Blue Dog Suggests Medicare For All? Where Do We Sign?

House Blue Dog leader Mike Ross:

I speaking only on behalf of myself suggested one possible idea could be that instead of creating an entirely new government bureaucracy to administer a public option, Medicare could be offered as a choice to compete alongside private insurers for those Americans eligible to enter the national health insurance exchange, but at a reimbursement rate much greater than current Medicare rates

How much greater? How about 5% Mike? We got a deal. Of course, in a few hours, Ross will have to walk this all back. But it is stunning how stupid these people are.

Speaking for me only

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    Mike Ross doesn't get out much, (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:24:59 PM EST

    I think Homer Simpson has had better D'OH! moments than Mike Ross.  [Mmmmm...Medicare for All...]

    Jesus (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Ramo on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:27:27 PM EST
    Rename the public option Medicare Part E[veryone], and we off buy the blue dogs?  I can't say how much respect I have for Madame Speaker's mad skills.

    It would be interesting (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:30:20 PM EST
    if Pelosi talked him into proposing this. If it becomes the compromise, we win--and all without any help from the President.

    Of course, that's pie in the sky.


    You're (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:57:30 PM EST
    right. Now only if the Senate....

    Before we know it, (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by scribe on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:32:55 PM EST
    We'll have Mike Ross turning into Teddy Kennedy.  (For those who've forgotten, Medicare for All was Teddy's HCR bill).

    But, more seriously, I think Mr. Ross' proposal was more in the vein of the Republican whose name I forget who, during the debate on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, succeeded in getting an amendment added to the bill which added "sex" as a ground upon which discrimination would no longer be allowed.  He did it in an attempt to make the Civil Rights Bill into such a joke - what 1960s male would think that women should not be discriminated against, given that their place was in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, after all - that no one could be able to bring themselves to vote for it.

    We all know how that wingnut-before-there-were-wingnuts strategem worked out.  Let's hope the same thing happens here.

    That was Sen. Howard W. Smith (none / 0) (#28)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 04:59:34 PM EST
    of Virginia.  But the story is more complicated, of course (see Jo Freeman's sage of this, online), as he was an admirer and in contact with Alice Paul of the National Woman's Party, pushing -- since 1923 -- for the ERA, as it still does today.

    Whatever, his amendment was gleefully supported by the great Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of his party and other women on both sides of the aisle.  As to why the story has evolved as it has, well . . . lissen in on what women have to say when off the record sometime. :-)


    Well actually (none / 0) (#31)
    by Steve M on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 06:15:10 PM EST
    I am pretty sure Howard Smith was a Southern Democrat - as were virtually all the opponents of the Civil Rights Act.

    You know the history much, much better than I, but my impression was that Sen. Smith was most likely a sincere (albeit not passionate) supporter of his amendment - but, at the same time, he most certainly expected it to kill the Civil Rights Act.


    Ah, right -- I ought to have focused (none / 0) (#33)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:39:25 PM EST
    more in writing that . . . while waiting for my firstborn to get off the phone getting birthday wishes, so I could get him out to dinner.  That's what I watched tonight -- a happy guy and his new wife, letting me treat them to a good meal.

    Yes, Smith would have been a Dem.  But it was Chase Smith, as the Senate sponsor, who seized on it.  And yes, as I said, see Jo Freeman's careful research (online) for all of the nuances that suggest that the story so often told is not fact . . . much as it has truths in it.


    p.s. As I recall it all, that is (none / 0) (#34)
    by Cream City on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 08:41:01 PM EST
    from Freeman's research and others.  I haven't looked it all up and reread it lately . . . nor am I doing so now, as birthday cake awaits, yummmm.

    I don't think he took your class in political (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by steviez314 on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:36:53 PM EST

    Expanded quote (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Spamlet on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:40:46 PM EST
    It's not clear how [Medicare for all] squares with his current position on Medicare and the House bill. Ross said that while he's suggested it as an alternative, he doesn't necessarily support it.

    [ . . . ]

    But regarding opening Medicare, he added this caveat: "Let me be clear: I do not endorse this idea, as it was just one of many ideas we, as legislators, have brought up and discussed in the numerous, ongoing negotiations and discussions we have had on healthcare reform over the past several months."

    That makes absolutely no sense (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:43:58 PM EST
    It got him free press coverage (none / 0) (#17)
    by scribe on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:57:20 PM EST
    so it makes perfect sense to propose it while not being for it.

    Free press coverage for sounding confused? (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:59:55 PM EST
    OK, I guess so.

    So? Blue Dogs are nothing if (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by scribe on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:20:35 PM EST
    not philosophically confused (their only true philosophy, if you can call it that, being re-elected and gathering as much campaign cash as possible).  And, for that matter, his quote is structured along the lines of "Some say ...", giving him the benefit of being an honest reporter of goings-on inside the caucus.  Thus, he gets free media time and does not have to commit to any particular position too strongly.

    Blue Dog heaven, in other words.


    Not fair (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:22:19 PM EST
    their only true philosophy, if you can call it that, being re-elected and gathering as much campaign cash as possible

    And "liberal" members of Congress actually have a philosphy other than getting re-elected and getting campaign cash (Dennis Kucinich aside)?


    Fair got nothin' to do with it. (none / 0) (#22)
    by scribe on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:30:27 PM EST
    This is politics, after all.

    Yes, but (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:40:38 PM EST
    You make it sound like only Blue Dogs are morally and philosophically bankrupt.  I would argue that they all are - yes, even inlcuding the  "liberals".

    Meh (none / 0) (#32)
    by cawaltz on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 06:20:27 PM EST
    The average voter is murky on health care and what is being proposed. He doesn't sound any different then them. For some reason average America likes the idea of their representation being Joe Average and just as confused as they are. He probably scored brownie points even if he doesn't sound like he deserves them.

    Because we are a democracy, they (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:46:21 PM EST
    are allowed their space. They could easily be linking to TL and saying the same things about us.

    Long exhale. . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:13:35 PM EST
    I don't know what you do when people refuse to pay attention to anything but their own voice.

    Well, duh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:22:19 PM EST
    <<Smacks head with palm>>  Have these people even been listening????  How many times has this been suggested????

    I need (none / 0) (#5)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:26:00 PM EST
    a drink.  Is it late enough in the day yet?  (Eastern Daylight Time.)  I would like to know how many of these stalwarts pictured on this site have ever had a catastrophic illness and found that their health "insurance" didn't cover very much.  And also how many don't even have health insurance, and have simply been lucky.......so far.

    "CAN YOU HEARD US NOW?" (none / 0) (#9)
    by Spamlet on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:35:55 PM EST
    I can haz cheeseburger?

    probably meant "herd" (none / 0) (#30)
    by cawaltz on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 05:37:26 PM EST
    as in "hey folks you're a bunch of sheep and cattle, now git along little doggies."

    Speaking of Mike Ross... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:37:33 PM EST
    From the Deparment of Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm," via d-day at the FDL News Desk:

    Politico runs a beat sweetener on Mike Ross today, positing him as a bravely bold centrist under fire from the liberals and conservatives (so he must be just right!), with an EXTREMELY buried lede. At the tail end of the article comes this nugget:

    Whether or not any of the mud has stuck to him, Ross isn't taking any chances back home.

    Ross, who got his start in politics as a personal driver for Bill Clinton during Clinton's 1982 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign, will bring his old friend and former boss to his campaign kickoff in the town of Hope.

    OK, this says "campaign kickoff." I don't know if that means a fundraiser, a public event, or what, but regardless of the mechanism, this is a Bill Clinton endorsement of Mike Ross. The guy who has been out front among the Blue Dogs in opposing a public option and supporting worthless co-ops.

    "Hmmm" indeed.

    Don't forget (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:50:20 PM EST
    Mike Huckabee is also from Hope, Ark.

    I saw another reference to that campaign kick-off (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 03:04:32 PM EST
    earlier and was going hmmm...myself. The slant on it I saw was an attempt to cast aspersions on Bill Clinton for campaigning for a Blue Dog. If it turns out that he worked a conversion on Mike Ross I will LMAO.

    If this is a new thing, then it tells you (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 02:39:44 PM EST
    that Arkansas Democrats are in deep trouble. Obama's numbers in the South make that quite possible. But if Ross decides that he's an electoral goner, he might want to leave a bold legacy.  

    They are charging people to send faxes?! (none / 0) (#27)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 04:40:19 PM EST
    Done Deal? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 05:09:37 PM EST

    sounds like a plan to me. (none / 0) (#35)
    by cpinva on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:40:51 PM EST
    while they're at it, get rid of the insurance company's and MLB's anti-trust exemptions. heck, i'm not even sure those pass muster, under the 14th amendment.

    "much greater" (none / 0) (#36)
    by diogenes on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:48:57 PM EST
    You're being disingenuous.  Much greater is 20-30 percent greater, to match what private insurance pays now.

    Nothing New (none / 0) (#37)
    by JoshuasGrandma on Fri Oct 16, 2009 at 10:29:35 AM EST
    This proposal is nothing new - Candidate Matt Santos proposed this on West Wing some years ago - in the presidential debate with Arnie Vinick  - He said that the easiest and best way to reform health insurance was just to remove the phrase - 'over 65' from Medicare requirements and let everyone have the option of buying in.  Medicare Part E - (for everyone) is a terrific idea!