Open Letter to MoveOn: Time To Change Course On Obamacare

Dear MoveOn,

It is with great sadness that I watch you making last-gasp desperate attempts to save Obamacare and Obama’s reputation. You look foolish when you say that “Of course, it’s a good law” at the same time as your constituents see through the Obamacare illusion.  The law is becoming less popular because people are beginning to see through the false partisan claims of Democrats.  And worse, you are actually playing right into the Republican’s trap, really the trap of Wall Street and big business interests.

It’s time for honesty. Obamacare is policy that has roots in the Nixon administration, was updated by the Heritage Foundation, a Right-wing think tank, and supported by people like Newt Gingrich. It was first put in place by Republican Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts (where it has not worked). The ACA further privatizes our health care by pouring hundreds of billions of public dollars into the pockets of private health industries. It is accelerating the privatization of our public health insurances, gutting our safety net and fomenting greater consolidation of our health delivery system into private hands. It sets the stage to completely privatize the pillars of the old Democratic Party: Social Security and Medicare.

Obamacare is the opposite of single payer. And supermajorities of those who vote for Democrats support single payer, Medicare for All. This is one of the reasons that people are not in the streets to save it. In this time of health care crisis in which 80 million went without needed care last year because of the cost and 4 million families went bankrupt because of medical costs and illness over the past two years, why do you think it is so hard to sell them on Obamacare? Because it is the opposite of what people want and need.

Yes, Obamacare is failing. It’s just a matter of time before the complex, bureaucratic, insurance-based law collapses. It may limp along for years as the government throws hundreds of billions of more dollars into it and the Department of Health and Human Services continues to cave in to every health industry demand, but eventually it will fall under the burden of its insurance-based corruption, for-profit healthcare and waste.

And what will we have then? The Republicans will sing the song of Wall Street to the far corners of the country that government can’t do anything right and they’ll have Obamacare as their poster child. Your constituents will feel even more betrayed than they do now by the sold-out Democrats who sided with corporate interests instead of their voters. The health reform vacuum will be filled by deregulation of the health industries and the end of public health insurance.

The human cost of this result is that health care will be fully commoditized as a profit center rather than a public good. Only the wealthy will be able to afford care. Health professionals will be slaves to the industry and forced to care for only the profitable patients. Preventable deaths and human suffering will be even greater than they are now.

Obamacare is not worth saving and more people are waking up to that fact. Don’t let yourself fall further behind the people on this issue. Poverty is growing in this country. Austerity measures are being forced upon us. Real human suffering is the result. Now is the time to be bold.

If the Democrats truly want to be in control again, if you want the people to rally behind your party, then you must embrace a bold agenda now. It is time to do the right thing. Tell the truth. Put the blame where it belongs – not on government but on the health industries that wrote the law to their advantage and are incapable of putting the needs of the people before their insatiable crusade for profits.

Tell the people that Obamacare is the wrong direction. It is corporate-run healthcare. The Democrats tried to work within the current system, but now see that is impossible. It is time to join the rest of the civilized world, including our neighbors to the North and South, who treat healthcare not as a commodity but as the public good that it should be.

The Constitution clearly states that the government may tax for the general welfare. Just as taxes pay for roads, schools, fire departments and more, what better use could we have for our taxes than to invest them in solving our healthcare crisis, not through greedy health corporations but through our American institution, Medicare? The best path for the American people right now is to scrap Obamacare, immediately extend Medicare to every person and double social security benefits. This will create an economic stimulus effect not seen since the New Deal.

Don’t miss this opportunity. During the Depression, it was the New Deal Democrats who stood up and did what was right for the people. The Democrats must do that again or become irrelevant. The people will love the Democrats for this. They will rally to your side. And we will be a stronger country for it.

Take control of the message and the policy debate now – save Social Security and Medicare by expanding them. Save the people of America. Show the Right Wing that they are the fools for opposing a law that came out of their camp and show the people that the Democrats are capable of promoting policies that put public interests first.

It is time for a total remaking of the party you have allied with and if that is not possible (and the corruption of the Democratic Party looks very deep, so it is probably impossible), it is time to replace that party with one that really represents the people, not the corporate interests.

Margaret Flowers, MD

Further Reading:

Obamacare: The Biggest Insurance Scam in History by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeeese

Solve the Real Problems -  Poverty Retirement and Health Insecurity – and the Economy will Recover by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers



  • Guest

    Obamacare directly saved the lives of partner’s family by ending the practice of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps.

    Unless there’s a single-payer or Medicare-for-all law ready to fall into place IMMEDIATELY which has, most importantly, ALREADY BEEN APPROVED BY CONGRESS & SCOTUS, there is no way I’m going to “change course on Obamacare.”

    If it’s broke, fix it. Don’t destroy it completely and leave those depending on it helpless, while promising to garner enough support over the next few decades to buy a new one.

  • Sarah Bundtzen

    Thank you for this letter, Dr. Flowers. It’s time progressives began to wake up and see that this law is not the wonderful thing it has been billed as. Just because a Democratic president and congress passed it doesn’t mean it’s a good program! Like the author, I believe it is only a matter of time before this over-complicated mess collapses in upon itself, and we have to ask ourselves: which side do we want to be on when it does?

    And if we manage to nurse it into surviving longer by dumping billions of tax dollars into it (lining the pockets of private corporations in the process), what then? We’ll have no leg to stand on when the Republicans want to do the same thing to Medicare or Social Security, turning them into means-tested voucher systems that work through the private market. Let’s not kid ourselves here, that’s exactly where they want to go. And Obamacare would pave the way.

    I ask every progressive to look beyond the spin of the White House and the inept media. Look at what this law really does, and the true costs that may not be apparent on the surface, but will show themselves in due course. We have to change the narrative, and we have to start now.

  • Frances Bundtzen

    I was willing to give Obamacare a chance when I didn’t know much about it. But now that I realize what a cumbersome, complicated mess it is, and the fact that millions will still be without healthcare coverage, I am losing faith. Sounds like many who do manage to sign on and get the lowest quality plans will still be faced with crippling out of pocket costs from high deductibles, etc. Another troubling part of this system is that insurance companies will be restricting their networks to exclude many hospitals. People can’t always choose where they go in an emergency, and then they will be faced with paying full costs. I have always preferred Medicare for All, and now I am coming to the conclusion that it is the only way our country will ever dig itself out from under our medical nightmare.

  • Robert Ruedisueli

    We need to face it, ObamaCare is a stop-gap measure, not a permanent fix.

    The LEAST socialized heath care option that would work is something similar to Switzerland that has centralized billing, but allows people to opt-out of the government provided plans, and have that centralized billing forward their bill to their privatized plans, if they so wish.

  • Robert Ruedisueli

    Well, it’s not that big an issue there.

    The real issue is that it only places limits on the problems. It doesn’t fix them.

  • Robert Ruedisueli

    I wouldn’t even bother weighing if it is a good or bad program.

    If I had to I would say it’s a bad solution for a worse problem.

    It’s better than what we had before, but that’s like going from living in a sewer to living in a storm drain.

    While it definitely does not fix all the problems, and doesn’t even start to fix all but the worst ones, it at least fixes enough of the worst problems that we can start focusing on a long term solution that doesn’t have to be passed in a 3 month time frame.

  • Robert Ruedisueli

    Yes, agreed.

    We should basically treat ObamaCare as what it is, a far from perfect fix for a bunch of very severe problems.

    We can’t remove the broken fix until we replace it with one that is actually good.

  • marxmarv

    Yes, We Can — and we should. If your approach to politics worked, wouldn’t we be living in something other than an aristocratic dystopia by now?

  • marxmarv

    Only if the kids refuse to sign on. That 20% rake (and why is 20% acceptable when the standard in the 1940s was 5%?) goes in part to lobbying to keep the gravy train running. Are Americans capable of systems thinking, or is it beaten out of them at a young age?

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  • NOTgaltHouse

    Leaving the insurance companies in healthcare adds their 20% profit to every medical bill. Everyone should have the same medicare plan from the richest to the poorest, from the president to the peon. No opting out or buying additional insurance or better care if you can afford it. We are all equals and brothers in our paths trough life on earth; and that path should not be altered by the thickness of our wallet.

  • htfd

    Thank you for recognizing that MoveOn must be addressed for it’s inabilities to see it’s erroneous support on this ACA. Somethings that should be added to the commentary is that Medicare/Medicaid have already been stripped of funding by reduction of payment to physicians for services thus eliminating providers. Also, what happens when the subsidies that are currently being offered to people who sign up for ACA are ended and the people have to pay the full cost of the insurance at what ever price the health insurance company bills? Will MoveOn email a petition to be signed and just like their Corporate Democrat Party owners tell people to bite the bullet and support the “lesser of two evils” once again. It’s unfortunate that people don’t stop and see that if the Corporate Democrat Party would sell out on their claim to fame, diamond legislation, Social Security, that they will do the same or worst to their piece of coal ACA junk.

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  • rgaura

    The problem with your assessment is that in the process of letting ACA be implemented, we give huge sums of money to the industry who has been killing huge numbers of citizens every year. Since money is so influencial in the political process, we end up funding our enemies. Next time it comes up to a vote, guess who buys a win?

  • rgaura

    Thank you Dr Flowers. I too responded to the petition in like manner, but less polite.

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  • Iraan Ozono

    MoveOn was totally useless,even oppositional when I tried to organize a demonstration at a local Repugnicant US Representative in response to the shutdown a few months ago. I ended up creating a MoveOn campaign to investigate MoveOn for fraud, which actually had some life on their site!

    They also threw me out of a demonstration during the early days of formulating Obummercare, because I had a SinglePayer sign. The organization is only a front for kissass mediocrity, nothing that is really needed. Do Not support them!

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  • Fred

    It’s past time America joins the 21th Century and tosses out the Health Insurance Mega-Corps to the dustbin of history, and adopt single payer universal healthcare. As the wealthiest nation in history we certainly can afford it. Our citizens cannot afford us not to.