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The debate over Medicare begins anew after the Ryan VP pick.  

To insure the health and longevity of Medicare, it should have been the building block of health care reform by opening it up to those who were priced out of the private insurance market.

Seniors on Medicare love it.  This cannot be denied.  Now this love affair will be tested by Ryan's budget and the Tea Baggers.  

We could have had a two-tiered system of paying for health care.  Those earning more would not have been allowed to buy into Medicare, the rest of us could have bought into it and the premiums would have been based on earnings.  

 Workers  who are yoked to jobs due to health insurance would have been free to change jobs or start a business.

Also another option could have been proposed similar to Medigap where deductibles and co-pays would have been covered for a small monthly fee so no one puts off necessary medical care due to cost.

The battle then would have been fought in a different arena, that in the business community, both large and small, who would have been attracted to the "public option" due to lower premiums brought about by cutting the profit margins that private health care insurance companies need to stay in business.  

It seems to me, having a "public option" open to all would have been a "job creation" mechanism we needed.

My question is, is it too late for a "public option?"  

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Comment Preferences

  •  I said in a previous comment... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, means are the ends

    ....that the simplest solution should have been the most obvious for healthcare overhaul.

    Amend Medicare in two ways: triple the current percentage deduction from wages, and simultaneously remove all age restrictions.

    Guess that would have been far too simple....

    "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

    by DeathDlr73 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:56:05 AM PDT

  •  We could just run our whole system (9+ / 0-)

    like Medicare, you know, like the rest of the civilized world does medical coverage.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:56:45 AM PDT

  •  No, it's not too late. It's inevitable. (6+ / 0-)

    Defeating Ryan will hasten it.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:58:20 AM PDT

  •  Democrats: expand Medicare with buy-in compared to (5+ / 0-)

    Republicans: end Medicare.

    It would make a wonderful campaign contrast.

  •  We are going to need something to help those who (6+ / 0-)

    do not make enough to qualify for the tax credits to buy ACA insurance if they make less than $60,000 but make to much for Medicaid, in those states that refuse to expand their state Medicaid in the way planned for by the ACA.

    Perhaps, we could target legislation allowing children, veterans, and this group into Medicare.  The GOP will not let it pass, but it could help symbolize the contrast in compassion, and approach between the two Parties.

    Somehow, we have to make vivid to the American people that the Republican approach to health care is to let poor people go without.  And, that many of these people are not just hard-core drug users, and those with "moral, character, or cultural deficiencies" but rather just unlucky Americans with afflictions they could not and can not help.  

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 09:32:29 AM PDT

    •  Uninsured Victims of Crimes and Natural Disasters (5+ / 0-)

      would probably be a very sympathetic group.

      Also self employed sole proprietors, to stimulate moonlighters to leave employment opening up jobs so that they can afford to work for themselves full time.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 09:46:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great idea Gooserock. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, ferg, means are the ends

        Just for the record, in an ideal world, I favor Medicare for everyone, with the options that if folks want to buy boutique extra insurance or care beyond that they are free to do so.

        These ideas here were starting small, just out of the sad political realities that we are going to fighting to to preserve what we have for the next few years, or decades.  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 10:06:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Erskine Bowles (0+ / 0-)

    Erskine Bowles will probably slide into the Treasury.  At that point, the gloves will come off and most of us who don't already know will see just how far backwards we have gone thanks to Barack Obama.

    •  David Dayen (0+ / 0-)

      David Dayen:

      This means that the election gets played on Obama’s turf, away from jobs and toward this long-term vision of government. But it assumes a very polarizing debate that doesn’t actually exist. The interesting part about this pick, and the talk that will follow it, is that it comes in a week where the President and his campaign made numerous efforts to position themselves as responsible cutters of safety net programs, from the paraphrase by the President himself that he is frustrated he didn’t get more credit for being willing to cut Social Security and Medicare, to the trial balloon floated about Erskine Bowles becoming the next Treasury Secretary in an Obama second term. The President has consistently talked of his preference for a grand bargain on the deficit, a “balanced plan” with a little more in taxes, and more cuts to various programs. It was only a year ago when he put raising the Medicare eligibility age and moving to a different calculation of the cost of living adjustment (that effectively cuts Social Security benefits and food stamps) on the table.
      The whole piece is worth a close read.  We will really need to pick our battles and use our resources carefully.
  •  Medicare was proposed as a buy in for ACA (0+ / 0-)

    but Joe Lieberman stopped it -- threatened to filibuster it in the Senate.  I think this is when it was proposed as a buy in at age 55.  

    I just did a quick search for info, I'm sure there is more if you want to look for it.  This was the first link I picked

    On December 14, Aetna stocks rose dramatically after U. S. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut threatened to filibuster the Senate health care reform bill if it included a Medicare buy-in proposal.
    Wikipedia: Aetna

    It was a miracle how much was accomplished in this congress:  When everyone was finally sworn in there were 58 Democrats and 2 independents in the Senate Democratic caucus -- one of those was Joe Lieberman who campaigned for McCain and tried to gum things up as much as he could.  There was also a Blue Dog caucus in the Senate blocking and dragging their feet.  

    From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

    About that Filibuster Proof Majority

    Well, let's at least get our history straight. Until Al Franken was sworn in on July 7, the Democratic caucus in the Senate stood at 59. After that it was technically up to 60, but Ted Kennedy hadn't cast a vote in months and was housebound due to illness. He died a few weeks later and was replaced by Paul Kirk on September 24, finally bringing the Democratic majority up to 60 in practice as well as theory. After that the Senate was in session for 11 weeks before taking its winter recess, followed by three weeks until Scott Brown won Kennedy's seat in the Massachusetts special election.

    So that means Democrats had an effective filibuster-proof majority for about 14 weeks.

    Democrats wanted to add it so I would say that the desire is still there.   Politicians are in office because of votes so if we want the public option we have to do all the work we can locally to let people know what it is and what it means and to get out the vote for Democrats.

    Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.~ Howard Zinn

    by ParkRanger on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 02:08:33 PM PDT

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