Understanding the Medicare for All Debate

A very lively and informative conversation with two people who really know their issue inside and out. Medicare for All s shaping up to be a central issue of debate in the primary primary race. This will help you get a handle on the parameters of that debate.

Because the issue will be so hotly debated, I consciously chose to approach this by hurling all the criticisms of M4A I could find at my guests. These are the same challenges you can expect to hear from your relatives at family gatherings in the months to come. My guests did an admirable job of swatting down the counter arguments. Take notes.

Michael Lighty is considered a preeminent spokesperson and expert on Medicare for All. For over 25 years, Lighty has organized, written and spoken on the subject. He was a lead policy analyst for a single-payer bill, SB 562, the Healthy California Act. From 1994 until 2018, Michael worked for the California Nurses Association/NNU where he coordinated campaigns for an HMO patients’ bill of rights, clean money elections, and nationally for a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street. Lighty was the first openly LGBTQ Commissioner for the Port of Oakland. He was Jerry Brown’s first mayoral appointee to the Oakland Planning Commission in 1999, and was appointed by Oakland Mayor Ronald Dellums to the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners, in 2010. He is a Fellow at The Sanders Institute and serves on the Board of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland, CA, where he lives with his spouse.

Salem Ajluni is a member of the Santa Clara County Single Payer Health Care Coalition and the Democratic Socialists of America.  Ajluni studied and taught economics for more than two decades before joining the United Nations in 1996.  During 1996-2001 he resided in the Gaza Strip and led research on Palestinian economic and social conditions for the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories.  Since 2001, Ajluni has worked as an economic analyst and consultant, mainly for UN organizations with operations in Southwest Asia (including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees and the International Labour Organization). Since 2013, his work has focused mainly on the labor market impacts of Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon and Jordan.  Ajluni is a native of Detroit, Michigan and the son of Palestinian immigrants. He resides in San Jose, California.

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