House Democrats are looking at re-branding the public health insurance option as Medicare, an established government healthcare program that is better known than the public option.
The strategy could benefit Democrats struggling to bridge the gap between liberals in their party, who want the public option, and centrists, who are worried it would drive private insurers out of business.
While much of the public is foggy on what a public option actually is, people understand Medicare. It also would place the new public option within the rubric of a familiar system rather than something new and unknown.
The plan, called the “robust” option or “Medicare Plus 5” in the jargon that has emerged on Capitol Hill, ties provider reimbursement rates to Medicare, adding 5 percent. Leaders are planning to roll the bill out next week, and are hoping to vote the first week in November.
Those of us with elderly parents who have had to deal with Medicare are not as thrilled as the Dems. Medicare is broke, and it is yet one more reason why the public option is no option at all to us. Neither is Obamacare.
And a question for you,
If the public option is such a good idea, why resort to re-branding and red herrings?