Here He Comes to Save the Day!

mighty mouse.jpg

The proposed Medicare for All Act of 2017 is out. I received this email this morning, I'm sure some of you did as well. Interesting that some of the early key co-sponsors are projected candidates for the 2020 election. Another election revolving around the United States of the Free and Brave! health care system.

Here we go again. Reminds me of an essay I wrote a while back, something I'm sure to bring up again. And again. Because you know the Democratic party presidential candidates will not touch U.S. imperialism.

"Would You Kill for Single Payer?"

https://caucus99percent.com/content/would-you-kill-single-payer

Notice the bolded part (mine), Bernie's "political revolution" continues. He's right that we must "transform our political system", but he's dead wrong that it can be done by electing more and better democrats, which is what his political revolution is all about.

Either way, Medicare for All Improved will be a hard fight. A little perspective, from 1994. Time flies when you're having fun.

Sisters and Brothers -

Today is an historic day. Along with 14 co-sponsors, I was proud to introduce Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care legislation in the U.S. Senate. Today we begin the struggle to transform our dysfunctional health care system and make health care in the United State a right, not a privilege.

The insurance companies, the drug companies and Wall Street won’t like this legislation. They will try to make words like "NATIONAL HEALTH CARE" sound scary.

They will spend huge amounts of money in lobbying and campaign contributions to defeat this legislation and maintain a system in which they make hundreds of billions a year in profit, while ordinary people suffer.

Enough is enough! Now is the time for us to take them on, join every other industrialized country on earth, and guarantee quality health care to every man, woman and child in our country.

The American people are with us on this issue. They understand that it is absurd that we spend almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other country and that we pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. They also know that we already have a very popular and effective single-payer system in this country. It's called Medicare, and it has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over the age of 65. It is time to expand Medicare to all.

Let's be honest. Taking on the medical-industrial-complex won't be easy. These powerful special interests have unlimited sums of money to spend against us, and will have the support of much of the corporate media and the many politicians they helped elect.

The truth is that the only way we will successfully transform our health care system is when we transform our political system. The two struggles go together. We will succeed when we involve millions of people in unprecedented political activity who are prepared to stand up and fight for a government that represents all of us, not just greedy powerful corporate interests. In other words, we need a political revolution in this country.

Please add your name as a Citizen Co-Sponsor of my Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care bill. Let's make it clear that we're in this together and that you will help us educate and organize at the grass-roots level. That's how we win.

Medicare-for-all means that Americans will no longer hesitate about going to the doctor because they can't afford the cost. It will mean that a hospital stay will not bankrupt us or leave us deeply in debt. It will mean that we can go to the doctor we want, not just one in our particular plan. It will mean that we will no longer be spending enormous amounts of time filling out complicated forms and arguing with insurance companies as to whether or not we have the coverage we paid for. It will mean that we will be able to get the prescription drugs we need at a price we can afford. It will mean that middle class families will not have to spend 20 or 30 percent of their incomes on health care.

At a time when we have hundreds of separate individual health care plans a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system would save many billions a year in administrative costs. It would allow our businesses to be able to better compete against companies around the world who don't have to worry about the cost of providing health care to their employees. It would mean that workers will no longer have to stay in jobs they dislike, simply because they receive decent health care benefits.

The time is now to address one of the great crises our nation faces. It is not acceptable that 28 million Americans have no health insurance and that even more are under-insured with high co-payments and deductibles. The time is now for a Medicare-for-All, single-payer system. Health care must be a right, not a privilege.

Stand with me today and let me know that you're prepared to join the struggle.

Please add your name as a Citizen Co-Sponsor of my Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care bill.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Sorry, can't resist:

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Comments

Eagles92's picture

Part of me thinks that, by remaining "within" the Democratic party, and introducing such a bill, and publicly asking his colleagues to endorse it, Bernie continues to expose the rot in our political system. When people like Pelosi refuse, it's a fairly obvious repudiation. And this has been a consistent tactic of Bernie's all along: show us what's wrong.

I have transitioned from being a star-struck fan of his, convinced he *needed* to be President, to thinking that he very well may be leading us toward a political revolution after all -- not as our figurehead, but as someone showing us what needs to be done. If he chooses to stay within the entrenched system in order to do that, it's fine by me. I'm starting to believe change is coming after all.

(Maybe this is a defense mechanism).

(EDITED for typo & grammar).

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earthling1's picture

@Eagles92

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@Eagles92

Bernie continues to expose the rot in our political system.

If senators like Cory Booker are in a position where they have to at least fake support for single payer to be viable 2020 candidates, that's a win. It's not the win we wanted, but it's still a win.

Yes it's all kabuki but at least one of our geishas has a featured role.

OWS started a conversation that Bernie's campaign continued. OWS got stamped out, Bernie got cheated, but the conversation goes on and progressive values are a part of it in a way they were not before. Until we get serious about a torches, pitchforks, and guillotines style revolution that's the best we're going to get.

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dkmich's picture

@Eagles92

Credit due where credit is due. Bernie did a hell of a lot. I am resolved to wait and see. I have no idea where any of this is going.

Thomas Frank said the purpose of Third Parties was to keep the two parties in check. In the olden days, it worked. So the two parties have passed laws that make it virtually impossible for a Third Party candidate to win anything. Frank thinks we need to stay within and fight. TYT is saying a movement is afoot to move CA primary up front. If they do, the Democrats will make it virtually impossible for any outlier to build the name recognition and financial resources to compete in CA virtually putting an end to outsider candidates. He said we need to be putting pressure on CA to say no, no matter how tempting it might be for them to have a bigger say. It will kill progressive candidates.

The one thing for certain is that the establishment will not give up easy.

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10 users have voted.

*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook *dump Google

snoopydawg's picture

@dkmich

How Debates Work

The League of Women Voters used to run the debates until the DP and the RP didn't like the way that questions were asked and other issues, so they took control of them.
This is why they are basically worthless. There shouldn't be a time frame for how long can respond to a question. 1 minute and then a 30 second to refute the response.

I'll admit that I'm conflicted about what Bernie is trying to accomplish. Especially because he says that his bill has no chance of passing. And I don't care for the incrementalism now when he was offering something different during the primary.

The other thing that I'm having a hard time understanding is that Bernie has bought into the Russian propaganda. He even thinks that they had a hand in the primary while all the evidence points to Hillary and the DNC rigging it. Hell, the DNC lawyers even admitted it.
Russia didn't change people's party affiliations or kick them off the voting rolls. This I know is true.

Russia didn't have a hand in what happened during the Nevada caucus.

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10 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg or a nationalized health care system, and truly believes the only way to do it is through this political system which means electing the right politicians, i.e., in the democratic party or independent to pass it in the Congress and Senate.
I think he views it from that lens so what he's doing now is part of the long political process he envisions is needed to get it done.

It's the same old thing with him, many have been asking him to go outside the dem party, go third party, etc., to lead a movement outside the duopoly, but he won't do that.
This is literally the best he's got. But it isn't good enough.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

to get this passed since the early 90's as you stated in this essay.
The numbers showed that he would have beaten Trump in the general election, so what would the odds be if he ran 3rd party and he joined the Greens?

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5 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

@snoopydawg but what I don't get is why he still claims himself as an independent when he is a Democrat in all but name. (Well, really, there's a lot I don't get about Sanders, that one just happens to be near the top of the list.)

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@snoopydawg

If I may, I'd like to add this:

http://lwv.org/press-releases/league-refuses-help-perpetrate-fraud

League Refuses to "Help Perpetrate a Fraud"
10/03/1988 | by LWV

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 3, 1988

LEAGUE REFUSES TO "HELP PERPETRATE A FRAUD"

WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FROM FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

WASHINGTON, DC —"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter," League President Nancy M. Neuman said today.

"It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and honest answers to tough questions," Neuman said. "The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."

Neuman said that the campaigns presented the League with their debate agreement on
September 28, two weeks before the scheduled debate. The campaigns' agreement was negotiated "behind closed doors" and vas presented to the League as "a done deal," she said, its 16 pages of conditions not subject to negotiation.

Most objectionable to the League, Neuman said, were conditions in the agreement that gave the campaigns unprecedented control over the proceedings. Neuman called "outrageous" the campaigns' demands that they control the selection of questioners, the composition of the audience, hall access for the press and other issues.

"The campaigns' agreement is a closed-door masterpiece," Neuman said. "Never in the history of the League of Women Voters have two candidates' organizations come to us with such stringent, unyielding and self-serving demands."

Neuman said she and the League regretted that the American people have had no real opportunities to judge the presidential nominees outside of campaign-controlled environments.

"On the threshold of a new millenium, this country remains the brightest hope for all who cherish free speech and open debate," Neuman said. "Americans deserve to see and hear the men who would be president face each other in a debate on the hard and complex issues critical to our progress into the next century."

Neuman issued a final challenge to both Vice President Bush and Governor Dukakis to "rise above your handlers and agree to join us in presenting the fair and full discussion the American public expects of a League of Women Voters debate."

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@dkmich

On a huge Super Tuesday that pretty much decided it for Obama. Hillary won California though.

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Eagles92's picture

@dkmich The lengths to which these snakes will go just disgusts me.

How do we pressure CA to resist this move? I already feel as if it's a done deal -- it just hasn't been announced yet.

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@Eagles92 Sanders has been accused of sheep dogging progressives into the democratic party where the movement and policies would die. I think there was some of that but not consciously as I do believe Sanders was cheated out of the nomination. So yah, bunch of sheep were lead into the party, but looks like the sheep have some large sharp teeth and are barking.

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Eagles92's picture

@MrWebster I think many of these "sheep" #DemExited, and those who didn't are definitely making noise.

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@Eagles92

That's certainly is what's happening, when you look at the actual results.

And who'd be bringing up the essential, basic public-serving things like a living wage and universal health care that Bernie does, if he hadn't done what he had to to reach the corporate-media-restricted public and make them aware of what could and should be done in the public interest, in any prosperous country? Such officially-labeled 'impossible for can't-do America' concepts would be out of sight, out of mind, for a public buried in propaganda pumped out by the corporate media and corporate-serving politicians who like it that way.

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10 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Eagles92 Except that the prospective candidates for next time are using it to amass credibility without having to pony up results.

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7 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Eagles92's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I also think many more people see through that crap now, no? Or, at least I hope they do. I hear a lot more healthy skepticism when, say, people like Harris "embrace" progressive causes and legislation. And it makes the (D)s cry: "Progressives are destroying unity because they demand nice things! WAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

We pay Double what other industrialized nation pay for healthcare -- a system ranked 29th in quality last time I looked. And it is actually triple or quadruple more than many of those countries. Just shifting the payment method does little. The beast needs to be regulated as they do in all other countries.

Paying the Highest Price That The Market Will Bear for Healthcare is Immoral. Good luck getting a Congress full of Corpro-Kleptocracy Whores to do anything about that.

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26 users have voted.

Donnie The Douchebag. The Douchebag Who Would Be King.

Eagles92's picture

@Citizen Of Earth Which is why I think we will finally be forced to take the reins ourselves.

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mimi's picture

@Citizen Of Earth
a lot of things that are true.

Revolutionary Medicine - The Change We Need

Climate Disaster and Structural Violence: Symptoms From a Capitalist Cancer

What Klein references are what medicine often refers to as the “social determinants of health”—the subtle, upstream factors that continue to drive the devastation of health in communities around the globe. Falling under this umbrella term are forms of “structural violence” that negatively affect the health of communities. In “The New Human Rights Movement,” author and activist Peter Joseph references the 1976 work of Gernot Köhler and Norman Alcock in their defining paper, “An Empirical Table of Structural Violence.” In their work the authors define structural violence by saying, “Whenever persons are harmed, maimed, or killed by poverty and unjust social, political, and economic institutions, systems, or structures, we speak of structural violence, [which] like armed violence can have two effects—it either kills its victims or it harms them in various ways short of killing.” Taking Texas as an example again, whether is it is illnesses communities suffered from before Harvey hit, or the number of illnesses they are at risk for now that it has hit, we see the destructive force of structural violence on the health of communities.

Understanding this definition, we see that companies have committed structural violence on communities for years by actively resisting environmental regulation, disregarding pleas of communities most affected and even ignoring official civil rights complaints to stop polluting around oil refineries. This is no surprise to those who understand how industry operates, as doing so would require funds being diverted from a corporate bottom line, which comes above all else in our current system. As investigative reporting has shown us, companies like ExxonMobil knew about the threats of climate change for years, but purposely misled the public to allow for continued, relentless fossil fuel extraction. They also chose to actively suppress scientific study and social movements that would curtail their bottom lines.

yes and this is just what it is:

What Is Medicine to Do?

Rudolf Virchow, the father of social medicine, once said, “Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale. Medicine as a social science, as the science of human beings, has the obligation to point out problems and to attempt their theoretical solution; the politician, the practical anthropologist, must find the means for their actual solution.

Oh well, I worked in the Rudolpf Virchow hospital in Berlin, Germany, in 1968. It's a great old hospital. Nightshifts to pull myself through life. Male end-stage cancer patients, up to 14 in a room. I was 20 years young. A good lesson for life.

I mean ... what is so difficult to understand about it?

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18 users have voted.

"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Citizen Of Earth Sure. But a National Health Service is the right way to deal with that. If that's too hard, an actual single-payer system.

A public option, while I prefer it mightily to the status quo, is not nearly enough to bring me back into the Democratic fold, especially when it's unlikely to pass. If it does, check it carefully for poison pills.

Frankly, even HR 676 is not enough for me to join hands with people who are OK with election fraud, a police state, and putting nuclear war on the table for the first time since before I was born. Oh, and by the way--failed to do anything about the climate change they so strongly believe in both times they had a chance to.

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10 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

eyo's picture

Thanks Big Al. Is there text of the proposed bill? Or just an announcement of yet another concept to talk about while the world burns up, blows up, drowns, starves, etc.. Wtf, over.

Lies - The Knickerbockers

good luck

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14 users have voted.

On a blog.

Big Al's picture

@eyo I'm waiting for some analysis to come out also.

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EdMass's picture

@eyo

I won't ever leave while you want me to stay
Nothing you could do that would turn me away
Hanging on every word
Believing the things I heard
Being a fool
You've taken my life, so take my soul
That's what you said and I believed it all
I want to be with you as long
As you want me to
I won't move away

Ain't that what you said?
Ain't that what you said?
Ain't that what you said?
Liar, liar, liar

May I see no light
May I see no day
If I ever leave while you want me to stay
You can believe in me
I won't be leaving
I won't let you go

Ain't that what you said?
Ain't that what you said?
Ain't that what you said?

Liar, liar, liar

Heh!

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9 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

"Permission to Buy Drug Re-fills" and "Permission to See The Specialist" are the only reasons for going to 'the Doctor' for many/most visits. Political reasons are often stronger than medical reasons. And all sides can share the blame - if they want to.

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14 users have voted.

Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long

@jabney

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@jabney I know at Kaiser that a specialist can be seen only through a referral. And doctors are punished for those referrals. A buddy with a wife working there said she was dinged for too many referrals to specialists.

Supposedly on my company plan, no referral to a specialist is necessary. But have not tested that.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster
the insurance companies don't want their patients going to specialists because they order expensive tests. Heart doctors are famous for ordering every test in their arsenal when patients don't need them.

I once worked for a retinal specialist who would order a $500 test on his patients who had a certain problem with their eyes, but they weren't experiencing any problems because of it. This is too difficult for me to explain why I felt this way.

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6 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Eagles92's picture

@snoopydawg Allows me to self-refer to a specialist -- but with a nearly $6K annual out-of-pocket responsibility, why would I? I can't afford it. As it is, my NP (apparently my GP is too busy to see me these days) charges $350 just to walk in the room.

Insanity.

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6 users have voted.

This should be big news on progressive sites, and it is. But not on TOP. I should not go there but went into the comments section of what appears to be the only diary (at least right now) on it looking at numbers and the "Clinton boo-birds" are out in full force trying to distort and put it down.

So I expect the following to happen: the establishment media and corporate democrats will attack Sanders and the proposal with growing vehemence as this is both an attack on progressives and the proposal itself; Clinton will no stop the attacks on the progressives in and out of the democratic party as she is now the public face of the DNC corporate alliances (Perez will be no where to be found as he was exiled to academia); expect more and more spy fantasy revelations about the Russians to distract from issue and enhance Clinton.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

He and most of the members agree that he is being unrealistic. I wrote a comment on this yesterday.
The website that spent months working to get single payer by signing petitions, making phone calls to our senators is now quite happy with the ACA and has given up on universal health care.
This just boggles my mind that they have changed so much in 8 years.
This too is part of Obama's legacy.
This might be the diary you saw there. He's trying to make his point clearer than yesterday's diary.

Kos wrote a diary on how free college tuition is never going to happen. And most of the members agree with him.
One fallacy he pushed is that people from wealthy families would also get free tuition. Bernie's idea was that there would be a limit on who could offered this. The rich kids wouldn't qualify and they would've paid for their tuition because they could afford it.
But Markos is following in Herheinous footsteps and belittling Bernie's ideas.

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10 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

@snoopydawg I think I joined in 2005 maybe, and yes, it has changed. Along with some of the mainstay front pagers.

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Eagles92's picture

@snoopydawg Jeezus, that's straight out of Brock's playbook.

IIRC, during the primaries, Bernie wanted free state college tuition -- not free tuition at every college, everywhere. In addition to your point about income limits, the prevailing wisdom said that many wealthy families would continue sending their kids to prestigious private schools. In other words, this talking point -- like anything Brock vomited up -- is bullshit.

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gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Quite frankly, I have absolutely zero problems with wealthy kids getting free tuition at public colleges and universities. Any time we put a income qualifier on something like this, it becomes (in the minds of many) a welfare program for those getting free tuition. Every kid in this country already has access to free public education through grade 12. IMO, all a young person has to do is to qualify for free tuition at public colleges and universities is to maintain a minimum academic standard. In reality, most children of the wealthiest of our citizens will probably attend a private college anyway, especially if they are a legacy.

Education should be a public investment in the future in this country. This is exactly why it should be free of tuition costs. Instead, education at all levels has become another way to transfer wealth from the majority of us to the oligarchs.

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4 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

which is what spreading the Russia story amounts to.

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Big Al's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal this insane quest for world supremacy, we won't get it anyway. We won't get anything.

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