Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Sanders announced his Medicare for All bill on Wednesday, surrounded by co-sponsors including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Dems Not Backing Medicare for All Get Twice as Much Industry Cash as Co-Sponsors

New analysis shows that while Sanders himself gets zero from health insurance industry, co-sponsors of his bill receive half as much as those who remain on the sideline

Julia Conley

A close look at the finances of 31 members of the Senate Democratic caucus who have yet to publicly back Sen. Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All bill shows they have received significantly more financial contributions from the health insurance industry than those who did sign on as co-sponsors ahead of its introduction on Wednesday.

An analysis by the government watchdog MapLight, released Thursday, found that senators who didn't back the bill received an average of $55,000 in industry donations since 2010, more than twice the average amount received by the bill's 16 co-sponsors.
 
Sanders is the only senator who's received $0 in donations from the health insurance industry, which would eventually become obsolete under the senator's plan to make government the single payer of the nation's healthcare costs—the same kind of system that exists in other high-income nations, with better health outcomes and lower costs according to the independent foundation The Commonwealth Fund.

Out of all the Senate Democrats,  Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have received the most donations from health insurance companies, each gathering more than $130,000 in contributions from the industry since 2010. None have supported Sanders's plan, even though a spokesperson for Schumer said this week, "Democrats believe that healthcare is a right for all."
 
In a segment that aired Wednesday night, hosts at "The Young Turks"—Ana Kasparian, Jimmy Dore, and Ron Placone—offered another close look at some of the Democrats who have so far decided not back Sanders's Medicare for All bill:
 

 
Some of the Democrats who haven't backed the bill have said they wanted to push their own plans to extend healthcare to more Americans, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who received $50,000 from the insurance industry since 2010 and wants to reduce the eligibility requirement for Medicare to age 55.

But polls show that Democratic voters' views are shifting away from incremental changes to the healthcare system, in which costs are higher than in any other industrialized country, and towards a universal healthcare system. According to Pew Research, 60 percent of Americans said in June that the federal government should make sure all Americans have health coverage, while 33 percent favored a single-payer healthcare approach—up 12 points since 2014.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·


'Texans Deserved Better Than This': Supreme Court Leaves Abortion Ban in Place

The nation's high court set a date to hear a pair of legal challenges to the "horrific" restrictions.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Like It Never Happened': Federal Judge Tosses Trump Attack on Clean Water Rule

Denying a Biden administration request to temporarily retain the rule, the judge reestablished "the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo