Hillary Clinton is not being honest with voters. She is on the campaign trail banging the drum of fighting for the middle class in a tight party race against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, another champion of the middle class. Clinton is on the road saying that she is the candidate that will save the middle class from ruin if under the control of a Republican presidency. She is fighting to prove she is electable while telling voters Sanders is not, despite countless polls that suggest otherwise.
However, Clinton has made it her campaign policy to speak out vocally against single-payer health care. Single payer, or more widely known as universal health care, would save middle-class families roughly $5,000 a year on average, according to the plan Bernie Sanders has put forward.
It does this by removing health care premiums and all deductibles and replaces it with a flat payroll tax that both employers and employees pay into.
Sanders has proposed 6.2 percent payroll tax paid by employers and a 2.2 percent increase on employees. Some opponents have attacked this as a raise in taxes on the already struggling middle-class Americans without taking into account that monthly premiums and all deductibles on doctor or hospital visits would be eliminated.
Clinton, on the other hand, is still championing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and does not want to undo all the work of President Obama and start from scratch. In other words, it's much easier to keep the status quo than to do the extra work to save the middle-class money.
The ACA is still insurance and not health care. There is a very distinct difference. Insurance you buy in case something bad happens to you and many people, even under the ACA, can only afford something along the lines of catastrophic insurance. It helps them if they are seriously hurt from going completely bankrupt, but does not help them lower the costs of regular doctor visits. While many Americans finally have health insurance, many can't even afford to actually use it.
Universal health care covers all Americans regardless of employment status. If you lose your job you do not have to apply for Medicare or change insurance companies, your health care continues on as is. This gives every single American citizen full access to health care at no additional cost. Higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans and an across the board payroll tax increase funds Universal health care for everyone.
How can someone claim to stand up for the middle class but refuse to support a policy that would single-handedly change his or her life forever? She is offering nothing to voters but putting Band-Aids on the ACA to fix its flaws, but still leaving the insurance companies free to compete on the for-profit capitalist market.
It is simply because Clinton is attempting to get elected solely on the record of President Obama. She is picking sides opposite of Sanders that offer any substantial change to America and accusing Sanders of being the anti-Obama in an attempt to draw a comparison to the Republican Party in voter's heads.
She is willing to do this even if means turning her back on the middle-class and pandering to the wealthy elite, many of who are funding her campaign. All while telling voters she is here to protect the middle-class.
The fact of the matter is, however, you cannot be a champion of the middle-class and oppose universal health care. It is a proven benefit to citizens as is seen in every industrialized nation on this planet.
By waging war on universal health care, Clinton has waged a war against the middle-class.
This post originally appeared on Dan Arel's blog, Danthropology.