Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Health Care Reform Already Being Weakened?

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If the deficit peacocks get their way, Medicare could be seriously weakened.  Why?  Because the $519 Billion program is expected to grow to $929 Billion by 2020.  And since CorporateDems and Incrementalists insisted that the 2009-2010 Health Insurance Giveaway could be easily strengthened “the next time around”, a Medicare buy-in in place of single-payer in place of a public option, was never seriously considered, the growth in the cost of Medicare moving forward presents a nice, fat target for which the D.C. establishment can aim.

Opening Medicare up to a larger pool of customers would have helped keep the program’s overall costs down.  But the “serious people” involved with health care reform couldn’t allow that to happen.  That was too much change too quickly.  The health care apple cart might get tipped over, or some such nonsense.  Well, I would love to hear from the Incrementalists how accepting crumbs in the reform gutter will save Medicare or ensure more Americans have access to quality health care.  And no, insurance coverage doesn’t not equate to quality health care.  It should become obvious soon that forcing people into private insurance coverage doesn’t mean existing health care systems will get the changes they need.  There was a critical question that the Incrementalists could never answer during the health care debate: how will their version of “reform” be strengthened moving forward?  It turns out that it won’t.  The health care system doesn’t need tweaks at the edges, it needs revolutionary, fundamental change.

How disgusting will it be when a Democratic President oversees privatization of portions of Medicare?  How about Social Security?  The Incrementalists were dead wrong – the only thing their approach will accomplish is taking steps toward privatizing the social safety nets brought into existence by liberals and progressives in the 20th century.  This isn’t “Change we can believe in”.


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