David Montgomery (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Argus Leader Sunday, November 17. 2013 has a column on Rick Weiland, Democratic candidate for the US Senate. Weiland and Dr. Howard Dean have similar attitudes toward what needs to be done to improve health care in the US.
This morning on ABC, Howard Dean made the case for "Medicare for All". He correctly pointed out the problems with "Obamacare" result from Republican insistence that private insurance companies be injected into the mix at the well-panned Obamacare website. The complexity involved and the problems are a product of GOP pandering to the very rich medical and medical insurance industries. Howard Dean also noted he turned 65 and spent all of 10 minutes online getting signed up for Medicare.
Montgomery reports that Weiland says, "Medicare ought to be given the opportunity to compete by giving people (of all ages) an option..about whether or not they want to enroll in Medicare or private health insurance." He noted that Medicare works and people understand it. Weiland promises to introduce legislation to add the inclusive medicare option into law.
Montgomery reports a spattering of Republican uncharitable views regarding the idea. The goofiness seems to spin around the idea that South Dakotans just don't like Obama and thus should oppose anything supported by Obama. Shades of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Only, that did not work so well for the GOP.
In the Winner,SD community families have been devasted by medical expense selling off assets or being bankrupted. The medicare option would do much for many families and probably cost much less than running people through the hospital emergency doors for too late and too expensive care. In Rapid City a doctor is whining that Obamacare might cut income by 30% costing the doctor $60,000. Simple arithmetic of the kind favored by Bill Clinton suggests doctor's current income is around $180,000 per year.
Some of us might not have a whole lot of sympathy for the doctor and a lot of sympathy for those devasted by medical costs. Republican leaders and talking heads apparently have a lot of sympathy for the Doctor and the medical insurance executives getting $millions per year and zero empathy or sympathy for the sick and their or their family's devastation from exorbitant medical expense and huge deductibles and limitations of existing medical insurance policies.
The "Medicare option" would provide a competitive benchmark for insurance companies or if complete enough allow insurance companies to provide medicare supplement plans for all rather than just for those of us over 65.
Weiland and Dr. Howard Dean may irritate the very rich and influential, but they may also be very correct and also make both economic and social sense. This proposal is sensible liberalism and deserves support. That is a marked contrast to the GOP Party of No.
Now if Demcrats in Congress would sever their money ties to the very rich and make sure social security and medicare taxes apply to all income rather than just the first dollars everybody makes, the system won't go broke or need to be hobbled and crippled by the obstructionists.
*** Stay tuned and stay healthy and vote smart so Democrats can undo the GOP mischief and obstructionism.---Doug Wiken