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"Medicare You Can Buy Into Act"

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since 09-14-2006
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0 posted 03-11-2010 03:57 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Bill Opens Up Medicare To Anyone Who Can Pay For It

March 9, 2010

Washington, DC

Congressman Alan Grayson, D-Fla., today introduced a bill (H.R. 4789) which would give the option to buy into Medicare to every citizen of the United States.  The “Public Option Act,” also known as the “Medicare You Can Buy Into Act,” would open up the Medicare network to anyone who can pay for it.
Congressman Grayson said, “Obviously, America wants and needs more competition in health coverage, and a public option offers that.  But it’s just as important that we offer people not just another choice, but another kind of choice.   A lot of people don’t want to be at the mercy of greedy insurance companies that will make money by denying them the care that they need to stay healthy, or to stay alive.  We deserve to have a real alternative.”

The bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish enrollment periods, coverage guidelines, and premiums for the program.  Because premiums would be equal to cost, the program would pay for itself.  

“The government spent billions of dollars creating a Medicare network of providers that is only open to one-eighth of the population.  That’s like saying, ‘Only people 65 and over can use federal highways.’  It is a waste of a very valuable resource and it is not fair.  This idea is simple, it makes sense, and it deserves an up-or-down vote,” Congressman Grayson said.  

In keeping with the “Grayson style,” the bill is clear and concise.  It is only four pages.  You can read the bill here.

Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
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1 posted 03-11-2010 08:43 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

If premiums would be equal to costs, then why not just bypass the third party (the government) and pay directly to the provider?

Of course to make all this work the government would have to set prices and reimbursement rates and approve or disapprove treatment options. Is that really an answer?

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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2 posted 03-11-2010 08:05 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Interesting question, Denise.

     Because that would mean that each buyer of health care would be on their own, with no bargaining power beyond the ability to ask for charity.  Many Americans feel that demeaning, even those who accept it.  At the same time, providers feel no such limitation, and band together in trade associations and bargaining groups, such as the AMA and the various drug vendors, whose prices, despite the fact that they could be competitive, are competitive only at levels that amount to saying that not all who need the drugs or the services can use them, even when the quantity is thgere at a rate which could be profitable for the individuals concerned.

     Therefore, it's to acquire the bargaining power to stand up to such monopolies that the government is a useful addition to the equation.

     The effect of this also means that the overall health of the citizens improves.  Better health means better workers and better decision makers at the polls as well, one would hope.  This is part of the same reason why public education is a good idea.

     Is that the sort of answer you were looking for, Denise?  Or did you have something else in mind.  I know I can't be helpful answering every question you've got, but these seemed to be fairly straightforward.  If the others are like this one, maybe I can help.
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since 07-10-2008
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3 posted 03-12-2010 12:15 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

now here, Jennifer, I will probably suprise you:  I would probably back this bill.
One: because it stands on its own, without window dressings and it doesn't hold up the large Health Care bill
Two: I hate the name: 'Public option' because it opts to TAKE the government plan, not the other way around, but I do like that initially, a health care plan would have the 'swing' option while sorting out the success or failure of specific parts as it pertained to your age/health situation.
Three:  a one size fits all Health care bill doesn't address the 'age/heath' specificities that each citizen has.  I have felt that instead of one giant bill that no-one will agree to, there should be a series of bills, like Grayson's, that could be voted on individually without having to ride the coattails of another provision that was unpopular.

At the same time, I don't entirely trust Grayson: he's the Grandstander that said that the Republicans want to kill grandma, and had a flip chart presentation to that effect in front of Congress.  Highly immature for a Congressman.  So ignoring the fact that he's a potential arse, it might be a good thing to offer the Public Option on it's own to the public, in the arena of public opinion and see if folks would embrace it seperately.  
Bob K
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4 posted 03-12-2010 06:13 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Keep your darn distance from my Nana, Jeff.  You can't fool me with that smooth talk.

     Actually, I was surprised by your comments, and pleased to be taken by surprise.  I like the idea of the thing being presented in small pieces.  I wonder if this one will actually get anyplace.  I've got my fingers crossed.
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since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710

5 posted 03-14-2010 07:29 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Taking one part of the original proposal presented by the Democrats in isolation is a really dumb idea in my opinion. The original proposal was big for a reason guys – each part depended on the other parts to make sense – taking one part in isolation wouldn’t work and this is a perfect example of that.

Go back to the beginning, back to the reason why health care reform is necessary. It isn’t because those kind hearted folk in Washington want every American to have access to healthcare, that’s a nice by-product but not the reason health care reform is necessary. Health care needs reforming because the current system is unsustainable, America cannot afford to continue to spend as much as it does on health care, that’s the bottom line and opening up Medicare or Medicaid to everyone isn’t, without additional changes, going to resolve that issue.

In fact it’s highly likely to make things a whole lot worse.

serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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6 posted 03-14-2010 04:47 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

If an anecdote can suffice as an opinion, well, ya'll know how I go about this stuff by now.

I was trying to pay for a purchase with a credit card, and was asked to see my I.D.

I had a bit of difficulty finding it in my wallet, and apologized to the cashier, saying,

"It's probably buried under all of the health cards."

When I'd finally found it, I commented,

"You'd think I'd be HEALTHIER, huh?"

Then I limped away with my over-priced water.

No smilie face on this one...
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