In one day, Grayson piles up another 40 co-sponsors for Medicare buy-in bill

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 15:47

Update: Another 14 sponsors on Friday.  Total up to 64 now.

In just two days, Alan Grayson has piled up 50 co-sponsors to his Medicare buy-in bill, which is designed as a stand-alone bill rather than as an amendment to the health reform bill.  Here is the complete list of 50 co-sponsors:

50 CURRENT COSPONSORS : Bob Filner, Jan Schakowsky, Barney Frank, Dennis Kucinich, Donna Edwards, Jared Polis, Chellie Pingree, Sheila Jackson Lee, Carol Shea-Porter, Diane Watson, John Lewis, Anthony Weiner, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velazquez, Keith Ellison, Loretta Sanchez, Hank Johnson, Maxine Waters, Luis Gutierrez, Lynn Woolsey, Marcy Kaptur, Charles Rangel, Patrick Kennedy, Raul Grijalva, Donna Christian-Christensen, John Olver, Corrine Brown, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Marcia L. Fudge, Danny K. Davis, Pedro Pierluisi, Grace Napolitano, Alcee Hastings, John Hall, Shelley Berkley, John Conyers, Jim McGovern, Phil Hare, Betty Sutton, Jim McDermott, Gregorio Sablan, Maurice Hinchey, Carolyn Maloney, Barbara Lee, Elijah Cummings, Gregory Meeks, Edolphus Towns, Al Green, David Wu, and Rush Holt.

Every indication has always been that there is overwhelming support for a Medicare buy-in among Congressional Democrats.  This could very well pass as a stand alone bill, especially in 2011 once filibuster reform has taken place.  This is definitely one of the ways that progressives can viably continue the fight for real health reform no matter what happens to the current bill.

Chris Bowers :: In one day, Grayson piles up another 40 co-sponsors for Medicare buy-in bill

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Amen ! (4.00 / 2)
One of the good things about Grayson's plan is its brevity.  Obama and the Democrats should never have let the healthcare bill swell to 2000+ pages.

I think the 2,000 page thing is silly (4.00 / 4)
1. 2,000 pages is the very wide-spaced text. double/triple spaced, section indents, subsection section indents etc.

in letter form it's 200 something pages

2. even if it was 2,000 pages, so what?

if the legislation you propose needs 2,000 pages, so be it. not all things in life are simple.

[ Parent ]
Stop It (0.00 / 0)
Please, please please please stop repeating stupid talking points.  The length of the bill doesn't affect whether or not it's a good bill.  It's that long because of the huge number of regulatory changes.

[ Parent ]
I hope he's serious about it. (0.00 / 0)
I really appreciate Rep. Grayson and even though his district is three thousand miles away I occasionally send him a little money.  Unfortunately, I think a lot of what he does is for dramatic effect.  I think ultimately he is a pretty solid vote for the White House, so if they continue to oppose the Medicare buy-in, he probably doesn't have the clout to move it.  Of course, if he gets over 150 co-sponsors, then it's a different ball game isn't it?

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman

If it shifts the overton window left it is good (4.00 / 7)
He also has managed to get a lot of positive press for progressive initiatives and views.

[ Parent ]
Well said and good point. (4.00 / 5)
He is moving the debate left, and that is a damn good thing.

Here is another good talking point on Buying into Medicare: If we are subsidizing the buying of health insurance, why on earth would we make it illegal to spend that same money on Medicare, to help Medicare stay funded?


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Well said! (0.00 / 0)
If we are subsidizing the buying of health insurance, why on earth would we make it illegal to spend that same money on Medicare, to help Medicare stay funded?

[ Parent ]
Please don't send any more money to Alan Grayson (4.00 / 2)
He has a ton of it, and he's facing little Republican opposition this fall.  He has enough.

If you have extra money to give to liberal candidates, might I recommend Jennifer Brunner and Marcy Winograd?

[ Parent ]
Great! (4.00 / 3)
Note that this bill  will be much better with the current HCR bill in place.  The only negative to Medicare Buy-in is the potential for adverse selection.   Basically, everyone with medical problems would prefer Medicare, but competing plans could offer "wellness packages" like free membership to health clubs, yearly spa treatments, etc., to keep the healthy despite worse insurance.  If Medicare Buy-in allows all pre-existing conditions, this would even be worse.  They would either have to charge through the nose or get funds elsewhere.

Thinking it through, it might be safe to say the plan is completely unworkable in the current health care system.

However, with the currently worked on bill in place, none of this is much of an issue.  Ways to deal with adverse selection are in place.  All plans must accept pre-existing conditions without hiking prices.  And so on and so on.  If any problems come up, it would just be a tweak to solve.

Now compare Grayson's actions... (0.00 / 0)
...with Kucinich's of late.

Who's doing more to actually advance progressive causes?

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

re: dk (4.00 / 2)
Who's doing more to actually advance progressive causes?

maybe he's not doing as much as grayson but he's doing pretty good

[ Parent ]
Uh, Kucinich is a cosponsor of Grayson's bill (4.00 / 2)
You're hilarious.

[ Parent ]
I've been really excited by the long-term prospects for a bill like this. (4.00 / 2)
I do not expect it can get though the Senate this year, but I hope it gets momentum and becomes something to campaign on for progressives. Keep in mind that Grayson's bill is MUCH better than anything Obama (or Clinton) ever campaigned for in 2008 -- so it's not like we already had an election based on this issue.

I also think it could have good prospects for passing in 2011. An interesting point is that I think Grayson's bill would actually be a bad idea if the current HCR legislation is not passed. If insurance companies have exclusions and lifetime caps, then Medicare buy-in, by itself, would just turn into another opportunity for a corporate rip-off: take all the premium money from people who want to save a few bucks over Medicare premiums, and then dump them on Medicare as soon as they get sick. My point is you have to pass the current bill before Grayson's bill makes sense.

I suspect that insurance companies won't be the big opposition to Grayson's bill, since Medicare supplemental is a very profitable business for them. The big hospital and managed-care monopolies will oppose it, and probably pharma, too.

BTW, disagree with me if you have a reason. I often find that commenters here have thought though an issue more carefully than me.

Also, let's make sure Grayson is around in 2011 to bring the bill up again!

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

Does this have to wait for fillibuster reform? (0.00 / 0)
Sorry to comment twice in a row, but I read Grayson's bill, and it is hard to see why, in it's current form, it could not pass under Senate rules for budget reconciliation.  

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

I agree (0.00 / 0)
However, they are going with the minimum change they can to get this passed, so I really don't see this going in.  They'd have to be able to prove they have the votes in both Houses.

[ Parent ]
"Once filibuster reform has taken place..." (0.00 / 0)
That's a good one. Are you aware that Reid considers "filibuster reform" to be shortening of the cloture debate? And many Democrats, mainstream ones like Feinstein, oppose filibuster reform entirely? Not. Gonna. Happen.

Yay Shelley! (0.00 / 0)
My rep, Shelley Berkley, is one of the co-sponsors....Hooray! She's not even all that progressive, but this is good.

Time to write a thank-you note on her site....


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