R.J. Eskow

Richard (R.J.) Eskow is a writer and the host of the radio and TV program The Zero Hour. He is also Senior Fellow for Health and Economic Justice with Social Security Works. He was lead writer and senior editor for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016. Eskow has also been a health policy adviser and an insurance executive.

Recent Articles

What the Fight Over Means Testing Is Really About

What started as a tool to target need has spread into an ideology that runs the risk of puzzling the public and overcomplicating policy.

agenda_2020.jpg On a sun-drenched afternoon, at a press conference outside a Senate office building, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilhan Omar discussed their companion bills to cancel all student debt in the United States. Unlike the plan put forward by Senator Elizabeth Warren, which limits debt cancellation for those earning $100,000 and phases it out entirely at $250,000, the Sanders/Omar plan would apply to everyone. When asked why, Sanders offered a simple answer: “I happen to believe in universality.” Sanders, who has thus far refrained from criticizing Warren, kept his remarks positive. But Omar’s office contrasted Warren’s proposal unfavorably with hers, calling it “a complicated means-tested plan to keep out a doctor or lawyer who might be earning a good living.” “Means-tested” is clearly used unflatteringly here, because it has become a pejorative shorthand to describe and dismiss a certain kind of Democratic...