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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sat in on Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting today. Completely unprecedented. Not just in Israel. I’m curious whether a foreign ambassador has ever sat in on a cabinet meeting in any country ever.

This quick exchange with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Chuck Todd on Meet the Press is a good illustration of how the GOP is now a thoroughly Trumpist party.

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From TPM Reader RC

I imagine you’re going to get a lot of feedback on today’s piece, but I’m hoping you get a chance to read this, because I think both you and the broader conversation around M4A is getting tripped up. Specifically, it seems to me that there are really three categories of proposal, but that you and most everyone else wants to act like there are only two: The three categories are:

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From TPM Reader AL

Thank you for writing this article. Although I am hopelessly biased as a physician whose compensation is directly tied to reimbursement rates from Medicare and private insurance, I think you are spot on with your analysis.

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From TPM Reader WH on Warren and Medicare for All…

I appreciate and understand your caution over Democrats latching on to policies like “Medicare for All” or “The Green New Deal” – things that sound and poll well as a catchphrase, but whose support drops when the details start getting hashed out. I also agree that many of the “extremely online” of the left overestimate the popularity of these positions and resort to specious reasoning when valid critiques like yours are made.

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From TPM Reader AG

Thanks for your post on medicare for all. Full disclosure: I’m a physician (an academic research-oriented physician, so not closely engaged in the business side of medicine). I am also a patient with a disease that requires a high-cost medication, likely for life, that my insurance plan fortunately covers with a $5/month copay.

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In Democratic policy debates since 2016 there’s been a widespread and sometimes near dominant narrative that Medicare for All is the way forward and actually surprisingly popular. You do away with all the rickety Tinker Toys complexity of Obamacare, SCHIP, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidies and exchanges and build out a single payer national health care plan out of the already popular Medicare program. It’s simpler and more coherent. It’s more efficient and thus cheaper. Critically, it’s actually quite popular: polls show that Medicare for All enjoys anything from substantial public support to overwhelming public support, with numbers usually hovering around 70% of the public backing the idea. This led most of the Senate Democrats with any interest in running for President to endorse the plan in 2017. Today all but one of the top tier of candidates are on record supporting the idea.

This also led to a corollary judgment: Democrats who didn’t support such a plan with strong and even bipartisan support must either be hopelessly ossified in old style incrementalist thinking or, more likely, in bed with the health insurance companies.

The problem is, the whole premise is false. A raft of public surveys show that Medicare for All has anything ranging from public support in the low 40s to dismal support down into the 20s. How is that reconcilable with all the polls showing that clear majorities support it? Like most political labels it’s not clear, beyond in an aspirational sense, what “Medicare for All” actually means. Survey after survey shows that when most people hear “Medicare for All” they assume something like a right for anyone who wanted it, regardless of age, to be able to get or buy into Medicare. Critically, most believe they and others would be able to keep their current private coverage if they chose to.

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Fascinating update on the mystery of just where Jeffrey Epstein got all his money in this new report from the Times. The gist is that the entire fortune, the whole spectacle, may stem from (and perhaps may not go beyond) somehow brainwashing or casting a spell over a single billionaire.

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