill also.

This is probably a good thing for Republicans, even though they are unlikely to admit it. As the chart above shows, the public is against the bill -- with only 24% supporting it and 50% opposing it. And every demographic group (except Republicans) has significantly more opposing the bill than supporting it.

The chart reflects the results of a new Public Policy Polling survey -- done on September  20th and 21st of a random national sample of 638 registered voters.

The ABC News / Washington Post Poll (done between September 18th and 21st of a random national sample of 1,002 adults, with a 3.5 point margin of error) asked the question in a different way -- Which do you prefer, Obamacare or Trumpcare (Graham-Cassidy)? The respondents chose Obamacare 56% to 33%.


Scary Guy

Political Cartoon is by Rob Rogers in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Medicaid Directors In The 50 States Oppose Trumpcare


Doctors, Hospitals, AARP, insurance companies, and a host of medical societies have all come out against the latest version of Trumpcare (the Graham-Cassidy bill) in the Senate. Now the NAMD, representing Medicaid directors in all 50 states, has joined in that opposition. Here is part of an article by Jessie Hellmann in The Hill:

The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) warned Republicans on Thursday that the Senate's latest ObamaCare repeal bill would place a massive burden on states.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), would eliminate ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and subsidies beginning in 2020, converting the funding to state block grants.
It would also change the federal government's funding of the traditional Medicaid program from an open-ended commitment to the states to a per capita cap on each enrollee.
"Taken together, the per-capita caps and the envisioned block grant would constitute the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country’s history," the NAMD's board of directors wrote in a statement Thursday.
The NAMD, which is a coalition of Medicaid directors from every state, noted that while the proposal is intended to create maximum flexibility, it does not provide the statutory reforms necessary "commensurate with proposed funding reductions."
The GOP bill would also require states create their own health-care programs by 2020, which the directors argue is a massive undertaking.
"The scope of this work, and the resources required to support state planning and implementation activities, cannot be overstated," the directors said. 
"States will need to develop overall strategies, invest in infrastructure development, systems changes, provider and managed care plan contracting, and perform a host of other activities. The vast majority of states will not be able to do so within the two-year timeframe envisioned here, especially considering the apparent lack of federal funding in the bill to support these critical activities."
The directors also hit Senate Republicans for not having a full Congressional Budget Office score before a possible vote on the bill, "which should be the bare minimum required for beginning consideration." 
"With only a few legislative days left for the entire process to conclude, there clearly is not sufficient time for policymakers, Governors, Medicaid Directors, or other critical stakeholders to engage in the thoughtful deliberation necessary to ensure successful long-term reforms," the directors said. 

A Disastrous Plan

Political Cartoon is by Dan Wasserman in The Boston Globe.

They Failed The Test


Friday, September 22, 2017

We CAN Afford It


Trump Speaks To The U.N. - And Proves Himself A Fool

(Image is from the Facebook page of a friend.)

There's an old saying that a man can let people think he's a fool, or speak and remove any doubt. A couple of days ago, Donald Trump spoke to the United Nations -- and removed any doubt that he's a complete and utter fool.

There were a lot of foolish things he said -- from threatening war with several countries to telling the U.N. he would always put the U.S. first (regardless of how that might affect the rest of the world). But perhaps the stupidest thing he talked about was the Iranian Agreement.

He said it was a bad agreement because the United States got nothing from the agreement -- an agreement that benefitted only Iran. And he gave the countries of the world the distinct impression that he was going to rescind that agreement. That simply makes no sense.

What was the most important thing the United States wanted from the agreement with Iran? Wasn't it to stop Iran from trying to develop a nuclear weapon? That was not only accomplished, but Iran also agreed to let international inspectors check to make sure they are complying with the agreement -- and even the U.S. government admits that they have been complying. That sounds to me like the United States (and other countries) got exactly what they wanted from the agreement.

White House aides are now saying that Trump is either getting ready to ask Congress to rescind the agreement, or ask our allies to re-nogiate the agreement (and re-institute sanctions to try and force Iran to comply).

The latter is simply not going to happen. Iran has said it will not re-nogiate the agreement, and our European allies don't want that either. As long as Iran complies with the agreement (as it is currently doing), our allies will not try to re-nogiate it or put any sanctions back on Iran.

That means the U.S. will be acting unilaterally if they rescind the agreement. And it will accomplish only one thing -- to show the world that the United States cannot be trusted to keep it's word. It will make it much harder for the United States to make any kind of agreement or treaty in the future -- because other countries could not be sure the U.S. would abide by it (especially while Trump is in the White House).

In displaying his ignorance and incompetence to the U.N., Trump has made the world a much more dangerous place -- because the country once the leader of the free world (U.S.) can no longer be trusted.

Embarrassment

Political Cartoon is by Phill Hands in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Public Still Doesn't Think Trump Is Honest & Trustworthy


This chart reflects the results of a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between September 17th and 19th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,292 registered voters), with a margin of error of 3 points.

It shows that only 30% of Americans think Donald Trump is honest and trustworthy, while a majority of 51% say he is NOT honest and trustworthy -- a negative gap of 21 points. And every single demographic group has more people believing he is dishonest than honest.

Good People

Political Cartoon is by Clay Jones at claytoonz.com.

Public Trusts Judicial Branch - But Not Executive & Legislative


This chart is from the Gallup Poll -- with the latest survey being done between September 6th and 10th of a random national sample of 1,022 adults, with a 4 point margin of error. It shows a significant majority of Americans (68%) trusts the judicial branch of our government. The executive (45%) and legislative (35%) branches don't fare so well -- with both garnering only the trust of a minority of Americans.

What A Choice!

Political Cartoon is by Tom Tales in The Washington Post.

Insurance Companies Join Those Opposing Trumpcare


The image above is no surprise. Everyone but the rich and Republicans oppose the Senate GOP's latest effort to repeal Obamacare (the Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare plan). Now even the private insurance companies are coming out against the plan. Here is a small part of an article by Robert Pear in the New York Times:

The health insurance industry, after cautiously watching Republican health care efforts for months, came out forcefully on Wednesday against the Senate’s latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that its state-by-state block grants could create health care chaos in the short term and a Balkanized, uncertain insurance market.
In the face of the industry opposition, Senate Republican leaders nevertheless said they would push for a showdown vote next week on the legislation, drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. . . .
The two major trade groups for insurers, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans, announced their opposition on Wednesday to the Graham-Cassidy bill. They joined other groups fighting the bill, such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP and the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society.
“The bill contains provisions that would allow states to waive key consumer protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing medical conditions,’’ said Scott P. Serota, the president and chief executive of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “The legislation reduces funding for many states significantly and would increase uncertainty in the marketplace, making coverage more expensive and jeopardizing Americans’ choice of health plans.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans was even more pointed. The legislation could hurt patients by “further destabilizing the individual market” and could potentially allow “government-controlled single payer health care to grow,” said Marilyn B. Tavenner, the president and chief executive of the association. Without controls, some states could simply eliminate private insurance, she warned.
Insurers had been reluctant to speak out against the Republicans’ previous proposals in hopes that the White House and Congress would agree to stabilize insurance markets by providing critical funding for subsidies aimed at low-income Americans. But with hopes of securing that money before they finalize their rates virtually extinguished, insurers have less to lose by coming out against the proposal.
And many within the industry are worried that the next two years will be chaotic, with little support for the current market while states scramble to come up with a new way for individuals to buy policies.

Raising The Dead

Political Cartoon is by Gary Varvel in the Indianapolis Star.

For My Fellow Whites


Thursday, September 21, 2017

War


Pluralities View Both Parties As Too Extreme Politically





The two political parties seem to both want to become more extreme in their views. Many Democrats want their party to move further to the left, and many Republicans want their party to move further to the right. Both seem to think that is the way to appeal to the American voter. They both could easily be wrong.

If these polls are correct (and there's no reason to believe they're not), then a plurality of voters already see both political parties as too extreme. In the Morning Consult Poll, about 43% see the Democratic Party as being too liberal. And an equal 43% see the Republican Party as being too conservative.

The results of the new YouGov Poll is similar -- with 37% viewing the Democrats as too liberal and 36% viewing the Republicans as too conservative.

This leaves many voters in a quandary -- which party do they vote for, since they see them both as being too extreme? We know that most Democrats will vote for their own party, and most Republicans will vote for their own party. But neither has enough members to carry the 2018 election. That election, like most elections in this country, will be determined by Independents (most of whom are moderates).

I know my progressive brothers and sisters will not like this, but those Independents will mostly go for the party they see as the more moderate party. If the Democrats want to win in 2018, just being against Trump is not going to be enough. They must be viewed as the moderate alternative to extremist Republicans. And winning is the only thing that matters.

The Politico / Morning Consult Poll was done between September 14th and 17th of a random national sample of 1,994 registered voters, with a 2 point margin of error.

The Economist / YouGov Poll was done between September 17th and 19th of a random national sample of 1,500 adults (including 1,292 registered voters), with a 3 point margin of error.

The Time Is Now

Political Cartoon is by Darrin Bell at darrinbell.com.

Two New Polls Show A Plurality Want Single-Payer



A couple of days ago, I brought you the results of a recent Rasmussen Poll showing that a plurality of Americans (48%) would support a single-payer health insurance system, while 36% would oppose it and 16% are unsure about it. Now two new polls have been released on the question, and both also show pluralities supporting single-payer.

The Politico / Morning Consult Poll was done between September 14th and 17th of a random national sample of 1,994 registered voters, with a margin of error of 2 points. It shows 49% support it, while 35% oppose it and 17% are unsure.

The Economist / YouGov Poll was done between September 17th and 19th of a random national sample of 1,292 registered voters, with a 3.1 point margin of error. It shows 40% support and 29% opposition, with 31% being unsure.

While it is gratifying that support is growing in the U.S. for a single-payer system, and now a plurality support the concept -- that is not sufficient for Congress to seriously consider it.

We know their will be no single-payer system passed while the Republicans control Congress (and likely won't even be a vote on it). Republicans don't believe decent health care is a right of all citizens. They consider it just a product to be purchased by those who have the money to buy it.

So the first thing that must happen is to flip Congress to control by the Democrats. Until that happens, single-payer will just remain an unattainable dream. But even that will not be enough. The problem is the unsure voters -- 16% in Rasmussen, 17% in Morning Consult, and 31% in YouGov. The Democratic politicians will be afraid those unsure voters will decide a single-payer system went too far -- and punish them at the polls the same way they did after the passage of Obamacare.

Single-payer will only happen when a clear and significant majority ask for single-payer (probably at least 60%). Public opinion is moving in the right direction, but much more remains to be done.