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Not buying Medicare buy-in

Our Readers Who Comment are both praising and decrying the health-care reform proposal that appears to have won over Senate Democrats.

There is debate about the wisdom of letting some 55-year-olds buy in to Medicare; there is grieving for the loss of a public option; there is concern about costs, and there are the usual xenophobic rants about illegal immigrants getting treatment.

As Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery write, "But even Democrats who were not thrilled with the buy-in program applauded the deal's central component: replacing the public option with two national private insurance policies under the oversight of the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that administers health benefits for federal employees."

As for the late-starting Medicare buy-in proposal, a Post editorial warns, "...that it could be a bigger step toward a single-payer system than the milquetoast public option plans rejected by Senate moderates as too disruptive of the private market."

We'll start with jcfifer, who wrote, "Damn, sell-out Democrats. Where are their guts? Force a filibuster. Flex some muscle. Do something. I'd laugh it off as politics; but I have kids. I want them to grow up in a country that they can respect - a country with a social contract with its citizens."

But jhough1 said, "The Democratic program has been a conservative joke. If the health industry really is opposed to this compromise, there may be reason to support it."

judithod asked, "Do any of these Senators think logically? How can Medicare funding be cut and expanded simultaneously? And is any consideration being given to the fact that Medicare has a $37 TRILLION unfunded liability and is on track to go bankrupt in 2017?..."

Single_Payer wrote, "How many houses do you have to caulk to afford the mandated private insurance premium? We told the idiots from day one that Medicare for All is the easiest and most cost effective. But their lips are glued to insurance company butts."

dummy4peace agreed, writing, "Senate Democrats just handed an expensive gift to the private insurance industry by dropping public option with mandate..." and suggested that "A better way to balance pre-seniors between 55 and 65 would be to include younger adults between 25 and 40 in Medicare. Older people tend to have more health issues so we need younger workers to help pay for the medical bills..."

Eldel wrote, "They can't understand why the public option is necessary. The Senators are all from wealthy families and are now covered by the government health care insurance... We can't ask the Senators, that never struggled with health care, to understand the kind of hell some American folks are going through right now..."

hadenuff1 said, "...As companies begin to rehire; older workers will likely not be considered due to the perceived notion of higher costs and less productivity, not to mention higher health care costs. The idea that Medicare could be made available to those of us for whom employment and therefore access to traditional group health care plans that now seem out of reach, is a hope for our future health and well being."

asmith1 wrote, "...2M to 20M illegal aliens are NOT mandated to buy insurance. They will not be denied health care if they "claim" they can't pay. They will not be reported as uninsured. They will not pay a fine. Yet Congress continues to try to spin this as "no benefit to illegal aliens." And yet Congress still can not understand why Americans do not trust them with matters that pertain to their health."

To which longjohns replied, "You can try to blame all our problems on illegal aliens because maybe that's all you see. But from where I stand, it is honest working folks who toil their entire lives that's being killed by the lack of insurance... People with money in this country hire illegal aliens for a reason-they are cheaper..."

And dummy4peace said, "Illegal immigrants are not our biggest problem. Poor public education is."

jazbond007 wrote, "Medicare: Dems want to cut funding by half a trillion, billions in uncontrolled fraud and theft, trillions in unfunded liabilities, a Ponzi scheme, more and more doctors won't take it, hard to find a doctor if you're on it, costs of under payments and slow payments must be passed on to non-Medicare patients, so let's put millions more people on it for no reason! Brilliant!"

thebump predicted, "There is one mental health condition that government-run health care is sure to cure: liberalism."

lucygirl1 wrote, "Health care overhaul now looks like it really will happen, with a compromise coming together in the Senate to give uninsured Americans options they've never had before. But it won't be a free ride...There's a price for health care security -- particularly for solid middle-class households, who wouldn't get much help with premiums."

We'll close with DaleMedo, who wrote, "I'm all for the 55-and-over buy-in... it's a good idea, and so far they haven't moved any good ideas. We'll see if it survives the next few weeks. My bet is the Budget Office trims it back to 60-and-over. Even that is better than the "nothing" they were talking previously. Stick with it, guys!"

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  December 10, 2009; 7:36 AM ET
 | Tags: Health-Care Reform, Senate  
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Everyone in this country knows that Medicare is one big joke. Its for the big drug Co's not the people in this country. Its for anyone that got there hands in the pocket of the people in this coutry. Nothing but a rip off fact....

Posted by: ldmccty | December 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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