Health Care Reform: Looking Grim, but Not Over

10 12 2009

It appears that the public option, a plan advocated by a majority of Americans, will no longer exist in the final version of the health care bill.  There seems to be consensus, however, that the age limit to qualify for Medicare will be lowered to 55.  There will also be (probably) an expansion of Medicaid as well as a half-assed attempt at covering people 300% under the poverty line.  In addition, there will be a collection of national private plans which will be “managed” by the Office of Personal Management.

It’s still early in the process, because the Senate and House may meet in committee to hash out the final details, so the news as it stands right now lacks any real specifics.  There is also talk of the House simply accepting what the Senate throws at them, a procedure called “ping-ponging.”

The most heartening aspect of this legislation, the lowering of Medicare’s age limit, seems to have progressives like Bernie Sanders somewhat excited.  This is because the public option that was originally on the table was so anemic to begin with, that there are elements, according to Sanders, which may actually be better.

We will see, won’t we?  And there is, too, this 800 pound elephant no one in Washington seems to want to notice: The Dirty Deadly Secret About Health Care Reform, an excellent diary by Daily Kos’ Turkana.

Here is Senator Bernie Sanders, along with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, on the Rachel Maddow show last night:

Congress is biting at the bit to finish this before Christmas break, so stay tuned as details out of D.C. will continue to emerge sooner rather than later.

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