Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

>Is the public option dead? Say it ain’t so…

>It seems as if the US Congress has been debating healthcare reform for an eternity. Remember last summer when President Obama was hopeful that Congress would get ‘er done before the August break? Ha! We’ll be lucky if they finish before the Christmas break.

The latest wrangling in the Senate sounds like a good idea, but in the long run, it’s probably not. The latest Congressional shell game to avoid a “robust” public option and still make it look as if they are reforming the healthcare non-system is to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 55 and all younger folks who are not covered by insurance to buy into the federal system.

A little disclosure here, I am over 55 and buying into Medicare is attractive to me, but in the long term, this move benefits insurance companies more than anyone else. People use more health insurance as they age. By pushing the Baby Boomers– who are getting older and fatter everyday– off on the government, insurance companies are left with the “cream of the crop”– younger, healthier Americans who are less likely to make a claim.

Shifting the cost to care for the people most likely to make a claim to the government will surely break the Medicare bank– already scheduled to go bankrupt in 2012 (or 2017 depending upon how you crunch the numbers but in any case that’s not too far away).

In a recent blog post, former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich says that this latest development will give insurance companies even more control over the current non-system, will do nothing to curb obscene profits, and will do nothing to control costs. It also guarantees that healthcare reform will be revisited in the coming years.

Again, this debate proves that we have the best Congress money can buy.


This entry was posted on December 11, 2009 by in Barack Obama, Congress, Healthcare Reform, John McCain.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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