If You Have A Racist Friend

The Specials. 1984

If you have a racist friend

Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

Be it your sister

Be it your brother

Be it your cousin or your, uncle or your lover

If you have a racist friend

now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

Be it your best friend

Or any other

Is it your husband or your father or your mother?

Tell them to change their views

Or change their friends

Now is the time, now is the time, for your friendship to end

So if you know a racist who thinks he is your friend

Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

Call yourself my friend?

Now is the time to make up your mind, don’t try to pretend

Be it your sister

Be it your brother

Be it your cousin or your uncle or your lover

So if you are a racist

Our friendship has got to end

And if your friends are racists don’t pretend to be my friend

So if you have a racist friend

Now is the time, now is the time for our friendship to end


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America is still hooked on the drug of white supremacy | Carol Anderson | Opinion | The Guardian

The United States is in a tailspin. White supremacists are on the march – and have left a trail of blood and destruction in their wake. A march in Charlottesville, Virginia, filled with torches, Nazi flags and chants of “White Lives Matter” culminated in violence that claimed at least one life, and left many more injured.

This is just what many feared the Trump presidency would unleash. David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, supported that view when he said on Saturday that the march “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back”.

The president was slow to disabuse people of that view. When the nation turned to the president on Friday to condemn the unrest provoked by the “Unite the Right” far-right rally, he instead blamed “many sides”. In other words: he lumped together anti-racist protesters with white supremacists.

It took more than 36 hours – and a killing believed to have been carried out by a neo-Nazi – for the White House to denounce white supremacists. Although the president prefers to communicate directly with the American people through Twitter, he didn’t do that this time. Instead, the delayed statement was attributed to an unnamed White House spokesperson.

None of this makes sense. Unless, that is, we come to grips with the reality that we are seeing the effects of far too many Americans strung out on the most pervasive, devastating, reality-warping drug to ever hit the United States: white supremacy.

Like all forms of substance abuse, it has destroyed families and communities and put enormous strains on governmental institutions. It has made millions of Americans forsake their God and jettison their patriotism just to get a taste.

High on its effects, its users feel powerful, heady, even as they and everything around them disintegrates. And, as with most drug crises, while not everyone may be strung out, everyone is very surely affected.

In 2017, millions of Americans are hooked on this drug. As clearly as track marks in the arms, the most visible signs are all around us.

The “Heil Trump” salutes at a gathering of white nationalists shortly before the inauguration. A uptick in reported hate crimes across the country. The killing of Lt Richard Collins by a white supremacist in Maryland. The double homicide and severe wounding of Good Samaritans defending teen girls in Portland from another emboldened white supremacist. The nooses found at and near the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

There are other signs, too – signs that this addiction is always lurking, demanding to be fed. The 2016 election brought that into stark relief as voters flocked to Donald Trump, despite his explicit racism or, just as important, because of it. His birther harangues lent him a stature among hardcore supporters that no other candidate could match.

Play Video

Trump was the antithesis of Barack Obama, and therefore, in the Gregor Samsa world of white supremacy, the most attractive candidate. Yet, odious as he may be to many, Trump is, in fact, only a symptom.

All of his racist rants would have dropped him on the outskirts of the lunatic fringe if it hadn’t been for the way that a major political party had spent decades making white supremacy the Republican party’s drug of choice.

The Republicans, of course, believed that they could control it. Getting a little taste every now and then, the party would swear that it wasn’t hooked, but, inevitably it needed an even more powerful strain each time to feel that high.

In 1968, Richard Nixon dabbled in it when he ran for office on the Southern Strategy, which promised a curtailment of black civil rights in order to woo disaffected white Americans from the Democratic party into the Republican party. And the disaffection ran deep.

No Democrat running for president has won the majority of white voters since Lyndon Johnson legally acknowledged that African Americans were actually US citizens. But if Nixon was like a weekend user binging on “law and order” between detoxes on affirmative action in government contracts, subsequent Republican presidential candidates have bowed down to the drug supreme: there was Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen”, George HW Bush’s “Willie Horton”, Mitt Romney’s “47%”.

With white supremacy’s current grip on the Republican party, everything the addict once valued has become expendable. Gone from power are moderate Republicans who believed in limited government, fiscal restraint and civil rights. Gone, as well, is the clout of the national security hawks, who put American sovereignty, might, and global leadership first.

Alliances with Nato and Europe now hang by a thread as global white nationalist movements, backed by Trump’s benefactor Vladimir Putin, have worked to undermine democracy in Britain, France and Germany.

Domestically, the picture is just as deranged. The Republican’s flag-waving base and congressional leadership have supported Trump’s denigration of the CIA and humiliation of the FBI. Like a God-fearing suburban soccer mom turning tricks to feed the habit, the symbols of patriotism and love of country have been no match for the addiction.

As long as Trump gives the white supremacists one more Ice raid, one more deportation, one more Muslim travel ban, one more hunt for “illegal voters” in a sanctuary city, the craving is temporarily satisfied. And as with any addict, anything that gets in between the user and the drug has to go.

Republican congressional leaders fully understand. Trump, the pusher with a bad Russian habit, has become a way for the base to mainline. And because their very survival is tied up with feeding their constituency’s constant need for a fix, Republicans, acting like rogue cops straight out of Serpico, have made the decision to protect the pusher, bury his misdeeds, and attack his accusers.

In June 2016, Paul Ryan swore his caucus to secrecy when a meeting with a Ukrainian official led one congressman to conclude that “I think Putin pays … Trump. Swear to God.”

In October 2016, Mitch McConnell threatened Obama if the president announced that 17 intelligence agencies had evidence of Russian interference in the election. In March 2017, the congressman Devin Nunes sabotaged his own committee’s hearings to protect Trump.

In May 2017, Senator Ted Cruz went after former the deputy attorney general Sally Yates because she had the audacity to issue a warning that Michael Flynn, the National Security Adviser, was subject to blackmail by the Kremlin. In June 2017, the fired FBI director James Comey came into the Republican party’s crosshairs, and many believe special prosecutor Robert Mueller is next.

Republicans have convinced themselves, as addicts do, that they’re still in charge, that they’re getting out of this what they’ve always wanted – tax cuts for the rich, eventual destruction of the Affordable Care Act, a supreme court that will overturn Roe v Wade, and decisively fewer regulations on private industry – but none of these, if they were truly sober and in their right minds, are worth destroying the United States for.

Yet, here we are. We’re not all addicted, but we’re surely enduring the consequences.

Source: America is still hooked on the drug of white supremacy | Carol Anderson | Opinion | The Guardian

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How Much Would Single Payer Cost? | Physicians for a National Health Program

How Much Would Single Payer Cost?

A Summary of Studies compiled by Ida Hellander, M.D.

Editors’ Note: With the recent resurgence of interest in controlling health care costs, we thought a review of some of the state and national fiscal studies performed on single payer over the years might be useful. The entries are listed chronologically, oldest to newest.

National Studies

June, 1991 General Accounting Office

“If the US were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer, as in Canada, the savings in administrative costs [10 percent of health spending] would be more than enough to offset the expense of universal coverage” (“Canadian Health Insurance: Lessons for the United States,” 90 pgs, ref no: T-HRD-91-90. Full text available online at http://archive.gao.gov/d20t9/144039.pdf).

December, 1991 Congressional Budget Office

“If the nation adopted…[a] single-payer system that paid providers at Medicare’s rates, the population that is currently uninsured could be covered without dramatically increasing national spending on health. In fact, all US residents might be covered by health insurance for roughly the current level of spending or even somewhat less, because of savings in administrative costs and lower payment rates for services used by the privately insured. The prospects for con-trolling health care expenditure in future years would also be improved.” (“Universal Health Insurance Coverage Using Medicare’s Payment Rates”) http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/76xx/doc7652/91-CBO-039.pdf

April, 1993 Congressional Budget Office

“Under a single payer system with co-payments …on average, people would have an additional $54 to spend…more specifically, the increase in taxes… would be about $856 per capita…private-sector costs would decrease by $910 per capita.

The net cost of achieving universal insurance coverage under this single payer system would be negative.”

“Under a single payer system without co-payments people would have $144 a year less to spend than they have now, on average…consumer payments for health would fall by $1,118 per capita, but taxes would have to increase by $1,261 per capita to finance this plan.” (“Single-Payer and All-Payer Health Insurance Systems Using Medicare’s Payment Rates” ref : CBO memorandum, 60 pages)


July, 1993 Congressional Budget Office

“Enactment of H.R. 1300 [Russo’s single payer bill] would raise national health expenditures at first, but reduce spending about 9 percent in 2000. As the program was phased in, the administrative savings from switching to a single-payer system would offset much of the increased demand for health care serv-ices. Later, the cap on the growth of the national health budget would hold the rate of growth of spending below the baseline. The bill contains many of the elements that would make its limit on expenditures reasonably likely to succeed, including a single payment mechanism, uniform reporting by all providers, and global prospective budgets for hospitals and nursing homes.” (“Estimates of Health Care Proposals from the 102nd Congress” ref: CBO paper, July 1993, 57pages)


December, 1993 Congressional Budget Office

S491 (Senator Paul Wellstone’s single payer bill) would raise national health expenditures above baseline by 4.8 percent in the first year after implementation. However, in subsequent years, improved cost containment and the slower growth in spending associated with the new system would reduce the gap between expenditures in the new system and the baseline. By year five (and in subsequent years) the new system would cost less than baseline. (“S.491, American Health Security Act of 1993”)


June, 1998 Economic Policy Institute

“In the model presented in this paper, it is assumed that in the first year after implementing a universal, single-payer plan, total national health expenditures are unchanged from baseline. If expenditures were higher than baseline in the first few years, then additional revenues above those described here would be needed. However, these higher costs would be more than offset by savings which would accrue within the first decade of the program.”

Universal coverage could be financed with a 7 percent payroll tax, a 2 percent income tax, and current federal payments for Medicare, Medicaid, and other state and federal government insurance programs. A 2 percent income tax would offset all other out-of-pocket health spending for individuals. “For the typical, middle income household, taxes would rise by $731 annually. For fully 60% of households, the increase would average about $1,600…costs would be redistributed from the sick to the healthy, from the low and middle-income house-holds to those with higher incomes, and from businesses currently providing health benefits to those that do not.

“Even more important, greater efficiency and improved cost containment would become possible, leading to sizable savings in the future. The impediment to fundamental reform in health care financing is not economic, but political. Political will, not economic expertise, is what will bring about this important change.”

“Universal Coverage: How Do We Pay For It?” — Edie Rasell, M.D. PhD).


August, 2005 The National Coalition on Health Care

Impacts of Health Care Reform: Projections of Costs and Savings
By Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D.

This fiscal analysis of the impact of four scenarios for health care reform found that the single payer model would reduce costs by over $1.1 trillion over the next decade while providing comprehensive benefits to all Americans. The other scenarios would be improvements over the status quo, but would not reduce costs as dramatically or provide the same high-quality coverage to all.

Summary of the Coalition’s Specifications:

1. Health Care Coverage for All
2. Cost Management
3. Improvement of Health Care Quality and Safety
4. Equitable Financing
5. Simplified Administration

Reform Models studied:

Scenario 1: employer mandates (supplemented with individual mandates as necessary)
Scenario 2: expansion of existing public programs that cover subsets of the uninsured
Scenario 3: creation of new programs targeted at subsets of the uninsured (FEHBP model)
Scenario 4: establishment of a universal publicly financed program (single payer)



July, 2013: Economist Gerald Friedman, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Under the single-payer system created by HR 676 [the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.], the U.S. could save an estimated $592 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry ($476 billion) and reducing pharmaceutical prices to European levels ($116 billion). In 2014, the savings would be enough to cover all 44 million uninsured and upgrade benefits for everyone else.

“Specifically, the savings from a single-payer plan would be more than enough to fund $343 billion in improvements to the health system such as expanded coverage, improved benefits, enhanced reimbursement of providers serving indigent patients, and the elimination of co-payments and deductibles in 2014.

“Health care financing in the U.S. is regressive, weighing heaviest on the poor, the working class, and the sick. With the progressive financing plan outlined for HR 676, 95% of all U.S. households would save money.

“HR 676 would also establish a system for future cost control using proven-effective methods such as negotiated fees, global budgets, and capital planning. Over time, reduced health cost inflation over the next decade (“bending the cost curve”) would save $1.8 trillion, making comprehensive health benefits sustainable for future generations.”

Excerpted from “Funding HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, How we can afford a national single-payer health plan,” July 30, 2013.


State Studies

November 1994: New Mexico

Single Payer could save $151.8 million and cover all the uninsured

The Lewin consulting group was hired to perform a fiscal study of alternative reform plans for the state of New Mexico. The study looked at single payer, managed competition, and an individual and employer-mandate.

The study concluded that a single-payer system with modest cost-sharing was the only plan that would cover all the uninsured and save over $150 million per year (estimates given for 1998). Such a plan could be financed with a payroll tax of 7.92 percent (employer 80 percent/employee 20 percent) and a 2 percent tax on family income. If patient cost sharing was eliminated, the single payer program would cover all the uninsured for a net increase in costs of $9.1 million.

The group’s estimates of administrative savings were very conservative, about half of what other estimates have found. Thus, it is likely that a single payer program in the state of New Mexico could provide coverage for all the uninsured with no increase in current health resources.
Source :(“The Financial Impact of Alternative Health Reform plans in New Mexico” by Lewin-VHI, Inc. November 14, 1994.)

April 1995: Delaware

Single Payer would save money in Delaware

A fiscal study of single payer in Delaware by Solutions for Progress found that Delaware could save $229 million in the first year (1995). In ten years, the cumulative savings would exceed $6 billion, over $8,000 for every person in Delaware. “The benefit package for the single-payer system modeled in the report will cover all medically necessary health services” with “virtually no co-payments nor any out-of-pocket health expenditures for any covered benefit.”

The study’s authors’ note that they used a low estimate for administrative savings while using a high estimate for increased costs for utilization in order to assure a high margin for error and adequate funding.

Source: (“Single-payer financing for Universal Health Care in Delaware: Costs and Savings” prepared for the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, April 1995 is 11 pages. Solutions for Progress, 215-972-5558. Two companion papers are also available: “Health Expenditures in Delaware Under Single-Payer Financing” and “Notes for Delaware Health Care Costs and Estimates for the Impact of Single Payer Financing.”)

February 1995: Minnesota

Single Payer to save Minnesota over $718 million in health costs each year

A March 1995 study conducted by Lewin-VHI for the Minnesota legislature found that single-payer with modest co-pays would insure all Minnesotans and save Minnesota over $718 million health costs each year. The projected savings are conservative since Lewin-VHI global budgets or fee schedules to control costs.

Source: Program Evaluation Divison, Office of the Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota pg 68. “Health Care Administrative Costs” February 1995.

December 1998: Massachusetts

Two fiscal studies of single payer for the Massachusetts Medical Society show savings & benefits:

Lewin Group Solutions for Progress/Boston University School of Public Health (SFP/BUSPH)
“In early 1997, the Massachusetts Medical Society retained the services of two consulting teams to independently analyze the relative costs of a Canadian style single-payer system, and the current multi-payer health care system in Massachusetts.”

“While Lewin and SFP/BUSPH reports differed in their orientations and methodologies, they reached similar conclusions. First, a single-payer system would achieve significant administrative savings [between $1.8 and $3.6 billion] over the current multi-payer system. Secondly, these savings are of such a magnitude that the available funds would be sufficient to insure universal coverage in the state and provide comprehensive benefits including outpatient medications and long-term care and eliminate all out-of-pocket payments (co-payments, deductibles).”

“The major difference in the studies findings had to do with the timing of achieving the cost savings. SFP/BUSPH estimated that the savings could be in the first year of implementation of the system. Lewin felt the savings would begin in year six.”

Source: (Massachusetts Medical Society House of Delegates Report 207, A-99 (B).
Full text of the studies are available online at: http://www.massmed.org/pages/lewin.asp)

December, 2002: Massachusetts

Single Payer only plan to cover all and save money in Massachusetts

In the summer of 2001, the legislature allocated $250,000 to develop a plan for “universal health care with consolidated financing” for Massachusetts. The pro-HMO consulting firm LECG studied three options; only the single-payer option met the study criteria. Despite their industry bias LECG reported 40 percent of every health care dollar spent in the state of Massachusetts goes to administrative costs.

The initial LECG report had two major flaws: It did not include the costs of taking care of the uninsured in the non-single-payer plans, and it did not take into consideration the huge administrative savings possible under single-payer. If these factors are taken into account, single payer is the only plan to cover everyone and save money.
Source: (To get the full report e-mail: UHCEF@aol.com)

June, 2000: Maryland

Single Payer Would Save Money in Maryland

A single-payer system in the state of Maryland could provide health care for all residents and save $345 million on total health care spending in the first year, according to a study by the D.C. based consulting firm Lewin, Inc. The study also found that a highly regulated “pay or play” system (in which employers either provide their workers with coverage or pay into a state insurance pool) would increase costs by $207 million.

Editors’ Note: The pro-business Lewin group probably underestimated the administrative savings from single payer and overestimated the administrative savings (and hence understated the costs) of their “pay or play” model. Data from hospitals in Hawaii, where there are only a few major insurers, suggest that if you have more than one payer, there are few administrative savings. However single-payer systems in Canada, the U.K., Sweden and other countries have garnered administrative savings substantially larger than assumed by Lewin. Hence the estimate by Lewin that single-payer universal coverage would cost $550 million less to implement in the first year than “pay or play” is high.

Source: (“Full text of the study available online at: http://www.healthcareforall.com”)

August 2001: Vermont

Universal Health Care Makes “Business Sense”

Single-payer universal health coverage could save Vermonters more than $118 million a year over current medical insurance costs and cover every Vermonter in the process, according to a study paid for by a federal grant and prepared for the Office of Vermont Health Access by the Lewin Group. “Our analysis indicates that the single payer model would cover all Vermont residents, including the estimated 51,390 uninsured persons in the state, while actually reducing total health spending in Vermont by about $118.1 million in 2001 (i.e., five percent). These savings are attributed primarily to the lower cost of administering coverage through a single government program with uniform coverage and payment rules”

Source: (“Analysis of the Costs and Impact of a Universal Health Care Coverage Under a Single Payer Model for the State of Vermont”, The Lewin Group, Inc. Full text of the study is available on-line at: http://www.lewin.com/content/publications/1440.pdf)

April 2002: California

State Health Care Options Project

A study of nine options for covering California’s seven million uninsured by the conservative D.C.– based consulting firm of Lewin, Inc found that a single payer system in California would reduce health spending while covering everyone and protecting the doctor-patient relationship.

Three of the nine options analyzed by Lewin for their fiscal implications included single payer financing.

1.) A proposal by James Kahn, UCSF, Kevin Grumbach, UCSF, Krista Farley, MD, Don McCanne, MD, PNHP, and Thomas Bodenheimer, UCSF, would cover nearly all health care services including prescription drugs, vision and dental for every Californian through a government-financed system while saving $7.6 billion annually from the estimated $151.8 billion now spent on health care.

2.) A second proposal by Ellen Shaffer, UCSF– national health service- Would reform both financing of and the delivery system so that every Californian has a “medical home”, that is, a primary care physician with an ongoing relationship with that patient. Like the Kahn et al proposal, it saves about $7.5 billion through various efficiencies.

3.) The third by Judy Spelman, RN, and Health care for All, covers care for every Californian in a manner similar to the Kahn et al proposal but eliminates all out-of-pocket costs. Its cost savings are estimated at $3.7 billion.

All three proposals stabilize the health care system, reduce paperwork, and protect the doctor-patient relationship by eliminating the role of for-profit HMOs and insurers. The Kahn et al proposal envisions that the not-profit Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest integrated health system, would continue.

Report: Cost and Coverage Analysis of Nine Proposals to expand Health Insurance Coverage in California

Click here for Lewin Uniform Methodology

Source: (Contact Sandra (916)654-3454 to get a copy of the full report)

(See also February 2005 report)

December 2002: Maine

Single Payer an economically feasible option for Maine

The June 2001 Maine legislature created a nineteen member Health Security Board to develop a single payer system for Maine. In July, the Board contracted with the consulting firm Mathematica Policy Research, Inc, (MPA) firm to study the feasibility of single payer in the state. The firm found that single payer would cost about the same amount as the current system, while covering all 150,000 uninsured residents. Depending on the benefits provided by the system, single payer would cost the same as current state health spending, or increase health spending by 5 percent. (Note, the consultants were very conservative when estimating administrative savings, which could more than offset the 5 percent increase).

“Estimates from the model indicate that, under current policy, health care spending in Maine will continue on a path of steady increase—rising by 37 percent between 2001-04 and by 31 percent between 2004-08. The model projects that a single-payer health system would produce a net increase in total health care spending under most benefit designs that MPAestimated, but this increase in spending would decline over time as the system realizes savings through global budgeting, reductions in administrative costs, and enhanced access to primary and preventive care.”

“By reducing administrative spending and increasing overall demand for health care, a single payer system would generate some change in employment in Maine… However a single payer plan would improve health sector productivity by redistributing jobs from administrative to clinical positions.”

“In summary, a single payer system appears to be economically feasible for Maine.”
Source: (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc, “Feasibility of a Single-Payer Health Plan Model for the State of Maine” Final report 12/24/03/, MPR Ref No: 8889-300, 80 pages. http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/PDFs/mainefeasibility.pdf)

November 2002: Rhode Island

Single Payer would save $270 million in Rhode Island

A study of single-payer in Rhode Island by analysts with Boston University School of Public Health and the consulting firm Solutions for Progress found that current health spending in Rhode Island is 21.5 percent above the national average and that incremental reforms cannot solve the state’s health problems.

Solutions for Progress studied two models of single payer reform one with consolidated financing alone, and one with consolidated financing combined with “professionalism within a budget.” They found that without health care reform, Rhode Island’s costs would continue to rise, while both models of single-payer could provide universal coverage while saving an estimated $270 million in the first year.

At first, the administrative and bulk purchasing savings have the largest impact. But over time, slowing the rate of inflation to 4 percent by making health professionals responsible for using resources prudently, (“professionalism within a budget”) has a larger impact. Over six years, they estimate that consolidated financing alone would save $4.4 billion, while single payer with “professionalism within a budget” delivery system reform would save over $6.6 billion. Again, both models of single payer would provide coverage for all the uninsured and improve coverage for all Rhode Islanders.

Source: (“Rhode Island Can Afford Health Care for All: A Report to the Rhode Island General Assembly” On-line at www.healthreformprogram.org. For copies of this report, please contact Alan Sager or Deborah Socolar or phone the Health Services Department at (617) 638-5042. )

October 2003: Missouri

Single Payer Would Save $1.3 billion in Missouri

Missouri Foundation for Health conducted a study on “health care expenditures and insurance in Missouri”.

A single payer health care plan in the state of Missouri would reduce overall spending by about $3 billion. “Assuming the universal health care plan adopted a benefit package typically found in the state, spending among the uninsured and underinsured would rise by nearly $1.3 billion when fully implemented. On the other hand, the use of a streamlined single claims and billing form (electronically billed) would reduce overall spending by about $3 billion. As a result health care spending would decline by approximately $1.7 billion.”

“Even if the state would adopt a more generous benefit package-one more generous than 75 percent of all private insurance benefits in the state-overall spending would decline. Overall health care spending would likely decline by $ 1.3 billion under the streamlined administrative structure.”
Source: ( “A Universal Health Care Plan for Missouri”, the full report can viewed at www.pnhp.org/slideshow/Thorpe_Missouri_Study_ShowMe.pdf)

June 2004: Georgia

Single Payer in Georgia would reduce healthcare spending

A fiscal study by the Virginia-based Lewin Group found that Single Payer health would cover all Georgia residents and save $716 million annually.

The “SecureCare” program would offer residents a comprehensive benefits package that includes long-term care and prescription drug coverage. It would be financed by replacing health insurance premiums with a combination of payroll and income taxes as well as modest new tobacco, alcohol and sales taxes. ” Nearly all Georgia families would pay less for health care than they are today for much better coverage.

Source: (The Lewin Group, Inc. “The Georgia SecureCare Program: Estimated Cost and Coverage Impacts” Final report 10/21/03)
(Full text of the study available online at:

February 2005: California

California could save $344 billion over 10 years with single payer

A study by the Lewin Group, finds that singlepayer would save California $343.6 billion in health care costs over the next 10 years, mainly by cutting administration and using bulk purchases of drugs and medical equipment.

The bill’s author, Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, said the report “demonstrates that we can do it. We need the will to do it. It makes insurance affordable for everybody.”

Lewin Group Report
The Health Care for All Californians Act: Cost and Economic Impacts Analysis
January 19, 2005

Fact Sheet
* The Lewin report, prepared by an independent firm with 18 years of experience in healthcare cost analysis, affirms that we can create a fiscally sound, reliable state insurance plan that covers all Californians and controls health cost inflation.
* The Lewin report shows that all California residents can have affordable health insurance; and that, on average, individuals, families, businesses and the state of California, all of whom are now burdened with rising insurance costs, will save money.
* In February, State Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-23) will introduce the California Health Insurance Reliability Act (CHIRA), based on these findings. CHIRA, based on the Lewin Report model will insure every Californian and allow everyone to choose his or her own doctor.

Savings Overall
The Lewin report model would achieve universal coverage while actually reducing total health spending for California by about $8 billion in the first year alone. Savings would be realized in two ways:

1. The Act would replace the current system of multiple public and private insurers with a single, reliable insurance plan. This saves about $20 billion in administrative costs.

2. California would buy prescription drugs and durable medical equipment (e.g., wheelchairs) in bulk and save about $5.2 billion.

Savings for State and Local Governments
* In addition, state and local governments would save about $900 million, in
the first year, in spending for health benefits provided to state and local
government workers and retirees.
* Aggregate savings to state and local governments from 2006 to 2015 would
be about $43.8 billion.

Savings for Businesses
* Employers who currently offer health benefits would realize average savings of 16% compared to the current system.

Savings for families
* Average family spending for health care is estimated to decline to about $2,448 per family under the Act in 2006, which is an average savings of about $340 per family.
* Families with under $150,000 in annual income would, on average, see savings ranging between $600 and $3,000 per family under the program in 2006.

Cost Controls
* By 2015, health spending in California under the Act would be about $68.9
billion less than currently projected. Total savings over the 2006 through 2015 period would be $343.6 billion.
* Savings to state and local governments over this ten-year period would be
about $43.8 billion.

Comprehensive Benefits
* The Lewin Report assumes an insurance plan that covers medical, dental and
vision care; prescription drug; emergency room services, surgical and recuperative care; orthodontia; mental health care and drug rehabilitation;
immunizations; emergency and other necessary transportation; laboratory and
other diagnostic services; adult day care; all necessary translation and interpretation; chiropractic care, acupuncture, case management and skilled
nursing care.

* The Lewin Report shows that efficiencies in the system make these superior
benefits available while generating savings.

Freedom to Choose
*The Lewin Report model assumes the consumer’s freedom to choose his or her
own care providers. This means that each Californian will be free to change jobs, start a family, start a business, continue education and or change residences, secure in the knowledge that his or her relationships with trusted caregivers will be secure.

The Health Care For All Californians Act: Cost and Economic Impacts Analysis

Colorado, August 2007

The Lewin Group

Technical Assessment of Health Care Reform Proposals (Proof Report)
August 20, 2007
Prepared for: The Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform

The Lewin Group was engaged by the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Reform to assist in developing and analyzing alternative proposals to expand health insurance coverage and reform the Colorado
health care system.

Single Payer Results, Excerpt:


The Colorado Health Services (CHS) Program is a single payer plan that would provide coverage to all residents of the state, including state and local workers, and residents currently covered under Medicare, Tricare, Veteran’s Health, Indian Health Services and Federal Health Benefits programs. The program would provide all people with comprehensive health care benefits that cover the same list of services now covered by the Colorado Medicaid benefits package. Consumers would have their choice of providers and hospitals within the state.

0 – number remaining uninsured

$1.4 billion – decline in health spending

All Other Plans, Results, excerpt:


Better Health Care for Colorado provides a path to universal health care through a public program expansion and access to private insurance coverage with low-income subsidies through a Health Insurance Exchange. Individuals eligible for public programs would receive benefits under those programs, and individuals who purchase private coverage would have access to a limited core set of benefits, with premiums copays.

467,200 – number remaining uninsured

$595 million – increase in health spending


Solutions for a Healthy Colorado provides coverage to all Colorado residents under a Core Limited Benefit Plan in the private sector and expands coverage under Medicaid and Child Health Plus (CHP+). People who are low income but who would not be eligible for the government programs would receive a premium subsidy.

133,400 – number remaining uninsured

$271 million – increase in health spending


A Plan for Covering Coloradans provides coverage to Coloradans through a public program expansion and a mandatory private pool for all residents not eligible for the public program. It provides a minimum benefits package in a private pool and premium assistance based on income for those who cannot afford insurance. All plans would provide a comprehensive minimum benefits package, and differ mainly on cost-sharing amounts.

106,500 – number remaining uninsured

$1.3 billion – increase in health spending

Lewin’s Technical Assessment of Health Care Reform Proposals (230 page report):

Comment by Dr. Don McCanne, PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow:

Once again, fiscal analysis shows that the models of reform that build on our highly flawed, fragmented system of financing health care actually increase health care spending while falling far short on the goals of reform. In contrast, the single payer model would provide truly comprehensive care for absolutely everyone while significantly reducing health care spending.

December, 2007: Kansas

Single Payer would save $869 million

The Kansas Health Policy Authority hired the consulting firm of Schramm-Raleigh to do a fiscal analysis of five options for expanding coverage. They found that single payer (“the Mountain plan”) would cover all the uninsured and reduce state health spending by $869 million annually. The other plans would cover a portion of the uninsured and would raise costs between $150 million to $500 million in the state.

A link to the Schramm-Raleigh Report “Kansas – Pricing the Roadmap to Reform” is located on the web site of the Kansas Health Policy Authority :


July, 2009: New York

The New York State Department of Health and Department of Insurance contracted with the Urban Institute to compare 4 options for health reform in the state, including single payer (“Public Health Insurance for All”). The results of the two-year study showed that single payer was the only plan that would cover everyone and was the most effective plan at controlling costs. The report found that the savings from single payer would substantially increase over time. By 2019, the Urban Institute analysis showed that single payer would save $20 billion annually compared to the present system. Single payer would cost $28 billion less annually than an individual mandate plan and $19 billion less annually by 2019 than an expansion of Family Health Plus.


The press release with a link to the full study is here: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/july/advocates_call_on_go.php

Minnesota, 2012

A fiscal study by the Lewin Group found that single payer would cover all Minnesota residents and reduce total health spending by $4.1 billion, or 8.8 percent, in 2014, and would save $189.5 billion from 2014-2023 over what health care costs in Minnesota would be under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The plan would cover most medically necessary care with the exception of home care (outside of what is now covered by Medicare) and nursing home care, and would eliminate most cost-sharing, except for some small co-pays on specialty care and medications (medications for chronic conditions would be excluded from cost-sharing).  Lewin estimated that single payer would save employers currently offering coverage an average of $1,214 per worker, and save an average of $1,362 for families.  Employers not currently providing coverage would pay an additional $1,963 per worker annually.  Single payer could be financed with existing sources of taxpayer funding for health care (including subsidies from the ACA) combined with an average 7.2 percent effective payroll tax on employers, a 3 percent income tax on family adjusted gross income, and cigarette ($1.00/pack) and alcohol taxes (5 cents per drink).

Cost and Economic Impact Analysis of a Single-Payer Plan in Minnesota, March 27, 2012.

Summaries for studies for Vermont (William Hsiao, 2011) and five other states including Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania (2013, Friedman) are forthcoming.

Source: How Much Would Single Payer Cost? | Physicians for a National Health Program

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An Update to The Boy Scout Handbook

“The Boy Scouts of America sought to distance itself Tuesday from President Donald Trump’s highly political speech to tens of thousands of Scouts, after parents criticized the speech and the organization.” — Business Insider, 7/25/17

– – –


The BSA has adopted the following regulations for the safety and well-being of its troops and adult leaders in the event of another speech by President Trump.

1. Two-deep leadership required for a speech ranging from 10 to 45 minutes in length
A minimum of two registered adult leaders, or one registered adult leader and one parent must be present to act as a safe, logic-based touchstone should the speech cross over into inane, divisive ranting.

2. The buddy system should be used at all times, but only if the “buddies” can see past their political differences
For example, if one “buddy” simply refuses to let go of the Clinton email scandal, even in light of Jared Kushner’s email correspondence with Russia, and the other is holding his ears, closing his eyes, and rocking himself to keep from crying, they should probably be assigned different buddies.

3. Any signs of bullying must be stopped immediately
Since the instigator of said bullying will likely be the president himself, and thus cannot be stopped immediately, all other incidents of bullying should be strictly monitored. If the response to reprimand is, “But the president’s doing it, so I can do it,” do not follow up with, “Well, if the president said it’s okay to shoot anyone you don’t like, would you?”

4. Pursuing the Public Health badge is encouraged
Should fellow scouts or adult leaders feel queasy or light-headed during the president’s speech, scouts should consider it a medical emergency, and follow life-saving procedures as outlined in their Public Health manuals. Similar lengths should be taken for anyone arguing in support of the ACA health care bill.

5. Taking notes on public speaking for the Public Speaking badge is NOT encouraged
See all previous speeches given by POTUS.

6. Take safety precautions in the event of an emergency
Emergencies include fire, extreme weather, and angry mob storming the stage because they just can’t take this ridiculous bullshit any longer. Should any of these occur, calmly direct people to the nearest exits, personally assisting the elderly and the disabled.

7. Inappropriate use of smartphones, cameras, imaging, or digital devices is prohibited
Even if it’s to prove to your parents that the president actually uttered the crazy, insulting, might-as-well-be-a-raving-lunatic-shouting-at-inanimate-objects drivel the news said he did.

8. All complaints of POTUS’ speech must be directed to the official Boy Scouts of America Facebook page.
Where they’ll be promptly ignored.

Source: An Update to The Boy Scout Handbook – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

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They might keep their jobs, but they won’t keep their reputations – Salon.com

It’s official: Republicans have become an all-or-nothing party committed to going down with Trump’s ship

Growing up my father was a Union guy in a Central New York factory. My mother was a gymnastics coach and swim teacher. We didn’t have a lot of money but we made ends meet. Even after their divorce. If it wasn’t for public assisted housing and occasional times we were on food stamps (after the factory closed) we got by. My parents were liberal minded but fiscally conservative. My father is now a Republican politician. Although I am a left of center guy, there have been republicans who make good points which I agree with. The hypocrisy right now in the republican party has really gone too far for me to stomach.

I know sometimes it is “just for show” but how can you take them serious?  Republicans have gotten away with pretense after pretense for decades, hiding behind one phony construct after another. They pin little American flags to their suit lapels, hiding behind patriotism. Thrice married hypocrites like Newt Gingrich hide behind “respect for marriage” as they oppose gay marriage. Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais, who was recorded urging his mistress to get an abortion, paid for two abortions for his own wife, and had six sexual affairs with women at a hospital he managed, hides behind “family values” as he opposes abortion for other women. The entire Republican congress has hidden behind “respect for our veterans” as they have voted to cut the budget for the VA over and over again. They hid behind “Benghazi” as they voted to cut the State Department budget for embassy security. They hide behind “national security” to justify everything from torture to the completely insane wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. They hide behind “fiscal responsibility” as they vote to eviscerate the Consumer Protection Bureau. They hide behind love of “the market” as they vote to make it easier for banks to gamble with money deposited by their customers that is insured by the Federal government. They have hidden behind “law and order” to get away with everything from Jim Crow laws to outfitting local police forces like fully armored regiments ready for war.

But we have arrived at a point both in the nascent Trump presidency and in our national political life when they can’t hide any longer who they are. Their desperation to support Trump at any cost is forcing them into the open. Just in the last week, we have reached an apotheosis of sorts. It seemed as if every time you turned on the TV, another mask came off. Early in the week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been on something of a campaign to recreate the “law and order” Republicanism of old, was stripped of pretense before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Relying on a tactic long used by defense lawyers  — you remember them, don’t you, Jeff? The guys at the table opposing your prosecutors — Sessions used the dodge of “I cannot recall” or “I can’t remember” so many times the news shows ran his fake faulty memory on a video loop. But that was only the half of it. Pressed on numerous occasions by Democrats on the committee to answer simple questions about the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, Sessions invented from whole cloth a new privilege in refusing to answer their questions. When it was pointed out that only the president could invoke executive privilege, Sessions said “it would be inappropriate for me to answer and reveal private conversations with the president when he has not had a full opportunity to review the questions and to make a decision on whether or not to approve such an answer.” Sessions in effect invoked executive privilege preemptively, something which had only been attempted twice in the past: The same dodge was used a couple of weeks ago by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers in refusing to answer questions before the same committee, making it look like all three had been coached to use this invented privilege.

Meanwhile, behind closed doors in a basement hidey-hole somewhere else in the Senate office building, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was writing the new top-secret Republican “health care” bill, preparing to ram it through a vote before going on summer recess. It hardly needs pointing out that this is precisely what Republicans for years accused Obama of doing when Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in 2009 — which they didn’t. It took more than a year and dozens of hearings and more than 140 Republican amendments before the ACA was passed — without a single Republican vote. Meanwhile, in yet another Senate hearing room, Senator Elizabeth Warren asked a committee chairman when they were going to see the bill and if it would strip people from prescription drug coverage, Medicare and Medicaid. He simply refused to answer her. It has become increasingly obvious that the GOP feels that if this bill was given even a little bit of scrutiny it would piss off so many that the backlash would be devastating. Any proposal that will drop 20 MILLION people off health care cannot be called a healthcare bill. It is just another tax break.

Back at the Intelligence Committee, for the second time in as many weeks, Senator John McCain cut off Senator Kamala Harris’ questioning of Sessions when her questions got a little too pointed. Sessions, who wasn’t enjoying being grilled by the Senate’s only African-American female member, laughed as McCain delivered his dressing down to Harris. Two white men, at least one of them having been accused of being a racist when he was rejected by the Senate for a Federal judgeship some years back, telling a black woman to essentially shut up. Any Republicans on the committee come to her defense? Nope. In fact, the chairman, Richard Burr of North Carolina, backed up McCain and closed off her questions altogether by calling time on her. By week’s end, Republicans had even tried banning reporters from interviewing senators in the hallways of the Capitol and Senate office building, before abandoning the move under intense media criticism. First Amendment, anyone? Republicans? Anybody for the Constitution these days? Apparently not.

Over at the Pentagon, generals in the halls of the E-Ring were celebrating the news that Trump was turning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan completely over to them, allowing policy on troop levels to be set by the Pentagon. Civilian control of the military? Yet another constitutional principle apparently abandoned by Republicans in their reflexive support of Trump. Where this Republican support is coming from as Trump’s poll numbers head ever closer to 30 percent, and why it is still being given by Republicans on Capitol Hill in the face of one scandal after another, one insane tweet after another, is a question Republicans will have to answer sooner rather than later. It is regularly reported that it’s all about congressional Republicans just wanting to push through their so-called “conservative” agenda of tax cuts for billionaires and health cuts for the poor. But as that agenda has stalled, that excuse isn’t holding much water.

It’s becoming more and more clear that the crazed tone of Trump’s presidency is, as they say, a feature and not a bug of modern-day Republicanism. Conservative has become just another word for nothing left to lose. They have become the All-or-Nothing Party. They are showing every sign of being willing to go over the falls with Trump. With speculation rising about whether or not Trump will go all Saturday Night Massacre, fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and transform us overnight from a democracy into a totalitarian backwater, I guess we shall see. But whatever Trump decides to do in the coming weeks, the way the Republican Party is handling itself is going to stick to them for a long time. It’s going to be very, very hard to forget the image of a racist like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions laughing in the face of an African-American Senator like Kamala Harris as she’s being told to shut up and sit down. Those who kept their mouths shut and stood with Sessions at such a moment might keep their jobs for the time being, but they won’t keep their reputations.

Source: They might keep their jobs, but they won’t keep their reputations – Salon.com

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Ave Maria

We each have a sound track to our life. Songs that we may only hear once but at a time where we will remember them forever. Maybe a song that we have heard a thousand times but then it plays at a time where it leave a bigger impression.

Today is Father’s Day. I spent today at my lake house. I was packing up to leave when the song AVE MARIA came on. I turned it up and tears started welling up in my eyes.

The most beautiful version of this song was played at my Grandfather’s funeral. I was a pallbearer.

Now every time that song comes on, my heart breaks a little. I can feel the cold metal of the coffin in my left hand. I match my brother’s pace – staring at his back. I can feel my chest constricted with grief.

I miss you.

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5 Things The Media Gets Wrong About White Supremacist Hate

Source: 5 Things The Media Gets Wrong About White Supremacist Hate | HuffPost

White supremacist terror is at the top of people’s minds after a white supremacist stabbed and killed two men who were defending two young black women, one in a hijab, from his bigoted rant in Portland, Oregon, last month.

The incident attracted widespread media coverage, which in turn drew criticism from many people on Twitter who denounced news outlets for not labeling the attack as terrorism.

There’s a familiar double standard in how the media treats violence by white supremacists versus violence by Islamist extremists. It’s time to get it right.

HuffPost spoke to two experts ― Farai Chideya, a journalist who has been reporting on white nationalism for more than 25 years, and Heidi Beirich, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, who has been studying white extremist groups since 1999 ― to discuss the problem of white supremacist hate today, and how the media can do a better job covering it.

Jeremy Christian, 35, stabbed three people and killed two of them after they came to the defense of two teens in Portland, Oregon.

This is what the media should know:

1. White supremacist hate is not new.

“The one thing that bothers me the most about media coverage of these incidents is that they’re not frequently enough put in the context of the fact we’ve had ton of domestic terrorism recently,” Beirich told HuffPost.

Beirich noted a recent spate of white supremacist attacks in the U.S. In addition to the May 26 Portland attack, there’s the March 20 murder of 66-year-old Timothy Caughman, who was black, by a man who traveled to New York City expressly to kill African-American men, and the May 22 killing of Richard Collins III, a black college student in Maryland, by a man who belonged to a white supremacist Facebook group.

“When it comes to Muslim terrorism, nobody questions it’s a problem that’s an ongoing threat ― a security problem, radicalization problem, et cetera ― which it is,” Beirich said. “But when it comes to Portland or Dylann Roof [the 2015 Charleston church shooter], they always seem to appear as one-offs.”

Outlets covering last week’s truck and knife attack in London, for instance ― carried out by three men identified as Islamist extremists ― often made a point of mentioning the bombing in Manchester, England, two weeks before.

But many news outlets covering the stabbing attack in Portland failed to mention other recent U.S. attacks by white supremacists, such as the one in Maryland just a few days earlier.

Meanwhile, more domestic terrorism incidents in the U.S. have been carried out by people associated with white supremacist ideologies than by people with radical Islamist ideologies, Beirich noted.

In tracking deadly terror attacks in the U.S., the New America Foundation has counted 11 attacks by Islamic extremists since 9/11, compared to 21 by far-right extremists. Between the 9/11 attacks and the 2016 Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting, more people were killed in the U.S. by right-wing extremists than by Islamic extremists, the foundation said.

We began as a country that said ‘all men are created equal’ ― but there was slavery, and women were not allowed to vote.Farai Chideya

Americans “shouldn’t be surprised” by the frequency of white supremacist attacks, since they are rooted in a long history of racial discrimination, Beirich said. As she puts it, until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “white supremacy was the law of the land.”

“I’m disturbed by this cycle [of attacks],” Chideya told HuffPost. “But we began as a country that said ‘all men are created equal’ ― but there was slavery, and women were not allowed to vote.”

“This is a continuation,” she added. “We’re not done, just because people are uneasy with how long the history is and how prevalent the issue is. We have to give up thinking this is rare.”

People demonstrate outside the White House against the lynching of black people in 1946.

2. White supremacist hate is not “fringe.”

White supremacist hate doesn’t just manifest as violent extremism, Chideya noted.

“People frame it as weird guys with fringe beliefs ― no,” Chideya said. “White supremacists don’t just wear hoods and give Nazi salutes. White nationalists are in the U.S. government.”

She pointed to “institutionalized white nationalism, like voting laws,” mentioning North Carolina’s voting practices an example of “de facto white nationalism.” The courts recently found that the state’s legislative districts were drawn to intentionally disadvantage black voters.

Chideya also mentioned “political white nationalism, like in the White House,” calling out the links between the white supremacist movement and upper echelons of the federal government.

She listed President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, who led Breitbart News, a publisher of white nationalist content, and Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, who reportedly has ties to a Nazi-aligned group. When Beirich spoke to HuffPost in April, she also pointed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has received awards from and has spoken at events for an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-Muslim hate group.

White supremacists don’t just wear hoods and give Nazi salutes. White nationalists are in the U.S. government.Farai Chideya

In terms of how news media could do better, Chideya pointed to coverage of Greg Gianforte, who was elected to Congress in Montana last month and was found to have made donations to candidates with ties to white nationalist groups ― which Rewire reported just days before his election. Gianforte made national news when he physically attacked a reporter on the eve of the election.

Chideya said members of the news media were slow to surface Gianforte’s links to hate groups, which she thought should have “come out sooner.”

“In general, reporters need to become more adept at tracking not just extremist white nationalism, but also when it enters the mainstream, like in Montana,” Chideya said. “The same way you run a background check on politicians’ finances, run a check on if they are connected to extremist ideologies.”

Greg Gianforte got into hot water for body-slamming a reporter before his election, but what about his donations to proponents of white nationalism?

3. White supremacist hate is terror.

News outlets have been repeatedly criticized for their slowness to label attacks by white perpetrators as “terrorism,” while they’re quick to use the label when attackers are perceived as nonwhite or “other” ― and specifically, Muslim.

“What is terrorism? Acts designed to inspire terror. But somehow, we don’t call this terrorism,” Chideya told HuffPost of the Portland attack. “When a Muslim terrorist kills one, two, five people, it’s immediately labeled terrorism. But when a white nationalist kills one, two, five people, it’s not labeled terrorism. But they’re the same.”

“We have to be aware as journalists of the labels we use,” she added.

The issue of how to label any given attack is complex. As CNN reports, for an attack to be labeled a hate crime, a perpetrator has to attack someone based on their identity ― for example, their race, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. For an act to be labeled terrorism, the perpetrator has to be motivated by political or ideological beliefs.

But the line is blurry. Many people condemned the government for not labeling Dylann Roof a terrorist after he killed nine black people in a Charleston church in 2015 and specifically said he was there “to shoot black people,” according to witnesses.

There is a more general presumption that white people are good and innocent in American culture at large ― and journalists come from that culture.Farai Chideya

Officials themselves can be slow to use the “terrorist” label when white attackers are involved, adding to the challenge for journalists.

It’s too early to say whether last night’s violence was an act of domestic terrorism or a federal hate crime,” an FBI special agent told reporters the day after the Portland attack, per CNN.

Beyond the inconsistent labeling, there are other discrepancies in how the media treats violent attacks by white supremacists versus by Islamist extremists.

White attackers are often portrayed as lone wolves with mental health issues, while Islamist attackers are simply terrorists. The Muslim community is made to answer or apologize for Islamist extremism, while white Christians don’t get similar requests. There’s deep digging into how Islamic extremists were radicalized ― but that’s not the case for white extremists.

“Plenty of terrorists have had mental health issues,” Chideya told HuffPost. “There is a more general presumption that white people are good and innocent in American culture at large ― and journalists come from that culture.” 

And when someone perceived as Muslim commits an attack, the news typically receives far more coverage than an attack by a white supremacist would.

This double standard is perpetuated from the nation’s highest office, as Trump continues to respond selectively to terror attacks during his presidency.

After Islamist extremists attacked London, for instance, he condemned the violence on Twitter the same day. After the Portland attack, Trump waited more than two days before tweeting about it.

There’s crickets from Donald Trump when there’s white nationalist violence,” Chideya said. “But there’s a deluge with Muslim violence.”


4. Don’t worry about giving white supremacists too much coverage ― worry about giving them the right kind of coverage.

News organizations are sometimes concerned about giving extremists too much attention, which could feed into their desire for publicity and spur copycats.

Beirich recognizes the issue, but she maintains that reporters need to pay more attention― not less ― to the issue of white supremacist hate.

“I know there are concerns about journalists who don’t want to report on a neo-Nazi rally where four people show up, because those groups are just seeking attention ― and that’s a valid point,” Beirich said. “But when we’re talking about domestic terrorism and hate crimes related to white supremacy ― that’s a real thing.”

“I understand not wanting to draw attention to small instances,” she added, noting specifically the series of news stories about white supremacist flyers on college campuses. “But when people are getting killed because of this, we’ve got to pay attention.”

When people are getting killed because of this, we’ve got to pay attention.Heidi Beirich

Deciding how much of a platform to provide extremists is an “inevitable transaction of journalism,” Chideya noted.

She recalled a time years ago when she was conducting a phone interview with a woman in the white supremacist movement. At the end of the interview, Chideya asked: “I’m black ― would you have granted me the interview if you’d known that?”

The woman responded: “Probably not ― but on the other hand, every time I talk to a reporter, people will read your article and come find me.”

“You can write a piece saying [white supremacists] are cowards, and there still will be people who come over to their side,” Chideya told HuffPost. “That doesn’t mean you don’t do journalism ― you just do it as well as you can.”

Good reporting on white supremacist movements will recognize that there is a range of people within any movement.

“It’s a question of journalism: Not every story is about Derek Black,” she said, referring to a man The Washington Post profiled after he left the so-called alt-right movement. “Nor about the worst violent person in the movement.”

A conservative protester yells during competing demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, on June 4, 2017.

5. White supremacist hate is a bigger problem than you think.

“Not only do we have domestic terrorism inspired by racism, but also we have a hate crime problem ― and the dimensions are not understood,” Beirich said.

While we know there has been a recent rise in the number of hate groups and a spike in hate crimes after Trump’s election, the U.S. still doesn’t do a good job of tracking hate crimes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, for instance, puts out a report of around 5,000 to 6,000 hate crimes each year. But when the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics did a large-scale study from 2007 to 2011, Beirich noted, it found the number of hate crimes closer to 260,000 per year.

If people were looking at these data points more, we would be talking about ways to combat this problem.Heidi Beirich

“If people were looking at these data points more, we would be talking about ways to combat this problem,” Beirich said. “This leads to less public policy interest in domestic terrorism committed by white supremacists ― and allows Trump to minimize these threats. We should not leave him off the hook.”

After Saturday’s attack by Islamist extremists in London, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a new strategy on terror. Trump called on the courts to reinstate his travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries ― a move that was roundly criticized.

By contrast, after the Portland attack, Trump made no calls to change policy to prevent future attacks.

“The facts and the context have to be put out there by media,” Beirich said. “We need policies to address this.”

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