Medicare Part E? "Medicare Plus" Is More Accurate

Medicare for Everyone sounds great, but I think it does not work right now as a rebranding effort. Why? Because the public option that is even possible now is not Medicare for Everyone. The Hill:

Say hello to “Medicare Part E” — as in, “Medicare for Everyone.” House Democrats are looking at re-branding the public health insurance option as Medicare, an established government healthcare program that is better known than the public option.

The flaw in this approach is revealed when one considers one of the main proponents of the rebranding, Jim Oberstar (D-MN):

Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), the veteran chairman of the House Transportation Committee, [. . .] voiced his support, as did House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). John Schadl, a spokesman for Oberstar, explained the congressman likes the idea because people are familiar with Medicare. [. . .] Oberstar [. . .] doesn’t want a Medicare public option to be based on existing Medicare rates because he believe Minnesota is one of the states shortchanged by Medicare reimbursements.

(Emphasis supplied.) Oberstar likes to say the phrase "Medicare Part E" but does not actually favor Medicare for Everyone. That's more than a minor problem. As long as we are alll playing Don Draper - my entry is "Medicare Plus." This works in 2 ways - (1) the robust public option is in fact a Medicare +5 rate; and (2) it is more accurate in describing that a Medicare like system will be made available to more Americans.

Speaking for me only

< Tuesday Night Open Thread | Analyze This: Obama On HCR >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Medicare Plus is a great improvement (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 09:47:32 AM EST
    over the often confusing "public option".  However, my long-time worry that we will really be approaching Medicare Part N (Medicare for no one), was re-enforced by the NYT report that the Senate Finance Committee quietly recommended that the millions of elderly Americans who buy various Medigap insurance plans to pick-up the difference between Medicare coverage (about 60 percent) and out-of-pocket expenses be charged new co-payments for physician visits as of 2015. Moreover, if there was ever any doubt that we are working on health insurance rather than health care, the rationale for the new co-payments is intended to push elderly patients to think twice before consulting their doctors.  Add this to the "no cuts in benefits, just savings"-- to stabilize Medicare, finance needed health care advances for gerontologic treatments, AND fund almost half of the costs of the necessary extension to those under age 65 and it spells trouble with a capital T.

    Dan do you have a link to the (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:15:48 AM EST
    NYT report on the Senate Finance Committee that you referenced? My google skills are not very good. Really interested in what it said since I just went on Medicare.

    Sorry, no link but (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:24:22 AM EST
    it can be found in today's NYT (Wed. Oct 21, 2009), p.22, "Prescriptions--Making Sense of the Health Care Debate", A Plan for Higher Payments, by Milt Freudenheim.

    Clarification, page A22. (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:26:40 AM EST
    Here is a link, MO Blue (none / 0) (#15)
    by caseyOR on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 03:42:19 PM EST
    I'm all for re-branding, but wouldn't (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 11:14:08 AM EST
    it be a good idea for something advertised as being for "everyone," to be actually available to everyone?

    As things stand, there is no public option that would be an option for everyone, so while the re-branding would help sell it, it's also going to help ratchet up the eventual anger people have when they find out the truth.

    Medicare E+ (none / 0) (#1)
    by katiebird on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 09:29:51 AM EST
    Would cover it all.

    Medicare E, (ersatz Medicare) (none / 0) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:38:43 AM EST
    Shorten it to MediPlus (none / 0) (#2)
    by steviez314 on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 09:36:50 AM EST
    Since we have Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap.

    We can then call the climate change bill MediPlanet.

    I don't care what they call it (none / 0) (#4)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:02:37 AM EST
    As long as it covers everyone and is robust and doesn't take 2 years before it starts. And leaves the rent collectors out in the cold.


    Well under BaucusCare, it (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:20:59 AM EST
    doesn't start until July, 2013 (3 1/2 years) and IIRC the expansion on Medicaid does not start until 2014. None of the bills provide Universal coverage.

    Even the best bill currently under consideration would fail to meet any of you criteria.  


    I know (none / 0) (#10)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:55:42 AM EST
    None of the bills even meet Obama's original criteria.

    The only way to do anything quickly is to expand Medicare - and even that would need to be phased in. At least there's already an infrastructure.....


    Then, there's Medicare F (none / 0) (#12)
    by lambert on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 11:38:20 AM EST
    Because if it's merely a rebranding, then it's a FAIL, just like the fauxgressive [a|the] [strong|robust] [Federalist]? public [health insurance]? [option|plan].

    Presumably, the FAIL will become more evident more rapidly with a plan that people actually expect to work (and have seen to work in their own families for elders).

    In addition, the door is now open for progressively lowering the eligibility age, as in the original Kennedy approach.

    I think using "everyone" is useful (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 11:43:25 AM EST
    for "camel's nose" purposes. Then you can talk later about "fulfilling the promise."

    How much later? (none / 0) (#14)
    by oldpro on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 12:42:47 PM EST
    During the reelection campaign?