Let’s Be Practical


He’s unfortunately going nowhere and the Thursday night moderators half the time wouldn’t let him talk, but I think John Delaney made a lot of sense:

On health care: “100 million Americans say they like their private health insurance. I think we should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes  what’s broken… We should give everyone in this country health care as a basic human right for free, full stop. But we should also give them the option to buy private insurance. Why do we have to stand for taking something away from the people?”

(It developed later that only two candidates raised their hands when asked if they’d eliminate private insurance–Elizabeth Warren and Bill DeBlasio–but several also said they favored M4A, Bernie Sanders legislation for which cancels private insurance.)

Delaney said Medicare for All is “bad policy. If you go to every hospital in this country and ask them…if every one of their  bills were paid at the Medicare rate. Every single one said they would close.” (Because, as the Medicare Actuaries report shows, Medicare pays hospitals at rates 40 percent lower than private health plans do and physicians 30 percent below.)

Delaney said “I think we need to get things done. That is why I believe we need to operate in a bipartisan manner… All the big transformative things we have ever done in this country’s history have happened when huge majorities of the American people got behind them. Which is why we need real solutions, not impossible promises.”

In general, the Democrats–Elizabeth Warren in the lead–sounded as though they want to run on “impossible promises”–give free college, free child care, Medicare for All and cancel student debt.

Really, to everybody regardless of income and ability to pay their own way? Let in every refugee and immigrant who wants to come to the US–which would number in the tens of millions? And provide a Marshall Plan for Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador–countries whose corrupt governments would steal it all?

Comprehensive immigration reform, yes. Humane treatment and swift processing of asylum seekers, yes. But half the Thursday crowd would give Trump the chance to brand Democrats “the party of open borders.” Also, as “radical Socialists.”

Next to Delaney, the candidate who made the most sense about getting practical things done–including beating Donald Trump–was Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who favors free community college, a public option in Obamacare and said she’s repeatedly carried counties in Minnesota that voted for Trump.

Bill DeBlasio and Jay Inslee came off as the “I’ve already done in it” candidates. If so, why do New Yorkers overwhelmingly not want DeBlasio to be president? And, Inslee can’t solve the Washington homeless problem and couldn’t get his carbon tax adopted. And Washington has a wretched mental health system.

I like it that Jay is elevating the climate issue and tying it to clean-job creation, but question his ability to beat Trump and the wisdom of shutting down the carbon economy before renewables are really available as substitutes. And, he wants to eliminate US Senate filibusters.

Really, from the White House? How’s that work? It’s unfortunately not sexy or popular with Progressives, but “keep what works and fix what’s wrong” sounds like a good platform to me.

Mort Kondracke
Mort Kondracke
Morton Kondracke is a retired Washington, DC, journalist (Chicago Sun-Times, The New Republic, McLaughlin Group, FoxNews Special Report, Roll Call, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal) now living on Bainbridge Island. He continues to write regularly for (besides PostAlley) RealClearpolitics.com, mainly to advance the cause of political reform.


  1. I do wonder if Warren raising her hand on the “do you want to get rid of private insurance” question will come back to haunt her.


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