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Reply #2: O.K., the obvious question [View All]

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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-11-11 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. O.K., the obvious question
If Medicare is so much better than private insurance, why didnt the Affordable Care Act simply extend Medicare to cover everyone? The answer, of course, was interest-group politics: realistically, given the insurance industrys power, Medicare for all wasnt going to pass, so advocates of universal coverage, myself included, were willing to settle for half a loaf. But the fact that it seemed politically necessary to accept a second-best solution for younger Americans is no reason to start dismantling the superior system we already have for those 65 and over.

Now, none of what I have said should be taken as a reason to be complacent about rising health care costs. Both Medicare and private insurance will be unsustainable unless there are major cost-control efforts the kinds of efforts that are actually in the Affordable Care Act, and which Republicans demagogued with cries of death panels.

The point, however, is that privatizing health insurance for seniors, which is what Mr. Lieberman is in effect proposing and which is the essence of the G.O.P. plan hurts rather than helps the cause of cost control. If we really want to hold down costs, we should be seeking to offer Medicare-type programs to as many Americans as possible.



K&R
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