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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:36 PM
Original message
How to Fix Medicare -- Medicare For All
Fri May 27, 2011 at 04:23 PM PDT
How to Fix Medicare -- Medicare For All
by Jose Bidenio

Short diary. I just want to get this out there because I haven't heard anyone talking about it.

How do we fix Medicare? Medicare For All.

Dems need to take this line and take it now. The nutty Republicans have opened up the health care debate again and, instead of going on the offensive, we are again on our heals and playing defense. Why let the GOP frame the debate? Are we really going to allow Paul Ryan to define the debate as either privatize or not? That's nutty.

The way to fix Medicare is to extend Medicare coverage to all Americans so that healthier Americans are included and paying into the system. There is no doubt that including all Americans would make Medicare financially sound as healthier and working Americans pay into Medicare, but would not require the same level of medical care as Seniors.

After the public option and single-payer were soundly defeated last year, I figured it would be a long time before we could make health care reform part of the mainstream dialogue again. The GOP opened the door. We need to run in.

Why is it that government covers the most medically expensive citizens (Medicare) and the most premium-challenged citizens (Medicaid) while we allow private health insurers to profit obscenely from the cream of the crop: young and middle-aged workers? It makes no sense.

The GOP has also been attacking the Dems lately for not offering a Democratic plan to fix Medicare, while they hold up their goofPaul Ryan up as their savior. The Dems need a plan and this is it: Medicare For All (MFA).

This is the time to improve on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We need to do more than just use Paul Ryan's stupidity to bludgeon the GOP. We need to use Paul Ryan to re-launch our demands for Medicare For All and we need to do it now and anytime the GOP whines about the cost of government sponsored health care.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:45 PM
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1. Yes, of course. Single-payer is the only sensible answer.
It got shot down--as much by the Democrats as by anyone else--last year, but with the Republicans stomping around with their evil-spirited proposals, the issue may arise again after the next election. By then we ought to have the beginnings of some data from the Vermont experiment.
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:59 PM
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2. Yeah
I was just thinking earlier why is it that Republicans say they want to give consumers choice but deny millions the choice of medicare simply because they are not of a certain age. Medicare's administration costs are 2%. If there was a private plan with administration costs of 2% who wouldn't choose that plan? Why should insurance companies be eating up to 38% of the cost that should be going into caring for patients?
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:05 PM
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3. I'm for single payer, BUT
The only reason Medicare has worked so far, is that doctors and hospitals have been able to push the costs of treating Medicare patients on to other parties. That's starting to crumble from the fact that the baby boomers are reaching the age of Medicare eligibility.

If you had "Medicare for everybody", there would be nobody to pick up the true cost of treating Medicare patients. Like I said, I'm for single payer, but I have no illusions that it will look anything like the Medicare that so many are used to. It will require higher taxes, and probably a strong dose of tort reform (not simply caps) in order to function.
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