Against Obamacare

The fight over healthcare reform enters a crucial phase this week. The Congressional committee charged with drafting legislation on reform is scheduled to start voting on Wednesday. President Obama made a major speech outlining his intentions to the American Medical Association, which has come out in opposition to important aspects of his proposed reforms, especially the so-called “public option.” And the Congressional Budget Office, the agency charged with reviewing the budgetary implications of proposed legislation, released a study on the likely outcomes of the leading Democratic plan. It wasn’t pretty. 

As a report in the New York Times made clear, the administration’s “reform” proposals fail to do what any sort of legitimate reform should have as its two central goals: cost containment and universal coverage. The CBO estimates that establishing the Obama plan would cost a staggering $1 trillion over ten years, and would only cover a net total of 16 million people who currently lack insurance, leaving 36 million people uninsured by 2017.

Some Democrats have proposed introducing taxes on soft drinks and a value-added tax in order to raise the funds necessary to pay for the plan. But why spend an additional $1 trillion when we already spend far more on healthcare than every other industrialized country, with inferior health outcomes? Why resort to labyrinthine legislative schemes that don’t even accomplish the president’s stated goals for healthcare reform? The answers to these questions are obvious, of course. The private health insurance industry and the doctors’ lobby want to sabotage any effort at serious reform, and they have lined the pockets of politicians in both parties (including President Obama) to ensure that single-payer, or at least a legitimate public option that can possibly lead the way to single-payer, remains off the agenda. And Obama’s healthcare proposals once again point up the deeply conservative nature of his conciliatory approach to politics. The private insurers can’t be “brought to the table.” They must disappear, and the only way to do that is through the mobilization of public opinion (which clearly supports single-payer) and through conflict, something that Obama seems congenitally allergic to. 

It’s becoming increasingly clear that any sort of healthcare “reform” that comes out of Congress this year is going to be so mutilated by the corporate-dominated legislative process that we’ll wind up with a healthcare system that’s even worse than the one that we have now. Advocates of real universal healthcare need to draw a line in the sand, oppose Obamacare, and continue to organize for single-payer. 

For more information on single-payer health insurance, see Physicians for a National Health Program.


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Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

February 17, 2017 · $20.00 USD

Location: MayDay Space
Where: 176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
When: Friday, February 17th at 6 PM to Sunday, February 19th to 4 PM

Political Context

This Presidents’ Day weekend, the Young Democratic Socialists will gather for our annual winter conference in New York City titled Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump. We did not choose the name lightly. In doing so, we call for leftists to collectively confront Trump and Trumpism at every possible opportunity. When a Trump administration attempts mass deportations of undocumented workers, when it attempts to register Muslims or roll back worker protections, when it attempts to take away reproductive, LGTBQ, civil, or any other rights, then we must militantly resist to prevent such measures.

To succeed, this must be explicitly socialist resistance. With liberalism having repeatedly shown itself incapable of combating the far right, it is now the time for socialists to openly declare our place in building the mass, multi-racial, and working class movement necessary for defeating the Trump administration. In this struggle, millennials will play an outsized role. That is why this conference comes at such a critical time—together we must create spaces for democratic and strategic discussion, spaces to gain organizing skills, and most importantly, spaces to form networks of young radicals for the future struggles ahead. These spaces will only come together if socialists come together. Join us this Presidents Weekend and help ignite the movement to defeat the Trump administration, continue the political revolution, and build the socialist alternative.

Key Deadlines

  • January 8th: Travel Scholarship for Air Travel (for application see below)
  • January 15th: Travel Scholarship for Non-Air Travel (ex: bus, car, train, etc.)
  • February 3rd: Early Bird Registration Ends - Tickets prices go up from $5 to $10
  • February 10th: Free Housing - We have limited free housing. You need to first register, then you will be sent an application for free housing.

Apply for a travel scholarship here! (First Deadline January 8, 2017)

Check out the working program (subject to change)