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Thread: Open Up Medicare

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    Open Up Medicare

    Senate Dems May Open Up Medicare To Pacify Progressives

    Senate Democrats are discussing the idea of expanding Medicare by lowering the age limit for the government-run insurance program, Democratic sources on the Hill tell the Huffington Post.

    The proposal would lower the age of eligibility for Medicare by ten years. Those over 55 and under 65 (the current eligibility age) would be allowed to "buy-in" to the system. They would have to pay a premium for the coverage, which would alleviate the cost burden on the federal government, but would then receive the same benefits as other Medicare patients.

    Crucial details -- such as what that premium would be and the timing of the implementation -- were not provided due to the sensitivity and ongoing nature of the deliberations. A high-ranking Democratic source off the Hill confirmed that such discussions are taking place.

    "On its own, it's a good idea," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Monday afternoon. He added that Democrats are also looking at expanding Medicaid. "We're looking at both ends," he said.

    A Medicare buy-in program, one of several compromises being considered, would not be a full replacement for a government-run insurance plan open to people of all ages, a high-ranking Democrat stressed. But it would serve as a complement to an option that has been watered down beyond what progressive senators are willing to accept.

    Senate Democrats also held discussions this past weekend about replacing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's version of a public plan with one that would be non-profit-based. The alternative proposal would be offered in state exchanges, run by private insurers but monitored by the Office of Personnel Management.

    "The Office Personal Management proposal that has been out there for the past couple days is one of the leading ideas to represent the public option in a modified bill. But there are a series of things that progressives are negotiating in exchange for dropping the [public option] opt-out," said the source.

    Expanding Medicare would likely be a tempting olive branch to progressives in the Senate. Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, in addition to championing such a proposal during the 2004 presidential campaign, has long discussed framing the public plan as an extension of Medicare, one of the most popular government-run programs in the country. Al Gore ran on a similar platform in 2000. And, if structured correctly, a Medicare buy-in program could cover more people (at a similar cost) than the public option in either the Senate or House of Representative's legislation.

    But there are potential complications. Medicare already is on an increasingly expensive financial track. Meanwhile, efforts to cut some of the budgetary waste from the system have met with forceful pushback from moderates and Republicans in the Senate, and the Senate bill weakens a proposed Medicare Commission, which would have been granted autonomy to suggest or pursue money-saving proposals.

    "Moderates have made a whole campaign about how Medicare bankrupts hospitals and doctors," said one Democratic health care strategist. "So I doubt they'd go for it. And for progressives, well, it's not much of an olive branch" - because, the strategist said, it doesn't solve the problem of reforming the private insurance industry.

    Senate Dems May Open Up Medicare To Pacify Progressives
    Last edited by Whip Comes Down; 12-07-09 at 06:23 PM.

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    Re: Open Up Medicare

    Media Matters, Huffpo and RealClimate.
    You really vary your information sources don't you? Lets see... a media activist site, a far left blog site, and an Enviro-activist front site.

    Is it any wonder you push for socialized America? No no it's not. However, one must consider, is it the material that has you so entrenched, or is it something more?

    Medicare is on the verge of bankruptcy, and yet these clowns whom you seem to give ever so much credence too, seek to expand it. Do you WANT to see the country collapse under the weight of severe government debt, or do you really believe the lies?
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Open Up Medicare

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Medicare is on the verge of bankruptcy
    I didn't even know it was supposed to make money.
    Last edited by Whip Comes Down; 12-07-09 at 06:56 PM.

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    Re: Open Up Medicare

    Quote Originally Posted by Whip Comes Down View Post
    I didn't even know it was supposed to make money.
    You didn't know that it's a good thing if Medicare shows a small profit? You think it's ok to lose money? Are you for real??
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Open Up Medicare

    Quote Originally Posted by Whip Comes Down View Post
    I didn't even know it was supposed to make money.
    Profit... how about.. break even?

    Oh that's right, it's just money.

    You're lol betrays your age. Now, how old are you really kiddo? 15? Living at home with mum and dad are we?
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Open Up Medicare

    Huh?

    As I understand it, most of the uninsured are not in the 55-65 age group. Why would opening up medicare to them be a good idea? Doesn't that just raise medicare costs higher as they now have to cover additional set of people who for the most part aren't uninsured? Wouldn't that encourage private business to eliminate private health care for employees 55 and older?
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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