Sunday, November 10, 2013

Medicare to the rescue!

Unlike the msm, I want to start with what's right with Obamacare and build on it.   Americans now have a legal right to quality, affordable healthcare regardless of their health status.  Currently seniors are enjoying lower costs for prescription drugs.  Young people are able to stay on their parent's family policy until 26.  People with pre-existing conditions are getting fair prices for coverage. Insurance have to offer real insurance and can't drop people because they cost too much.  The exchanges have offered hundreds of thousands good new quality health care either in the marketplace or through their state's Medicaid.  And there are countless pilot programs in the law testing out positive ways to lower overall healthcare spending while retaining good quality. If some of these work, everyone benefits.

So there.


As the Obama administration is having trouble getting to work correctly, and millions of Americans are being cancelled from their insurance policies, Republicans are having a political bonanza.  But why shouldn't Liberal critics of the law also have an opportunity here also?

There are three main problems with Obamacare from the left:

1.  Insurance companies have too much power
2.  millions of Americans are left out because of exemptions and governors opting out of Medicaid expansion.
3.  the website not working has left many people without a chance to get health care.

Republicans will call for repeals, delays, and other measures that undermine the law.  In addition, many of them will just criticize in a cynical way.  But what about us?

Medicare to the rescue!

The return of the popular public option!

Liberals should propose legislation for all the people in red states, where they are missing out because their governors and state legislatures are playing politics,  be eligible for Medicare right now rather than at retirement.

Liberals should propose that anybody whose policy has been canceled and either can't get on because it is broken or the deal they would receive is worse than their previous policy be eligible for Medicare immediately.

Liberals should propose that anybody who feels that the law and the subsidies they are eligible for are a bad deal for them for whatever reason are automatically eligible for Medicare.

This plan has two important selling points:

good policy

good politics

Medicare is already set up and wouldn't need much change to get deal with the influx of new people.
The funding is already in place and shouldn't be a real fiscal debate as much as philosophical.

Politically this is brilliant because it gives Republicans a counter debate to deal with.  Puts them on defense.  It also highlights what might come after Obamacare if it fails.  Something more liberal.  On healthcare liberals have to keep pushing to the left just to hold the center.

I want Obamacare to succeed.  The best thing for it is for Liberals to reform it with more government.  Simple things that people can understand.  If people know that if I get a bad deal from any part of this law, they can sign up for Medicare, they will have more options, and the insurance companies will work to give them a better deal.

It's true this would incentivize the insurance companies to find ways to push the sicker people toward Medicare.  But each year HHS can tweak the rules to make sure the companies are competing on service, innovation, and healthcare efficiencies, rather than trying to cheat the American people.

So Medicare to the rescue!

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