Public Option Rebranded by House Dems as ‘Medicare Plus 5’

October 21, 2009

(ChattahBox)—As House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi lobby for the inclusion of a “robust” public option in the final health care reform bill, there is a push to re-brand and simplify the public option to tie it into the existing Medicare program for Seniors. According to The Hill, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) has floated a plan called “Medicare Plus 5,” which would open up Medicare to uninsured Americans under 65 and add 5 percent to the current reimbursement rates.

The idea first surfaced in a caucus meeting last week from an unlikely source, Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), a conservative Blue Dog Democratic lawmaker, although he has publicly opposed a public option. Other Democratic lawmakers in support of expanding Medicare are, Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC).

The House lawmakers believe the re-branding effort may erase some confusion the American public may have over the parameters of a public option, as Republicans sought to falsely portray it as a government takeover of health care during the rowdy August town hall meetings.

As noted by The Hill, the public confusion over health care reform was highlighted this summer when a constituent of Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) yelled, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”

Some Democratic lawmakers believe a re-branding is unnecessary, because current polls show growing support for the public health option. But lawmakers in the Senate, namely Sen. Max Baucus (D-MN), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have waffled on the issue saying, there are not enough votes in the Senate to pass a bill containing a public option.

The idea of expanding Medicare is not a new one. It was proposed in the past by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and by Johns Hopkins University Professors Gerard Anderson and Hugh Waters, calling the expansion Medicare Part E for everyone.


4 Responses to “Public Option Rebranded by House Dems as ‘Medicare Plus 5’”

  1. dana on October 21st, 2009 12:45 pm

    This is an emotional issue for many Americans. This so-called “public option” in Government run health care presents serious challenges for us. As Consumers we should be able to compare the cost and quality of health care services. How much is a specific surgery at one hospital, as compared with another?

  2. Advertising by Gallant on October 21st, 2009 12:58 pm

    This is such an important issue for us.
    As a small business owner it’s key that this passes to help us lower our health care costs for our employees.

    It’s so hard to keep this subject a priority in the news.

  3. Quark on October 21st, 2009 2:55 pm

    Great idea. It will cost less with a different name.

    We cannot afford all this debt. First the “stimulus” then “Health Care reform,” next climate change legislation to drive up energy costs, talk of another stimulus bill, two wars still going on – which have to start costing more – we can’t keep asking these kids to go back without reasonable time home, let alone take on another 40,000 in Afghanistan. They’ll be rotating between Iraq and Afghanistan with NO time home! (Did you read about the troops running out of ammo during the Outpost Keating attack? Nah, you probably know nothing about the Outpost Keating attack, do you?)

    Anyone seen the GAO report on the budget deficit?

    For those that don’t think about the difference in terms, “Deficit” is the amount that government spends over the amount that comes in from taxes EACH YEAR. “Debt” is the accumulation of each year’s deficit. “Reducing the deficit” doesn’t get rid of the debt. To get rid of the debt, government must spend LESS than comes in – something no one is talking about.

    We cannot keep spending more and more. We must stop and, indeed, reverse the spending. Any new taxes should go to reducing the debt, not spending even more. It is going to come crashing down. Either we face up to living with a little less for a while, or we ask our children to do with much less for a long time. (Remember that interest compounds – the debt grows and grows.) That is, if the entire economy doesn’t collape even sooner. You do know excessive government spending is what brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union, right? Do you honestly believe the U.S. is so different we don’t face the same fate from the same actions?

    How selfish are you?

  4. COACHEP » Blog Archive » Posts about Pelosi as of October 21, 2009 on October 21st, 2009 6:22 pm

    […] history not allowing anyone from the public or otherwise, to sit in on this private session. Public Option Rebranded by House Dems as ‘Medicare Plus 5′ – 10/21/2009 (ChattahBox)—As House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi lobby for […]

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