When we look at Sanders’ platform that calls for universal healthcare (essentially, Medicaid for all) a single-payer national health insurance program that would be free at the point of service, we do not wince because, despite the Affordable Care Act, African-Americans still have higher uninsured rates that are higher than Whites and Asian Americans even as we non-elderly African Americans have death rates that are more than 40 percent higher than our White counterparts and are more likely to have diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke at younger ages. So tell us what’s wrong with Medicaid for all again?
When we consider the debt that so many of our children—hell, so many of their parents, to be honest—have gotten into in the pursuit of higher education because we realize that it is still the clearest path out of poverty and into productive and responsible participation in this social democracy, we take notice when Sanders talks of guaranteeing college tuition to all and canceling $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt.
Quite frankly, we get a lil’ tingly all over when he talks about investing $2.5 trillion in affordable housing. And we are down-right giddy when he promises to cap consumer interest rates at 15 percent; because, let’s face it, who has been hurt more by unfair, disparately higher interest rates on consumer loans than Black folk chasing their piece of this American dream?
If he wins the Democratic nomination and then the presidency, we cannot wait to see him advance his platform and to speak to the needs of Black America and we expect the rest of his party to support this effort.
As we have said, we are digging deep into both of the candidates and while Biden has some fair, moderate positions they are not nearly as forward-thinking and progressive, for our taste, like Sanders.
Biden opposes efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And he plans to build on it by offering a “public option” like Medicare and a tax credit for health insurance premiums. And that’s good.
On the economy, his plan is to bolster middle-class competitiveness by investing $1.3 trillion over 10 years in infrastructure: roads, rail, aviation, schools, water, broadband and “smart cities. He would pay for this by reversing Trump’s corporate tax cuts, reducing incentives for outsourcing and ending fossil fuel subsidies.
And we are all for bolstering middle-class competitiveness as soon as we make certain our nation is a place where even the marginalized citizens have a path to becoming middle class too. Without that, none of this works.
And if Biden wins the Democratic nomination and then the presidency, we cannot wait to see him advance his platform and to speak to the needs of Black America; and we expect the rest of his party to support this effort.
Oh, and just in case you wanted to know, Bernie Sanders has earned a 93 percent rating from the ACLU for his pro-civil rights record, compared to the 60 percent rating of Joe Biden, who in 1976 opposed school busing to combat segregation.