The Public Likes Biden's Quiet Lurch Left... and So Does The Stock Market!

Medicare-For-All would be much better, but this is a step in the right direction-- especially if it turns out to be 50!

Remember when Trump kept predicting/threatening that the stock market would crash if he wasn't reelected? That was another bout of gaslighting the American public. CNBC reported today that Biden's 100 say stock market performance isn't just better than Trump's but the hottest going back to the 1950s. Jeff Cox went to far as to report that "Biden has been one of the best friends the stock market has ever had."

Despite Trump's nonsense, "investors have shown no hesitance in making huge bets on corporate America. 'Biden’s first 100 days have already delivered the strongest post-election equity returns in at least 75 years, due to record fiscal stimulus and despite heavy use of Executive Orders,' JPMorgan Chase strategist John Normand said in a note. The results are 'not bad for some Trump labeled as Sleepy Joe during the campaign.'"

Indeed, Biden’s results have been staggering so far.
The S&P 500 has risen 24.1% since Inauguration Day-- technically 103 days ago-- with numbers that easily trounce any of his predecessors.
The only administration going back to 1953, or the beginning of Eisenhower’s term, to rival Biden’s were those of John F. Kennedy, who saw an 18.5% rise during the same period.
Even Trump, who often touted how well stocks were doing, saw just an 11.4% rise for the first 100 days.
...With possibly trillions more coming in spending on infrastructure, a term that congressional Democrats have paint with a generously broad brush, that gives forward-looking investors even more reason to plow money into the market.
On top of that, the U.S. is still vaccinating about 3 million people a day, adding hopes that growth will continue as more of the economy comes back to life ahead.

Consumer confidence is up for the first time since Trump botched the pandemic and crashed the economy. as we saw yesterday, the new Monmouth poll-- released in the afternoon-- shows the public overwhelmingly approving of the Democrats' infrastructure bill (68-29%), their plan to expand access to healthcare and childcare, and provide paid leave and college tuition support (64-34%), their plan to raise corporate taxes (64-34%) and taxes on people making over $400,000 annually (65-33%).

That helps explain why, despite GOP ranting and railing "Markets have continued to push higher even knowing that Biden has pinned a bull’s eye on the nation’s richest earners as well as corporations, with both groups expected to see substantially higher tax bills ahead."

And in terms of what that expanded healthcare is going to look like, Pramila Jayapal led over 80 House members-- including front-liners in vulnerable districts and rank conservatives-- sending a letter to Biden asking him to expand Medicare by lowering the eligibility age while also empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices for all Americans and using the savings from drug-pricing to improve Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, hearing, and an out-of-pocket cap. Joining Pramila in taking the lead on this was fellow-progressive Joe Neguse (D-CO) and two normally useless arch-conservative, Jared Golden (Blue Dog-ME) and Conor Lamb (PA).

The letter to Biden and Kamala, in part, reminded them that they had both "previously expressed commitments to expanding Medicare eligibility, improving its benefits package, and empowering Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. As part of the American Families Plan, we respectfully request that you fulfill your commitment to expand and improve Medicare by including the following key provisions in the package:

  • Expand Medicare by lowering the eligibility age.

  • Improve Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, hearing, and an out-of-pocket cap.

  • Empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices for all Americans.

The letter went on that:

Lowering the Medicare age would provide immediate coverage for millions of older adults who are still uninsured or underinsured. Researchers at Stanford University found that there is a sudden jump in the diagnosis of cancer among individuals who reach the age of 65 due to the fact that many older adults delay care for financial reasons until they have Medicare coverage. Their study also concluded that individuals ages 61-64 “often lack insurance as a result of early retirement, pre-existing conditions hindering renewal, the high cost of private insurance and other causes.” Additionally, up to 25 percent of adults in this age group become uninsured or have experienced a gap in medical coverage prior to becoming eligible for Medicare. Lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 could enable an additional 23 million people to access Medicare coverage. Meanwhile lowering the Medicare eligibility to 55 could expand Medicare coverage to over 40 million people. Expanding Medicare to these age groups is critical for addressing inequities in health coverage and access, as communities of color and low-income individuals are disproportionately more likely to be uninsured.
There is also a critical need to improve the traditional Medicare benefit to include dental, vision, and hearing. According to the Commonwealth Fund, among Medicare beneficiaries, “75% of people who needed a hearing aid did not have one; 70% of people who had trouble eating because of their teeth did not go to the dentist in the past year; and 43% of people who had trouble seeing did not have an eye exam in the past year.” Poor oral health, vision loss, and hearing impairment have been independently linked to numerous negative health outcomes, such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, depression and dementia. Lastly, research shows that half of older adults who live alone don’t have enough money to cover even their basic needs. Therefore, it’s past time that we place an out-of-pocket spending cap to traditional Medicare, just as we already have for Medicare Advantage plans and other private insurance plans.
Expanding and improving Medicare is not only good and critically-needed policy, it also has support from overwhelming bipartisan majorities of the American people. According to a recent Gallup poll, 65 percent of Americans, across party lines, are in favor of lowering the Medicare eligibility age. Another poll found that 79 percent of polled older voters want a routine dental, vision and hearing benefit added to Medicare.
To pay for Medicare expansion, we believe Medicare and the federal government must finally be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the high price of prescription drugs. The United States spends, by far, more on prescription drugs than any other country, despite Medicare Part D being the largest purchaser in the world. The Congressional Budget Office estimated Medicare could save over $450 billion and increase revenue by $45 billion over the next decade by requiring Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, we request that the savings achieved by robust Medicare drug-price negotiations be used to make critical expansions and improvements to Medicare, alongside other bold investments in health coverage and affordability.

Although most of the signatories are progressives-- Nanette Barragán, Karen Bass, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, David Cicilline, Yvette Clarke, Steve Cohen, Mark DeSaulnier, Lloyd Doggett, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Ruben Gallego, Sylvia Garcia, Jesús "Chuy" García, Jimmy Gomez, Raul Grijalva, Hank Johnson, Mondaire Jones, Kai Kahele, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Teresa Leger Fernández, Ted Lieu, Alan Lowenthal, Jerry Nadler, Marie, Newman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Jamie Raskin, Mary Gay Scanlon, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Takano, Rashida Tlaib, Ritchie Torres, Lori Trahan, Nydia M. Velázquez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Nikema Williams, Frederica Wilson, and John Yarmuth-- there were nearly as many moderates and conservatives: Don Beyer, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Andre Carson, Jason Crow, Peter DeFazio, Madeleine Dean, Diana DeGette, Ted Deutch, Debbie Dingell, Jahana Hayes, Steven Horsford, Sara Jacobs, Hakeem Jeffries, Ann Kirkpatrick, Brenda Lawrence, Zoe Lofgren, Carolyn Maloney, Kathy Manning, Betty McCollum, Grace Meng, Jimmy Panetta, Chellie Pingree, Elisa Slotkin, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Haley Stevens, Norma Torres, Juan Vargas, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Susan Wild.


Bernie's companion letter in the Senate was co-signed by Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Ed Markey, Sherrod Brown, Alex Padilla, Tammy Baldwin, Tina Smith, Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse, Kirsten Gillibrand, Dick Durbin, Chris Van Hollen, Tammy Duckworth.