“Universal Healthcare: Learning from the success of others” by Barry Hermanson

In the June issue of the Bay View, I wrote a column entitled: We can have better health at lower cost. At the time, legislation in Congress (HR 676) had achieved a record number of co-sponsors. Finally, a majority of the Democratic Caucus. Still, far short of a majority to move it forward. No Republican supports HR 676.

In early June, a universal healthcare bill in the California legislature (SB 562), backed by enormous popular support, was heading to its first committee vote. It passed the committee and the full California Senate, but only because it didn’t include any description of funding. By June 30th, the bill had been shelved in the Assembly for the year. It will be taken up again early next year. The major concern by both Democrats and Republicans? How will we pay for it?

Fortunately, a Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage has been appointed by Speaker Anthony Rendon. I’m glad to see 2 of the 7 committee members are Republicans. We will need more than a few Republican votes if we are ever to achieve universal healthcare. We won’t have the support of every Democrat. http://assembly.ca.gov/healthcaredeliverysystems

I believe the Select Committee should hold many hearings throughout California between now and the time SB 562 is taken up again. It is an opportunity to look at and talk about the many successes in healthcare enjoyed by people in other countries. Taiwan did a similar process in the 1990’s. We could learn from their success in improving healthcare to everyone at a fraction of what we pay. A report could be prepared and submitted to the Assembly highlighting best practices in other countries. The report will help shape the debate on SB 562 next year.

On the Select Committee’s web page there is no mention of upcoming meeting times or agendas. If there is no agenda, we must help the committee establish one. No meeting times or places? Please join me in calling the committee members listed below. The next few months present us with an opportunity to have a robust debate about universal healthcare in California. Well publicized meetings of the Select Committee will do much to educate voters, help us to organize them and strengthen the movement for universal healthcare. Take a few moments, make a few calls and ask for the Select Committee to hold a meeting in your community this fall.

Dr. Joaquin Arambula (Chair) – Dem – Fresno – (559) 445-5532
Jim Wood (Chair) – Dem – North Coast – (707) 576-2526
Autumn Burke – Dem – Inglewood – (310) 412-6400
David Chiu – Dem – San Francisco – (415) 557-3013
Laura Friedman – Dem – Burbank – (818) 558-3043
Tom Lackey – Rep – Palmdale – (661) 267-7636
Marie Waldron – Rep – Escondido – (760) 480-7570

I’m 66. My work on this issue is personal. Average life expectancy in other countries is greater than in the U.S. People enjoy national healthcare that provides better healthcare at a much lower cost. Although I believe the issue of universal healthcare will ultimately be decided at the ballot box in California, the Select Committee can pave the way to better healthcare by holding hearings throughout the state. A report of their findings and recommendations will help the legislature craft a better bill to be put before voters.

Barry Hermanson
Green Party Candidate for Congress
barry@hermansons.com – personal
Barry@Barry4Congress.org – campaign

Mike Zint on homelessness

Image may contain: flower, sky, cloud, plant, nature and outdoor
First they came for the homeless

Let me see if I have this right. Grandma becomes homeless because she lives on a fixed income and the bills get to be to much. She reaches out for help, and the agencies that are supposed to help cannot. She tries to get into a shelter, but they are full. She ends up in a doorway. Now, instead of a grandmother, she is a drug addicted mentally disabled person that is a threat to all that is good and proper. That is what most who see her in that doorway are thinking.

Do you see the problem?

Let’s replace the ugliness.

–Mike Zint

OccupyForum presents . . . Film:  “Our National Bird” directed by Sonia Kennebeck

OccupyForum presents…

Monday, July 24th, 2017 from 6 – 9 pm at the Black and Brown Social Club

474 Valencia between 15th and 16th Street near 16th Street BART

Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

OccupyForum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues!

Film: Our National Bird

Directed by Sonia Kennebeck

Three whistleblowers, (who all worked on the drones program, gathering intelligence and tracking targets to be killed), break the silence around the US drone war. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, the whistleblowers speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences. National Bird offers an unparalleled glimpse into the surreal landscape of automated murder. Who are these people, who sit in windowless rooms and make life-and-death decisions based on blurry images flickering on computer screens?

Directed by Sonia Kennebeck and executive-produced by Wim WendersNational Bird takes us to Afghanistan, where the maimed survivors of a mistaken drone strike on unarmed civilians in February 2010, which killed 23 people, describe what happened when they were attacked. The gung-ho attitude of the drone operatives is juxtaposed with raw footage of the dead bodies (some children) returning to their anguished friends and family. Kennebeck also juxtaposes Obama’s speeches about drones — in which he claims that they are able to “take out” insurgents without harming those around them — with the testimonies of those who know that this is false.

In her book, “Drone Warfare”, CODEPINK’S Medea Benjamin documents the growing menace of drone warfare, with an extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who are “piloting” these unmanned planes, who are the victims and what are the legal and moral implications. Benjamin documents how the U.S. government’s use of drones to murder hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen has increased the danger to our national security, and reveals the vocal international citizen opposition that challenges the legality and morality of America’s extrajudicial execution drones before they kill here at home.

National Bird reminds us that we’re living in an electronic haze, where life and death are decided on the basis of, as often as not, caprice. Detachment and a lack of accountability are rewarded where responsibility and compassion are shunned. For many servicemen and women, time in service may be little different than a video game gone mad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8hPK7G-5bw trailer




Time will be allotted for discussion and announcements.

Donations to Occupy Forum to cover costs are encouraged; no one turned away!


Updates & Announcements from Sunday, July 23 – Thursday, July 27 (from Adrienne Fong)

Laborfest events for July are  listed on Indybay.    

Check Indybay for other events: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/event_week.php?day=23&month=7&year=2017&topic_id=0®ion_id=0&news_item_status_restriction=0


A.  43 Senators Want to Make It a Federal Crime to Boycott Israeli Settlements (July 19, 2017)


B.  Oakland police will no longer participate in immigration task forces (July 19, 2017)


C. Trump’s Budget Shows How He Is Building a Police State (july 19, 2017)


D.  Justine Damond’s death is a tragedy – as every police killing in America is (July 19, 2017)


E. North and South Korea Want a Peace Treaty: The US Must Join Them (July 21, 2017)


  (SEE Item #19 for Thursday action on Korea)


~ San Francisco ~ 

Occupy San Francisco Bulletin Board



Sunday, July 23 – Thursday, July 27

Sunday, July 23

1.  Sunday, 12:30pm – 2:30pm, The Bail Trap – Screening and Panel

The New Parkway
474 24th St.

California‘s bail system is unfair and has to go. In Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail, approx 75% of people inside are there because they cannot afford bail. No one should be locked up because they can’t pay. 

Come learn more about what we’re doing to change the system. The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is hosting a screening of The Bail Trap, a film about what’s really going on with the bail industry, and what we can do to stop it. 

The screening will be followed by a Panel about bail reform. Panelists include Tracey and Tai Bell-Borden, whose story is featured in the film, Jack Bryson, and a representative from Brave New Films. There will be an opportunity for Q&A at the end.

Sponsor: Ella Baker Center for Human Rights



2.  Sunday, 1:00pm – 3:30pm, Franz Fanon in Fanon in the 21st Century: His Life and Legacy

San Francisco Main Library
100 Larkin St.


Frank B Wilderson, III (Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of US Antagonisms) and Lewis Gordon (What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction To His Life And Thought) join moderator Justin Desmangles (Before Columbus Foundation) for a discussion of the life and legacy of Frantz Fanon in the 21st century.

Sponsor: Before Columbus Foundation



3.  Sunday, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Community Feed before Occupy Oakland General Assembly

Oscar Grant Amphitheater
14th & Broadway St.

Feed the People

Attendees of Occupy Oakland GA will gather before the GA to share food with each other and the community.

4:00pm is the GA

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/07/16/18800893.php

4.  Sunday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, Anti-Racist Storytime. Counter Islamophobia Though Stories

Natural Resources
1367 Valencia St.


An anti-racist storytime sponsored by SURJ SF! This month we are partnering with KitaabWorld to Counter Islamophobia Through Stories! We will be reading stories, singing, and eating a tasty snack. Most of all, we’ll be learning about the power of friendship and overcoming fear to unfamiliar.

The storytime is aimed at children between 2-8, but the entire family is welcome.



5.  Sunday, 5:00pm – 6:30pm, Presentation by Elsa Rassbach & Harlod Gindra  on Anti-War Movement in German & Political Situation

ILWU Local 34
801 2nd Street

From Killer Drones to Gentrification: The Struggle In Germany and Internationalism 

Longtime Berlin activists Elsa Rassbach and Harald Gindra will discuss from personal experience some of the key peace and justice campaigns in Germany today and will explore together with participants what can be learned for current struggles in the US. 

Elsa Rassbach, a German-American filmmaker and journalist, was a member of the team that launched the PBS NOVA series and is producer-writer of “The Killing Floor” shown at this years LaborFest. A peace activist since the Vietnam War, she has led campaigns on behalf of GIs stationed in Germany who resisted the Iraq war and solidarity efforts on behalf of Palestine. In 2013 she co-founded the German Drone campaign that has inspired large protests at Ramstein Air Base and AFRICOM and played a key role in winning majority support in the German Bundestag for a historic rejection, in June 2017, of the planned acquisition of armed drones for the German military

Harald Gindra, a former German print industry worker, engineer, and an experienced grassroots local politician, was elected in 2016 to represent the Left Party in the Berlin state legislature. The Left Party, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party now make up the ruling coalition in the Berlin government and have undertaken an extensive program of progressive reform in the arenas of city development, housing, and integration of refugees and minorities, with a focus on stopping rent increases and gentrification.   

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/07/13/18800840.php   and 415-642-8066

Monday, July 24

6.  Monday, 9:00am – 12Noon, Care Not Cages: Mental Health Emergency Hearing

County Administrative Building
1221 Oak St.

Meeting with the public health & public safety committees

Calling on all community members, healthcare providers, formerly incarcerated folks and their families to make your voices heard, and make sure that the Supervisors are implementing solutions that do NOT involve building up Santa Rita Jail. 

After two years of fighting the jail expansion in Alameda County, we have finally won our hearing on alternatives to incarceration for those who suffer from mental illness.

However, the county is doing everything in their power to fast track the jail expansion without community input. There is no such thing as mental health in a jail. The first step the county needs to take in implementing alternatives is to stop expansion. 




7.  Monday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, OccupyForum Film: “Our National Bird”

Black and Brown Social Club
474 Valencia St. (Btw. 15th & 16th Sts.)

Film is about 3 whistleblowers , who worked in the DRONES program gathering intelligence and targeting targets to be killed.)  who break the silence about U.S. DRONE warfare. Plagued by guilt over participating in killings of faceless people in foreign countries the whistleblowers speakout publicly, despite the possible consequences. National Bird offers a glimpse of automated murder.

Directed by Sonia Kennebeck and executive-produced by Wim WendersNational Bird takes us to Afghanistan, where the maimed survivors of a mistaken drone strike on unarmed civilians in February 2010, which killed 23 people, describe what happened when they were attacked.

Info from: Ruthie

8.  Monday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Study Group: History of American Trotskyism

New Valencia Hall
747 Polk St. (@ Ellis St.)

The origins of this U.S. homegrown revolutionary movement are full of lessons for today’s new wave of resistance. Study is based on history written by its principal organizer James P. Cannon.

Host: Freedom Socialist Party

Info:  415-864-1278; baFSP@earthlink.net

9.  Monday, 6:45pm – 8:00pm, Protest Republican Attacks on Healthcare: Medicare for All

Kaiser Permanente Health Care
235 West MacArthur Blvd.

Trumpcare has hardly been dead for more than a day and Republicans have already renewed their attacks on health care, this time through their proposed budget which would cut over $200 billion to mandatory spending programs including Medicare, and would give massive tax cuts to the rich. These savage attacks on working people and the poor continue, and we must continue to resist them.

In order to win the fight against these attacks we need to boldly put forward the need for a single payer system that can meet the needs of all people. We need a full mobilization in opposition to cutting Medicare and other social programs through rallies, protests, and occupations of Republican Senators’ offices. 

Host: Socialist Alternative Bay Area



Tuesday, July 25

10.  Tuesday, 6:00am, Occupy Beale Air Force Base – Resist Drone Warfare and Endless War (nr. Marysville)


6:00-8:00 am  Vigil/Demo:  Main Gate, East End of North Beale Rd. (Parking available)

8:30am:  Debriefing and Presentation by Elsa; Location to be determined after the morning vigil.

 Elsa Rassbach, American CODEPINK activist living in Berlin, Germany will join us.  After the Morning Vigil and Debriefing, Elsa will give a Report on Anti-Drone Movement in Germany (See partial description of Elsa R.  under #5)

3:00-5:00 pm  Optional pm Vigil/Demo:  Doolittle Gate, at Intersection of Doolittle & Hammonton-Smartsville Rd.  (Parking Available)  Toby & Fred (& Elsa?) will be doing an afternoon vigil at the Doolittle Gate, after an interim midday swim in nearby Yuba River in interim.  All are welcome to join us.  Please be prepared for hot weather:  water, sun protection, etc

Call/email for questions and carpooling:

From Bay Area:  Toby Blome:  (510)-215-5974, ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net

From Grass Valley:  Shirley Osgood:  (941) 320-0291 

11.  Tuesday, 9:00am, Speak Out Against Pesticide Use

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD)
Training Resource Center
375 11th Street

Come speak out against EBMUD’s continued pesticide use!

The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), which supplies water to the East Bay, will be discussing changes to its pesticide use policy at its Board of Directors Sustainability and Energy Committee meeting. There is no indication that the district plans to eliminate pesticide use, or stop its destruction of eucalyptus and Monterey pine on land it manages. Please join us to demand EBMUD stop using poisons and killing trees.

Sponsor: Coalition to Defend East Bay Forests

Info: DefendEastBayForests.wordpress.com

12.  Tuesday, 11:00am – 12Noon, Lifelines not Bottomlines: Uplifting Asian Immigrant Healthcare Stories

SF General Hospital
SF General Courtyard
1001 Potrero Ave.

Media action to envision guaranteed California Healthcare

Sponsor: Chinese Progressive Association

13.  Tuesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, Chop Shop Legislation at BOS 

SF City Hall
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place, Room 250

The Chop Shop legislation is on the agenda for the Board of Supervisors meeting. Folks to turn out to speak out against this legislation that targets people experiencing homelessness.

Policy Analysis “Open-Air” Chop Shop Ordinance (Sheehy)

Key Elements of Legislation
This is an ordinance that would amend the Police Code to prohibit the taking apart or rebuilding of bikes, having bike parts, or selling bike parts in public spaces, and allows citations, impound fees, and the seizure of those parts.
• This piece of legislation defines a chop shop, as an open air location wherein bicycles are disassembled, stripped of identification and/or sold.
• The ordinance bans these activities when an individual has 5 or more bicycles, 3 bikes with missing parts, one frame with cut cables, or five or more bicycle components found on public property, street, sidewalk, or right of way.
• This prohibition does not apply to vendors operating under a valid business license or in cases in which the owners of the bicycles or bicycles components is present for repairs (ownership undefined).
• This prohibition does not apply to those offering items to be sold on their own property.
• Individuals in violation will get an administrative citation and may get their bike parts returned after seizure by showing proof of ownership, such as receipt, serial number, photographs or signing an affidavit.
• Ordinance allows appeal of citation and impound fees by having a hearing within 30 days with another police officer – person must file appeal, and date of hearing will be sent by mail.

Analysis of Impact:
We believe that this ordinance, if made law, will unfairly target the unhoused community – assuming that if they have bicycles or bicycle parts, there very impoverished status assumed that those parts are stolen. Unhoused people are incapable of meeting many of the exemptions from this ordinance, entirely because of the nature of their economic status. By definition, people who are homeless do not have homes in which they can legally sell their property.

This is a question of public space and who–and how–people can use it. Many avid housed and unhoused bicyclists own multiple bicycles that can be used for varying leisure and practical purposes.

Unhoused communities reside on the fringes of our society, and they must be resourceful in order to survive. It is very common for unhoused people to trade and sell skills and items

Sponsor: Coalition on Homelessness



14.  Tuesday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Joanna Macy, Starhawk, & Ahmed Salah “Active Hope: What Must We Do Now?

Fellowship Hall
1924 Cedar @ Bonita

Wheelchair accessible

Suggested donation: $10 – $20 No one turned away

6:00 pm vegetarian potluck dinner

6:30 pm Program.

Wine and dessert reception following the program benefits Codepink.

This event is a benefit for Ahmed Salah, author of You Are Under Arrest for Masterminding the Egyptian Revolution, living in exile from brutal repression in Egypt, and for Codepink Women for Peace

Ahmed will share his experiences in a non-violent revolution which succeeded but which was then undone by the CIA.
Book signing, information tables, opportunities for action and networking.

Active Hope events aim to lift us out of our silos, inaction and despair and into action to create a world of peace, love, and concern for all beings. The program will include brief presentations from social and environmental justice activists.

Sponsor: Codeping GG Chapter & BFUU Social Justice Committee

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1439665376079919/?active_tab=about

15.  Tuesday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Film Screening: “3000 Nights”

Berkeley City College
2050 Center St.

Wheelchair accessible

Benefit for Palestinian & Syrian refugee children

   $15 – $50

Mai Masri’s award-winning film, 3000 NIGHTS! 
Accused of helping a teenaged boy on the run, a newly-wed Palestinian schoolteacher gives birth to her child, in chains, in an Israeli high-security prison — where she fights to protect him and to survive herself. Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri’s film 3000 NIGHTS explores the meaning of motherhood, love, betrayal, and the solidarity of women prisoners. Masri says it is about “resilience, resistance, and above all, a film about hope.” 

Selected as the Jordanian entry for Best Foreign Language Film for 2017 Oscars. 

Sponsor: Middle East Children’s Alliance

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/06/28/18800494.php

Wednesday, July 26

16.  Wednesday, 10:00am, Save St. Luke’s Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility & Sub-Acute Services Unit

SF. Board of Supervisors Public Safety & Neighborhood Service Committee
SF City Hall, Rm. 263
1 Dr. Carleton B. Goodlett Place

Hearing regarding California Pacific Medical Center’s (CPMC’s) closure of St. Luke’s Skilled Nursing Facility & Sub-Acute Unit.

STOP MORE CUTS for Seniors and Other Vulnerable Populations

Sutter-CPMC is planning to close units at St. Luke’s that provide comprehensive inpatient care for adults with high needs, such as post-hospital rehabilitation and ventilator care for breathing. Ventilator-dependent patients in the St. Luke’s Sub-Acute Unit are among the most vulnerable patients in our community. Due to lack of available services in SF, they would have to be relocated to facilities outside of San Francisco, some as far away as Sacramento.

Please join us to stand up to this latest example of Sutter-CPMC’s corporate greed!


Click here to: Send an email to Sutter CPMC CEO Warren Browner today.

For more info and to get involved in the Coalition holding Sutter CPMC Accountable: 
• Contact JWJ at 
solidarity [at] jwjsf.org or ( 415) 840-7420. 

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/07/20/18800962.php

17.  Wednesday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, PEACE VIGIL

Montgomery & Market Sts.
On the steps facing Market St., below Feinstein’s office, directly above the Montgomery BART / MUNI station

Join us at the large PEACE banner!

Themes vary each week

All are welcomed!

18.  Wednesday 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Monthly Vigil for Amilcar Perez-Lopez Killed by SFPD on February 26, 2015

Folsom St. (Between 24th & 25th Streets)

Gather at the site where Amilcar was murdered by SFPD. Updates on work to bring Justice for Amilcar.

Bring simple nibbles, reflections, songs to share, most importantly bring yourself

Announcement not officially posted yet on Amiclar FB site

Check for updates or changes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/353672264838421/

Thursday July 27

19.  Thursday, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Action  Moon Jae In: Say No To THADD & Stop the War Games

Korean Consulate San Francisco
3500 Clay St. (@ Laurel St.)  Near Muni # 1  & # 2 lines

Rally at the Korean Consulate in SF as we DEMAND that new South Korean President Moon Jae In push for a peace treaty and stop deployment of the THAAD missile defense system (#stopTHAAD)! 

This July 27th marks the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice, an agreement that stopped “hostilities by armed forces,” but never officially ended the Korean War. 64 years later, the people of Korea and the Asia Pacific Region still face US militarism and constant threats to their land and life. 

We will uplift the voices of people in Korea who are resisting militarism and war. Our program will also feature performances from the Korean drumming crew ieumsae, guerilla theatre, and the unveiling of our blue butterfly peace machines!!! 

***When Peace Comes, THAAD Goes!!***

HOBAK will be joining Korean organizations across the US who will also be rallying at their local Korean Consulates.

Host: HOBAK (Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans)

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/07/15/18800870.php  & https://www.facebook.com/events/3310932739

20.  Thursday, 4:00pm – 8:00pm, 2-Part Action to Stop Speculation & Displacement (SF Action)

Meet at:

235 N. Front St.

Part of the Housing Now! coalition’s statewide day of action to stop speculation and displacement. 

Day of Action to Repeal the State Restriction on Rent Control

Join the Bay Area 2-Part Action! Come to one or both!!

Part 1 – 4:00-5:30pm
4pm – Meet at the McDonald’s at 235 Front St., San Francisco. Together we’ll go protest one of the largest Wall St. landlords who gobbled up single family homes after the foreclosure crisis and is now rent gauging and displacing tenants.

Part 2 – 5:30-8pm

5:30pm – Meet back at the McDonald’s at 235 Front St. in SF.
5:30-6pm We will train folks on introductory steps to organizing buildings against greedy landlords and speculators. 
6-6:30: Folks will go in small teams to buildings of the biggest corporate landlord in SF who is harassing tenants across the city. 
6:30-8:00: Knock on doors, drop off flyers, and talk with tenants! We will be giving them tenant rights information and giving them basic info about organizing with other buildings facing the same corporate landlord harassment.

Join as long as you can!

Sponsors: Housing Now, SF Anti-Displacement Coalition, Tenants Together, Housing Rights Committee of SF



21.  Thursday, 6:43pm – 9:45pm, Displacement & Gentrification: How did we get here and how do we stop it?

Sierra Club
2101 Webster St., Suite 1300

Accessible for mobility devices

Donation $5-$20. no one turned away. (Will go to support Causa Justa :: Just Cause work challenging gentrification and fighting displacement)

Workshop has space for 66 people.

To reserve your spot  & purchase tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3040822

SURJ workshop will put gentrification and displacement in a historical context so we understand the racialized political and economic drivers. You’ll hear about past and current struggles led by communities of color to preserve their homes and communities. 

Facilitators from SURJ – Oakland/Bay Area will present analysis based on the work of Causa Justa :: Just Cause. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), Bay Area chapter

Sierra Club is a scent-free environment

Host: SURJ – Bay Area

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/237758136736662/?active_tab=about

22.  Thursday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, The Future of Work

Unitarian Universalist Center
1187 Franklin St. (@ Geary Blvd.)

While most progressives actively support workers’ struggles for fair wages, decent working conditions and the right to organize, the inescapable fact is that the basic nature of work itself is changing radically. How are these changes affecting today’s generations? How can progressives play a role in ensuring that human labor benefits everyone equally in a democratic society? 


Peter Olney is retired Organizing Director of the ILWU, and was the Associate Director of the Institute for Labor and Employment at the University of California. 

Matt Ranen is a scenario planning and strategy consultant helping clients understand and navigate future change and uncertainty. 

Bill Sokol, is an attorney with Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, representing unions in their labor relations with employers and members. He also teaches labor law at San Francisco State University. 

Sponsor: PDA (Progressive Democrats of America)

Info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/07/08/18800695.php

“Americans can have better healthcare at lower cost” by Barry Hermanson

May 26, 2017 (sfbayview.com)

The New York Health Act, which would create a state-run Medicare-style single-payer system, now has 30 cosponsors in the state Senate and is endorsed by 40 labor unions. “We’ve never been this close,” Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, the bill’s sponsor, said with high hopes.

In other countries, people enjoy better healthcare at lower cost. Everyone has access to healthcare and average life expectancy is greater. In Canada, with their version of Medicare for All, no one goes bankrupt because of healthcare expenses. In the U.S., healthcare bankrupts more than a million every year.

Healthcare spending per person in the U.S. is $10,000, twice the average for developed countries. Obamacare increased access to health insurance and medical care but millions remain uninsured. Those who are insured frequently avoid needed healthcare because of expensive insurance co-pays and deductibles.

In a recent Kaiser poll, 81 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of all voters supported an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All. What is being done to move us in that direction?

Active healthcare legislation in Washington

H.R. 676 is a bill in Congress that adopts many of the practices other countries use to control healthcare costs and provide quality service. Of the 193 Democrats in the House of Representatives, 110 are currently co-sponsors. No Republicans support it. Only 62 Democrats were cosponsors last year when Obama was president.

Now, with a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Congress attacking healthcare, H.R. 676 (introduced in every Congress since 2003) finally enjoys a majority of co-sponsors in the Democratic Party caucus. Unfortunately, Democratic “leaders” like Nancy Pelosi are not cosponsors because insurance and drug companies contribute heavily to Republican and Democratic politicians.

H.R. 676 is a bill in Congress that adopts many of the practices other countries use to control healthcare costs and provide quality service.

On the issue of healthcare, I believe Nancy Pelosi isn’t leading or following. She is standing in the way. If you want better healthcare at a more reasonable price, call Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Ask her to cosponsor H.R. 676. Call 202-225-4965 or 415-556-4862 and also ask her to endorse SB 562, discussed below.

Recent healthcare legislation in California

In response to Republican attacks in Washington, a bill to provide healthcare to every California resident was introduced into the California Senate earlier this year. The Healthy California Campaign in support of SB 562 is generating a remarkable amount of new energy to the movement. The number of people who have rallied to support the bill is impressive. From the HealthyCA.org web site:

“Healthy California is a campaign of over 4 million Californians building a statewide movement to win guaranteed healthcare for ALL California residents. We represent over 150 community and labor organizations made up of nurses, teachers, patients, doctors, union members, business leaders, faith and immigrant rights community, progressive political organizations, healthcare advocates and providers.”

In response to Republican attacks in Washington, a bill (SB 562) to provide healthcare to every California resident was introduced into the California Senate earlier this year.

As this article is going to press, an initial draft of the financing of SB 562 has been submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee. A vote is due in this committee and the full Senate by June 2, with little time for debate or amendments.

Just as is the case in Washington, not every Democrat in Sacramento supports universal healthcare. Yet, passing SB 562 will require every Democrat to vote in favor, including Gov. Brown, who has been silent on this issue. Democrats could pass universal healthcare legislation this year but possibly will not.

If SB 562 passes and is signed into law by the governor, a ballot measure to repeal it would, no doubt, soon be filed by those whose profits will be impacted. Unless we are organized, it will be difficult to defeat an opponent who will spend whatever it takes to influence voters.

If SB 562 passes and is signed into law by the governor, a ballot measure to repeal it would, no doubt, soon be filed by those whose profits will be impacted.

In addition to organizing support for SB 562, it is important to have a Plan B. Universal healthcare will very likely be won or lost at the ballot box in California. To win, 5 million California voters who support an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All must be identified. Because too many politicians are influenced by political donations, the Healthy California coalition should craft an initiative for the ballot and do the hard work of identifying the voters needed to pass it.

Universal healthcare will very likely be won or lost at the ballot box in California. To win, 5 million California voters who support an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All must be identified.

The only organization I know of in California that has a goal of identifying 5 million voters is Single Payer Now. Please visit SinglePayerNow.net or call 415-695-7891 to register your support. Healthcare is a human right. Together, we will win.

Barry Hermanson is the San Francisco-based Green Party candidate for U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at barry@hermansons.com.

More on California single payer

Here’s a youtube video with the CNA response to Dayen done before Rose’s show:

Michael Lighty, Director of Public Policy for National Nurses United, joins Jimmy Dore to discuss how to best get single-payer passed in California. Watch the full Aggressive Progressives episode here: https://tytnetwork.com/2017/07/06/agg…

Here’s youtube video with Pollin’s rebuttal to Dayen argument against SB 562 done before Rose’s show:

Fearless, Adversarial Journalism – Spoken Edition: Pollin: Why Single Payer, Now, Is for Real // The Intercept produces fearless, adversarial journalism, covering stories the mainstream media misses on national security, politics, criminal justice, technology, surveillance, privacy, and human rights. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It’s perfect for times when you can’t read – while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com

(Courtesy of Leland Jung.)

“Why universal basic income is gaining support, critics” by Kathleen Pender

The idea of government giving every person a universal basic income has been gaining traction thanks in part to endorsements from some Silicon Valley celebs. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and others want to explore the idea.

The idea of government giving every person a universal basic income has been gaining traction thanks in part to endorsements from some Silicon Valley celebs. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and others want to explore the idea.


July 15, 2017 (sfchronicle.com)

The idea of a universal basic income — monthly cash payments from the government to every individual, working or not, with no strings attached — is gaining traction, thanks in part to endorsements from Silicon Valley celebs.

Some see it as a way to compensate for the traditional jobs with benefits that will be wiped out by robotics, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, globalization and the gig economy. Others see it as a way to reduce income inequality or to create a more efficient, less stigmatizing safety net than our current mishmash of welfare benefits.

“I think ultimately we will have to have some kind of universal basic income, I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February.

In a commencement speech at Harvard University in May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.” And in a July 4 blog post, Zuckerberg praised Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, the nearest thing to universal income in this or any country. Since 1982, Alaska has been distributing some of its oil revenue as an annual payment, ranging from about $1,000 to $3,000, to every resident including children.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Y Combinator president Sam Altman have all said it’s worth exploring. Y Combinator’s nonprofit research lab started a basic income pilot with fewer than 100 people in Oakland last fall with the goal of gathering information to structure a larger research proposal, its director, Elizabeth Rhodes, said.

The concept has been around, with different names and in different countries, for centuries, said Karl Widerquist, co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network.

It enjoyed a wave of U.S. popularity in the 1910s and ’20s and again in the ’60s and ’70s when it was championed by free-market economist Milton Friedman, Martin Luther King and, for a while, Richard Nixon.

It resurfaced again after the 2008 financial crisis, when soaring unemployment and corporate bailouts focused attention on the “99 percent.” The concept picked up steam in recent years as studies started predicting widespread unemployment because of automation.

Basic income has fans across the political spectrum, but for very different reasons. Libertarian backers would replace all or most welfare programs with a monthly cash payment as a way to prevent poverty, reduce government bureaucracy and let people decide for themselves how to use the money.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right), shown in May receiving an honorary degree from Harvard, also supports the universal income concept. Photo: Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Photo: Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right), shown in May receiving an honorary degree from Harvard, also supports the universal income concept.

By contrast, “those left of center like the idea of using (basic income) as a supplement to the existing safety net,” said Natalie Foster, co-chairwoman of the Economic Security Project, a two-year fund devoted to researching and promoting the idea of unconditional cash.

In a “utopian version,” the money would “sit alongside existing programs” and go to every man, woman and child, Foster said. But if you made it enough to keep people above poverty — $1,000 a month is a popular number — “it starts to add up to a very significant portion of the GDP,” Foster said.

That’s why some proposals would reduce or eliminate payments to children or to adults over 65 if they are getting Social Security and Medicare. Some would limit the benefits going to high-income people, either directly or indirectly by raising their tax.

“In the simple model, everyone in the lower half (of the income distribution) would be a net beneficiary, everyone in the upper half would be net payers,” Widerquist said.

Charles Murray, a libertarian political scientist with the American Enterprise Institute, has proposed a basic income plan that would replace all transfer payments including welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, the earned income tax credit, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It would also eliminate farm subsidies and “corporate welfare.”

In exchange, each American older than 21 would get a monthly payment totaling $13,000 a year, of which $3,000 would go to health insurance. After $30,000 in earned income, a graduated tax would “reimburse” some of the grant until it dropped to $6,500 at $60,000 in income. However, the grant would never drop below $6,500 to compensate for the loss of Social Security and Medicare.

Murray admitted that many seniors get more than $6,500 worth of benefits a year from those two programs, which is why it would have to be phased in.

“What I’m proposing would actually be cheaper than the current system,” Murray said. It would give adults a “living income” and “liberate people” who are tied to a job or welfare program in a particular city because they can’t risk leaving to pursue a new opportunity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk favors universal basic income to compensate workers displaced by automation. "I don’t think we are going to have a choice," he said at a February event in Dubai. Photo: KARIM SAHIB, AFP/Getty Images

Photo: KARIM SAHIB, AFP/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk favors universal basic income to compensate workers displaced by automation. “I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” he said at a February event in Dubai.

Andy Stern, a senior fellow at the Economic Security Project, has proposed a “left-of-center” plan that would give every adult 18 to 64 a monthly cash payment of $1,000. It would replace welfare programs such as food stamps, the earned income tax credit, unemployment and Supplemental Security Income. But it would keep Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability.

He figures the plan would cost about $1.75 trillion a year. Ending welfare programs would save about a third of that. Another third could come from ending the tax deduction for mortgage interest and other write-offs. The remaining third could come from new sources such as a tax on carbon emissions or financial transactions.

Stern would not reduce payments to the rich or raise their taxes because that would bring back the problem he is trying to eliminate — determining who is “worthy and unworthy” to receive benefits. But many of the tax increases he envisions “would have a disproportionate effect on higher-income people,” he said.

Some opponents of guaranteed income say it will encourage laziness. Proponents say the current system discourages work by taking away some benefits as income goes up.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase, now a speaker and author, said universal income would encourage and reward important work that “does not get monetized,” such as child care and volunteer work. It would also spur business creation. “I had the luxury of taking risks because I had a husband who had a full-time job with health care. A majority of the population cannot take any risks in pursuing innovation or higher-value, non-remunerative things.”

Some believe the answer to income inequality and automation is not guaranteed income but a guaranteed job. Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has said the federal government should provide a job with benefits to anyone who wants one and can’t get one. “A job guarantee could simultaneously lower un- and underemployment while providing critically needed labor in fields ranging from infrastructure to education to child and elder care,” Bernstein, who was an economist in President Barack Obama’s administration, wrote in the American Prospect.

Jason Furman, who chaired Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, doesn’t like guaranteed jobs or guaranteed income. Furman, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said universal income suffers from three problems.

“One is that it’s very hard to make the numbers add up. To get to (incomes) like $12,000, you need huge increases in taxes. Two, there are a lot of benefits to targeting. You only get unemployment if you don’t have a job and are looking for a new job. If anything, I might toughen the work search requirement” to receive unemployment.

Finally, he said, “I believe there is no reason that people can’t be employed in the future. We have thousands of years of experience of technological progress not leading” to mass unemployment. He pointed out that technologically advanced countries do not have higher unemployment rates than those that are less advanced.

“We should put more effort into how to create jobs and prepare people for jobs in the future,” he said. Universal basic income “is giving up on work and giving up on people. I’m not prepared to do that.”

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kathpender