Skip to main content

I loved Howard Dean on health care when he was my governor - so much, in fact, that I became a minor poo-bah in his presidential campaign in another state.  So I was quite happy yesterday to see him saying something that appeared right here last week:

Reframing: "Medicare Private Purchase"

Now that Governor Dean has said it, can we all start singing along loudly?  Here's why:

  1. "Public option" is scary because it sounds like the taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill.  "Private purchase" changes the focus - individuals get to choose what they are buying, and each consumer foots their own bill.
  1. Medicare is popular with everybody.  Even the most rabid Republicons are shouting that you'll have to pry their Medicare from their cold, dead hands.
  1. The Medicare Private Purchase plan doesn't need to be identical to Medicare for seniors - it can be tweaked for the needs of a younger set.  For example, I'm pretty sure that current Medicare doesn't have much for pregnancy care.  The idea is to use Medicare as a brand name, and then make the necessary adjustments for the different clients.  Think of Purina Dog Chow: you can get a puppy formula, an adult formula, and a senior formula, but they are all carrying a label you trust and a price you appreciate.
  1. Think of the semantic shift from "Swine Flu" to "H1-N1".  The name change (arguably) took some of the wind out of the sails of the mass-hysteria coverage, and replaced it with a more logical focus on managing the global response to the disease.  Similarly, if we take "public option" out of the daily discourse (while leaving intact the concept of buying private insurance from a public entity, which is really what we are talking about), we will deftly remove one of the biggest talking points for the forces of the status quo.  Can't you see the Becks and O'Reillys sputtering on about how we have to oppose letting people privately purchase coverage from the nation's most effective insurer?  Of course they will sputter, but the shallowness of their argument will be made completely apparent to [almost] everybody.

We change the terms, we mess with their heads, and we get what we have been fighting for.  Can you sing it with me, and sing it with Doctor Dean?:

MEDICARE PRIVATE PURCHASE!!!

Originally posted to malangali on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 03:22 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site