Medicare for all

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Thom Hartmann recently wrote a "Dear President Obama" letter suggesting that the "public option" be replaced with something simpler--a way for Americans under 65 to simply "buy in to Medicare:"

It would be so easy. You don't have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called "public option" that's a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won't - just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you're so comfortable with.

Just pass a simple bill - it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people - that says that any American citizen can buy into the program... [...]

This lets you blow up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with Blue Cross. Those who like it can buy into it. Simplicity itself.

As I mentioned a few days ago, though, it isn't true that "everybody knows what Medicare is," as 39% of Americans don't even realize that Medicare is a government program! Unfortunately, we liberals are in the position of having to correct conservative misinformation at every turn, and each legislative proposal practically requires an educational session. Hartmann is right in suggesting Medicare for all as a simple solution for a difficult situation; perhaps it is one that is also less open to misinterpretation.

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I would say buy in to Medicaid instead. It may seem like a trivial point, but there are some issues with prescriptions plans that are in Medicare (these issues were created by Bushies changes). Before we talk about buying into medicare, remember that we need to fix this issue.

Also, what about CHIP/SCHIP/HIP etc. These allow for income moderated buy ins, though income restrictions and waiting lists are problematic now, expansion and better funding could fix that pretty quick.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on August 26, 2009 4:33 PM.

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