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Medicare for Everyone... Oh, really?

Jess Fiedorowicz's picture

The Democrats are now pushing the public option as "Medicare for Everyone" despite the fact that the public option proposals will not be available to everyone and won't result in universal coverage. The timing of this with the planned scoring of HR 676 is simply shameless.

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Submitted by lambert on

.... just to make it a tad more punchy.

* * *

That said, I'd rather have the dishonesty exposed sooner rather than later. A "public option" FAIL that takes a decade to play out won't hold anyone accountable exactly because of the complexity and obfuscation in the design of the bills. A "Medicare for Everyone" FAIL is going to be evident much more rapidly and hurt the perps much more, because people already know that Medicare works (which is why is can't possibly be a "government program").

Jess Fiedorowicz's picture
Submitted by Jess Fiedorowicz on

I like what you did with the headline. Indeed more punchy.

Do you think this will expose dishonesty earlier? Frankly, I think it will confuse people. If "Medicare for Everyone" fails, people may confuse it with the "Medicare for All" slogan that they so blatantly ripped off. Further, when the CBO scores "Medicare for All" favorably, any energy and media attention may be diverted to "Medicare for Everyone."

I almost couldn't believe it when I heard this pitched tonight to Keith Olbermann by Majority Whip James Clyburn.

Submitted by lambert on

But the branding change is a sign that the "public option" crapola didn't stick because the pros had to move in. So the "progressives" shat the bed. That's a win, and it can't have come from any other active force but us, since what else is there? (Maybe there's passivity involved, too, in that [a|the] [strong|robust]? [Federalist]? public [health insurance]? [option|plan] is and always was hard to explain).

I think they're overestimating their ability to spin this. If this doesn't work, it's not because Medicare doesn't work. People know Medicare works (it's "not a government program"). So, it will be because the Dems took something that did work and broke it. Versailles is always the last to know....

Submitted by hipparchia on

your [a|the] [strong|robust]? [Federalist]? public [health insurance]? [option|plan] construction? [especially its evolution over time]

Submitted by lambert on

Thanks, and it has the great merit of being true. It really does seem to capture all the permutations. ("Federalist" is in there for BTD.) Oddly, or not, I've never had a public option advocate call me out on it.

I remember a series that the National Lampoon once ran, called Stan Mack Funnies, which had a tagline I remember as "All dialog guaranteed verbatim" but which seems to be "All dialog guaranteed overheard."

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

The "public option" (whatever that is) makes no real claims, which is why you can have many different flavors.

"Medicare for Everyone" makes two claims: (1) it's Medicare and (2) it's for everyone.

Even our decrepit, stenographic media can ascertain that neither of those claims are true. In fact, they might excel (in a relative sense) at debunking simple claims in binary true/false terms. "Is the Democrats' plan really 'Medicare for Everyone'? Find out at 11…"

And then, after it's easily established that this plan is not that, the obvious next question becomes, "Well, why not 'Medicare for Everyone'?" It's really difficult, once you're promoting something called "Medicare for Everyone," to argue against, well, Medicare for everyone. ("We didn't mean that Medicare…and no, um, not everyone.")

Sure, the House Dems are shamelessly co-opting "Medicare for Everyone" but it's not implausible to see the phrase co-opting them instead.

Jess Fiedorowicz's picture
Submitted by Jess Fiedorowicz on

I hope you are right. I like this optimistic projection and the potential use of this as a springboard to discussing single payer. Perhaps, we can direct our efforts to make sure these obvious and relevant questions are heard.

Submitted by lambert on

There really has to be a reason why single payer is still alive, despite the efforts of the press, both parties, the administration, and in our relatively trivial sphere, "progressive" bloggers to kill it. The only explanation I've been able to come up with is the efforts of people like us.

Submitted by quodlibet on

as another Nobel Peace Prize winner would call it

Submitted by lambert on

So, they're the same in your mind? Interesting.

What all this shows to me is our "progressives" becoming adept at manufacturing consent. That's all it is. Though "all" may be a pretty big thing...

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

There are so many way to take it:

1) Politics that are essentially right as in conservative, which is what so much of the healthcare reform is;
2) Politics right, meaning that they appear to be possibly moving towards getting the "public option" (whatever that is), so if the only thing that counts is that, then I guess they may be able to declare victory (although I think it's unclear whether the WH will allow a public option to stand); and
3) "Politics Right" meaning its some sort of broader political victory. I think this is clearly wrong since, as many here and Ian Welsh and others have noted, any public option that is, in fact, not open to all of the public and is part of a reform that will chop about 1/3 off of Americans' disposable income for shitty health insurance is not, in fact, going to be very politically popular. It's a political clusterfuck. Because for liberals bad policy is bad politics and this is bad policy.