Health care according to our needs: Time to consider it a human right

Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson: Of three possible approaches to health policy, only Medicare for All “reduces the damage that the existing system causes and remedies the cumulative policy failures of the past 70 years.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Health care delivery in the U.S. is a market failure and a governmental failure.

The private sector cannot adequately supply all that is demanded because many of those seeking health care cannot pay for what they need. Government systems, while attentive to the needs of the elderly, disabled, poor, and many veterans, nonetheless fail to cover all who require health care, because policies and funding are inadequate.

As a consequence, too little health care is delivered. And too little health care is socially destructive.

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Amy Klobuchar: A leader for everyone

State Representative Molly Donahue: “Amy Klobuchar is running to be the president of all the people, not half the people.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Amy Klobuchar isn’t just a smart, funny, gritty, senator from Minnesota who gets things done. She is someone who studies and weighs the pros and cons of policy. She not only knows her own policies in and out, but she also knows the policies of her fellow presidential candidates.

Amy’s one-liners are filled with a wealth of knowledge about how the system works and how to get to where we want to be, while uniting those around her. She has proven her strength is uniting by getting people to work together towards a common cause as a senator, and she has shown time and again that she can stand up to Trump and his policies.

Amy has fought to expand affordable health care options, building on and improving the Affordable Care Act, and working across the aisle to reduce prescription drug prices while allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. She wants to end the stigma of mental illness in this country, and to make sure that services are available and affordable for the people in need.

She believes in providing a pathway for citizenship for undocumented workers, and that we must begin to reduce carbon emissions with a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while embracing natural gas as a “transition” fuel to help the U.S. move away from foreign oil. She has experience working with agriculture and knows that our farmers and rural communities are at risk because of President Donald Trump’s tariffs. She has a plan to put our rural areas back to work and help farmers be sustainable into the future while protecting the environment.

Amy doesn’t look at things and say they can’t be done. Instead, she asks, how do we get there with everyone, not just part of the country? She is running to be the president of all the people, not half the people.

She is the daughter of a public school teacher, and knows the importance of a public education for a successful future. Amy stands for the people, the workers of America and stresses the importance of the unions to strengthen our work force and continue to build a strong middle class with good jobs, wages, benefits, and safety in the workplace. She supports expanding access to vocational training and other post-secondary education in an affordable way, so students aren’t burdened with insurmountable debt.

Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action have praised Amy for her strong stance on gun violence prevention. She jokes she isn’t looking to hurt her uncle, who’s a big hunter. Rather, she supports instituting universal background checks, banning assault rifles, and Extreme Risk Orders, also known as “red flag” laws – which allow law enforcement to remove guns from people they determine to be a threat.

Amy speaks about our allies around the world, and how she will bring them back to the table to stabilize the damage done by the Trump administration. She is a fighter for LGBTQ and women’s rights.

From campaign finance reform to foreign policy, Amy Klobuchar is a great candidate who can win.

I am very happy to announce that I have endorsed Amy Klobuchar for president. She is the person we need to unite this country and to move the country forward. Amy will work across the aisle to pass progressive policy and has what it takes to not only stand up to Trump, but to beat Trump.

She has the work ethic and values that the country wants in a leader, and she will put the people first when she implements the policies and changes for her administration.

Plain and simply, Amy Klobuchar will provide a great future for our kids as president of the United States.

Editor’s note: Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts related to the Iowa caucuses, including but not limited to candidate endorsements. Please read these guidelines and contact Laura Belin if you are interested in writing.

Top image: Senator Amy Klobuchar (left) and State Representative Molly Donahue in Cedar Rapids at a September 1 “climate conversation” event organized by State Senator Rob Hogg. Photo provided by the author and published with permission.

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Loretta Sieman on the public option and why she's in that ad

Industry-funded groups have recently spent more than a million dollars on television and online advertising in Iowa opposing Democratic plans to expand access to health insurance.

Some ads primarily focus on single-payer plans (often known as Medicare for All), which more than half a dozen presidential candidates are supporting. But Partnership for America’s Health Care Future has used its hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Des Moines market targeting more modest proposals to offer a “public option” on exchanges selling private health insurance policies.

Many central Iowa Democratic activists were surprised and upset to see Loretta Sieman, a longtime West Des Moines city council member, in one of the partnership’s commercials. Sieman spoke to Bleeding Heartland on September 11 about why she opposes the public option and why she agreed to appear in the ad, now in heavy rotation on YouTube as well as Des Moines broadcast and cable stations.

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Twelve quick takes on the third Democratic debate

First disclaimer: I don’t agree with the Democratic National Committee’s debate criteria and encourage Iowans to keep listening to all the presidential candidates.

Second disclaimer: I doubt anything that happens more than four months before anyone votes will significantly affect the battle for the Democratic nomination. As Dan Guild has shown, history tells us more than half of Iowa Democrats who participated in the 2004 and 2008 caucuses decided in the final month.

That said, here are my thoughts on last night’s three-hour debate at Texas Southern University in Houston.

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Where things stand in Iowa's Senate, Congressional races

Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the most intense phase of campaigning in election years. This holiday is also a good time to review the state of play in races for federal offices in odd-numbered years. Though new candidates could emerge at any time before Iowa’s March 2020 filing deadline–Patty Judge was a late arrival to the Democratic U.S. Senate field in 2016–it’s more typical for federal candidates here to kick off their campaigns by the end of summer the year before the election.

Thanks to Iowa’s non-partisan redistricting system, all four U.S. House races here could be competitive in 2020, and our Senate race is on the map–in contrast to 2016, when Senator Chuck Grassley’s re-election was almost a foregone conclusion.

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Amy Klobuchar's practical health care plan for seniors

Bill Witt represented part of Black Hawk County in the Iowa House for ten years and is a well-known advocate for improving health care services and environmental causes. -promoted by Laura Belin

While the big political noise machines have traded barrages in a host of high-profile battles over border security, student debt, the Affordable Care Act, Afghanistan, and more, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has quietly, and with her customary adroitness, slipped around the flanks of the clanking, clattering behemoths and planted her standard on strategic, long-term high ground: the security and health of America’s seniors.

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