The latest Democratic ploy to get to a single-payer system is a wolf in sheep’s clothing hidden inside a Trojan horse.
According to reports, “moderate” and “liberal” Democrats are proposing a massive expansion of Medicare and Medicaid as a substitute for a “public option”:
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.
This supposed compromise is no compromise. It’s the whole ballgame, as this blogger at DailyKos recognizes:
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.
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.
Only in this Congress could such a thing even be discussed seriously.
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