from barbara ehrenreich....
look, millions of voters didn't swing toward the democrats because they wanted a $15 discount on their statins and beta-blockers. they voted out the can't-do republicans in part because health costs are an immediate threat to ordinary americans' livelihoods and lives. they want a solution, and they want it now.
how could we do that? the cautious way would be to expand medicare to cover everyone. no new program would have to be devised, and the fight over whether medicare would lead to socialism was resolved over 40 years ago. just extend it to everyone of any age.
the only problem with that is that medicare is as full of holes as the bush rationale for the iraq war. it's not enough to have medicare parts a and b, you need supplementary health insurance to cover the co-payments. as for part d, aka "part doughnut hole," no one has as yet been able to comprehend it, though it seems to work fine for people who are willing to substitute shark cartilage and lemon grass tea for prescription drugs.
so the most sensible plan is the one put forward by anna burger, head of labor's change to win coalition. she proposes extending the health insurance plan that currently covers congress to everyone.
"if it's good enough for [congress]," she asks, "why isn't it good enough for every american?''