Episode

8/12 The Comprehensively Transformative Nature of Medicare-For-All w/ Dr. Abdul El-Sayed

August 12, 2021

Emma hosts Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, writer of The Incision newsletter on Substack, to discuss his recent book Medicare For All: A Citizen’s Guide, that he co-authored with Dr. Micah Johnson, which explores the story of M4A through three parts: a diagnosis and history of the problem, the policy behind M4A, and the politics around it. Emma and Dr. El-Sayed first cover the general structure of our healthcare industry, with a particular focus on the roles of copays and deductibles in garnering profits for insurance companies, while also being the cause of around two-thirds of US bankruptcies, before they walk us through the history of the discourse on national health insurance. Starting with the 1900s progressive era, Abdul and Emma discuss the partnership between Baylor hospital and a local teachers union that was the blueprint for our current structure, eventually becoming Blue Cross Blue Shield, the WW2 wage freeze that initiated employer benefits, as well as the political fights for nationalized health insurance, including Truman in the 40s, Ted Kennedy’s push under Nixon, and LBJ’s success establishing medicare. After digging into the big adversaries for a single-payer system, looking at the lobbying groups led by doctors in the earlier 20th Century, and the coalescence around insurance agencies and big pharma as small business practices have become less and less common, Emma and Dr. El-Sayed look into the destructive capacity of the localized monopoly model under health insurance, and the drastic growth in efficiency, affordability, and prevention that we would see under a monopsony model. They round out the interview by looking at M4A’s recent step into mainstream politics, and unpack the shortcomings of the contemporary arguments against it. Emma wraps up the first half by covering the devastating developments of the delta variant, the continued pushback against mask mandates, and Dan Crenshaw’s frustration with election truthers.

And in the Fun Half: Matt and Brandon join Emma as they chat about Mike Lindell’s symposium, both the Zoom crashes and MyPillow coupon booms, and the thought process that might be behind his mass bounty to disprove his election fraud data. They also look into Tucker’s victim-blaming, standing by known retaliator Andrew Cuomo as he faces controversy Fox news hosts are all too familiar with (sexual assault and hiding covid deaths), as well as Andrew Yang’s attempted union between UBI’s stability, and cryptocurrencies complete instability. Weston from Sacramento explores our employers’ desires to get us back to work, plus, your calls and IMs!

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