According to reports, "moderate" and "liberal" Democrats are proposing a massive expansion of Medicare and Medicaid as a substitute for a "public option":
This supposed compromise is no compromise. It's the whole ballgame, as this blogger at DailyKos recognizes:
Senate Democratic liberals are seeking expansion of two large federal programs, Medicare and Medicaid, in exchange for dropping a government-sold insurance option from health care legislation sought by President Barack Obama, several lawmakers said Monday.
Under the potential trade-off with party moderates, near-retirees beginning at age 55 or 60 who lack affordable insurance would be permitted to purchase coverage under Medicare, which generally provides medical care beginning at 65. Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor, would be open to all comers under 300 percent of poverty, or slightly over $66,000 for a family of four.
A complete victory for those who want to a single-payer system being framed as a compromise because a public option could not pass because people do not want the public option to lead to a single-payer system.
Many progressives have been arguing for years that Medicare expansion is the smartest, most efficient way to start expanding coverage.... Would this be an acceptable substitute for a real public option? It doesn't reform the healthcare system by providing real competition to private insurers. But it would provide a model to grow on, bringing with it the possibility of eventually getting to Medicare for all, the model that many progressives have been advocating for years.
Only in this Congress could such a thing even be discussed seriously.
A Little Relief from the Congressional Insanity: Sunday Morning Dance Party
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