The election in Massachusetts has turned the Democrats into Chicken Littles trying to prop up a falling sky. But there is a way forward. Forget the Republicans, they are just not that into you. Embrace the Democratic values you have steadily traded away throughout the process of passing a health care bill. Listen those disaffected Democratic voters who said in Massachusetts, stop giving away the store to the insurance and the drug companies.
The way forward is to open Medicare enrollment to anyone citizen who wants to buy in.
– – MEDICARE OPEN TO ALL: Unlike the current bill, it’s easy for the average citizen to understand. It doesn’t mandate participation, so it can’t be challenged on Constitutional grounds, but anyone who wants insurance is guaranteed a place to buy it at an affordable price. It should also allow people to feel less threatened about losing the insurance they have now, since private insurance has co-existed with Medicare for half a century.
– – MEDICARE OPEN TO ALL: would keep private insurance premiums down by providing competition insurance companies don’t now have. And to keep Medicare solvent, congress, both Democrats and Republicans, would be forced to offer and vote for Medicare reforms they have thus far avoided facing.
– – MEDICARE OPEN TO ALL means workers will no longer have to stay in a job just to keep their insurance benefits. This encourages the start of new businesses by giving would-be entrepreneurs a way to leave their jobs yet keep their families insured. It gives small businesses a way to offer their employees health insurance. It gives part time workers a place to turn.
– – MEDICARE OPEN TO ALL preserves the American ideal of choice, yet provides a safety net. Since it accepts everyone, older people and those with pre-existing conditions are not left without coverage.
– – MEDICARE OPEN TO ALL is an existing program, which means it can be passed by budget reconciliation – 51 Votes is all it would take. And once it is passed, Congress can still enact consumer insurance reforms.
I hope you will spend a few minutes thinking about the advantages of passing MEDICARE OPEN TO ALL by budget reconciliation as soon as possible. And if you think it is a good idea, contact your Representatives and grass roots organizations to help promote the concept.