Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Medicare Part E (E for Everyone)

Last Friday, I wrote a piece saluting Blue Dog Mike Ross of AR, who had some sort of epiphany. Although he had previously railed against the idea of a public option, the conservadem all of a sudden decided that what might work would be to allow people in need of health insurance the option of buying in to Medicare, but having the doctors reimbursed at a higher rate than the current Medicare reimbursements. Voila. A movement has begun.

Actually, Congressman Ross wasn't the first to suggest this. Many have suggested it. In fact, it really is (drum roll please) the public option, which we all agree was a pretty lousy name in the first place!

Tonight, Keith Olbermann was talking about how he had suggested it a couple of weeks ago, during his hour-long Special Comment on health care. And today, on his radio show, Thom Hartmann reiterated his call, first issued months ago, for Medicare Part E. E, for Everyone!

As we inch ever closer toward the merging of the five pieces of health care legislation into one final bill, members of both Houses of Congress are weighing in. And although none can promise with actual numbers that it will happen, most are saying they believe the bill that lands on President Obama's desk will contain a public option... now being re branded as Medicare Part E.

In all fairness, Medicare for All would only be accomplished with a Single Payer health care system, though I do believe that a public option, or Medicare Part E would be a huge step in the right direction.

Dr. Aaron Carroll is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, and an outspoken advocate of Single Payer. I was a bit surprised to read a piece he wrote for Huffington Post entitled "The Public Option Is Not Where You Draw The Line."

I'll speak with him tonight, as I fully disagree! I'll also bring you up to date on what happened today in the Capital Hill wheeling and dealing on the way to a final bill.

We'll start the show with a visit from my favorite activist, David Swanson, author of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. David is a frequent guest of mine and, tonight, in addition to talking about the book and finding out what actions David's involved with now, we'll find out what got him started on the activism road.

And Lisa Derrick, who writes the La Figa blog at FireDogLake will join us with a special announcement... We'll all find out together what it is shortly after midnight ET.

Listen live by clicking here from 11pm-1am ET, and join us in the chat (open it up, directly below the player!). And of course, your calls are always welcome at 866-303-2270.