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MA Gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick at Medicare-for-All Town Hall
For those like me who believe that Obamacare is just the start, nearly 250 people (plus more online!) turned out last week for a town hall meeting at Boston University to hear Dem Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Don Berwick speak about bringing Single Payer, Medicare-for-All to Massachusetts. At the end, he received a standing ovation! This video is less than four minutes long. Check out the audience reaction at the end. And if this whets your taste, check out his original Isaiah speech at the Harvard Medical School Commencement, to which he refers in the new video.

Don Berwick is THE most progressive candidate running for MA Governor. When President Obama declared Obamacare a smashing success, U.S. Rep. Steven Lynch (the only member of the MA congressional delegation to vote against the ACA!) promptly told the Boston Herald that the program will "bury the Dems!", a quote that has been picked up by many rightwing rags and sites. That attitude hurts Dems nationally, and will hurt efforts to move toward a national single-payer system.  

Don Berwick's response was to double down by:

1. Writing this guest editorial for the Springfield Republican titled: "It's Time for Massachusetts to Lead again with Single-payer Health Care"; and to

2. Hold the town hall on Medicare-for-All at Boston University. This edited version is less than four minutes long, but you can see the reaction to Don. This is why his candidacy is causing such excitement.

Although his experience both as a pediatrician and Obama's appointment of him to head CMS (an appointment that, like with Elizabeth Warren, was filibustered by the GOP, but not before Don contributed 18 months to the now-hugely-successful ACA implementation!), Don is far from a one-issue candidate. Affordable college education, job creation and the environment figure large in his agenda. And he is not afraid to speak out against SCOTUS decisions destroying campaign finance limits:

"This is yet another step in the wrong direction, building on the destructive Citizens United decision, and threatening to undermine the principle of 'one-person-one-vote.' With income inequality continuing to grow in this Commonwealth and across the nation, the last thing we need is even more influence concentrated in the hands of the wealthy and well connected. We need to move - quickly - toward repealing Citizens United and implementing publicly financed elections, guaranteeing equal voice for everyone," Berwick said in a statement.
These positions have recently led to two former State Reps Dan Bosley and Sue Tucker coming out in support of his candidacy.

Full disclosure: I've been volunteering for Don for almost a year. I was recently elected delegate to the State Convention and will be voting for him. I've also been out gathering signatures for his candidacy for the past several weekends, and people are excited. The few who haven't yet heard of him are almost invariably impressed when I tell them who he is and what he stands for.

Don is the most progressive candidate in the race, and his election in Massachusetts would be a huge boost for all those nationally who would like to see Medicare-for-All. In other words, he's exactly the type of "more better Democrats" to which this site is committed. If you have the chance, visit his website and consider making a contribution.

Originally posted to Obama Amabo on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Should we now improve the ACA by pursuing a Medicare-for-All solution?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

    by Obama Amabo on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 12:49:12 PM PDT

  •  All in for Berwick (6+ / 0-)

    This guy is the real deal, talking about important issues in a state that has always been at the forefront of progressive change. And Medicare for all is just one of a handful of issues that are really starting to fire up the volunteer/activist base in Massachusetts.

  •  I like Berwick (2+ / 0-)

    He seems so down to earth.
    Best wishes--I hope he wins!

    •  Thanks, marina! He's the only candidate... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, Team Leftie

      ...in the race who seems to be exciting people. Which fits with the idea that if Dems want to win, they can't run from taking progressive positions.

      NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

      by Obama Amabo on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:01:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Berwick is an actual (5+ / 0-)

    health care policy expert, too. When he says single payer is the only way to go, he's speaking from real knowledge and experience.

    Maybe if he wins, he can work with Shumlin in VT and they can start a regional single payer systme.

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:09:09 PM PDT

    •  Joan, I'm sure that's one of the things... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joan McCarter, divineorder

      ...he'll be looking at. And maybe one or two other NE staes, too (RI? ME, if we get the jerk out!?).

      NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

      by Obama Amabo on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:24:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great town hall (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom, Obama Amabo

    I wish I could have gone, but I was out of town last week for the spring holidays. I'll be a youth add-on delegate at the party convention in June (voting for Don)

  •  Can you say Governor Berwick? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo

    I was in attendance at this Town Hall, and Don was extremely impressive.  I've never heard a more genuine politician who's running for all the right reasons.  It seems like every other candidate in the #magov race is climbing the political rungs, Don has topped the pinnacle of his career and wants to give back in different ways!  Lets elect Dr. Berwick, & make healthcare a human right in the commonwealth!

  •  Berwick For Governor. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obama Amabo
  •  Learn about Lynch, Medicare, and Massachusetts (0+ / 0-)

    1. The author of the post should do a little research on Massachusetts Congressman Lynch. He voted against PPACA because it didn't go far enough, not because he was against the concepts. His concern was for the middle and lower class costs imposed by PPACA and not specifically pro single payer.

    2. The author of the post should do a little research on Medicare. The real problem with the Medicare for All proposal, which neither former interim temporary Medicare Director Berwick or anyone else associated with the Medicare for All single-payer movement will tell you, is that Medicare is terrible insurance. It does not provide catastrophic coverage. It does not cover many common health care needs. It has very high co-pays and deductibles. It does not regulate private supplemental Medicare insurance to forbid discrimination relative to pre-exisiting conditions. It has no annual out of pocket limit on spending. It has no drug coverage. It has no coverage if you go over the border into Canada or Mexico on a day trip. It does not even cover an annual physical. Medicare is so bad that 98% of the people on Medicare make other -- mostly private -- health insurance arrangements. Former interim temporary Medicare Director Berwick also does not mention that while he was former interim temporary Medicare Director he estimated that there was over $100 billion wasted a year by Medicare. How much would Medicare for All waste?

    3. As for Massachusetts being "at the forefront of progressive change," we have a flat tax on earned and unearned income (different rates though), a cap on property taxes, and a history of racial bigotry that makes George Wallace look good. The political corruption goes so deep that the last half dozen or so Democratic leaders of the legislature (not the current guy but he's under investigation for patronage hiring) have been driven out of office by Federal prosecutions (to which two or three plead guilty and one was found guilty and is spending time in prison). Specific to health care, we have the highest health care costs in the world despite 25 years of "progressive" reforms.

  •  Berwick is not Kidding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smileycreek

    I spoke with Don Berwick  about the possibility of Single Payer for Massachusetts back In August. At the time he wasn't sure but he did have a lot of knowledge about how to cut health care costs. Apparently, after much consideration he does believe Single Payer goes a long way toward cutting costs. The guy knows what he's doing and he's not kidding about making this happen.

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