Anthony Weiner on Expanded Medicare

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The latest health care plan in Washington looks to expand Medicare, but possibly at the expense of a public option. Congressman Anthony Weiner offers his take.


Congressman Anthony Weiner

Comments [24]

Cris from NY,NY

This is the most ridiculous, catastrophic plan to destroy the American medical system imaginable. It fails on every level imaginable. Only an ill informed, uneducated imbecile would support it, for it will destroy health care for everyone. It is beyond believe how people on this blog are in favor of a government take over of health care, when the disingenuous, dirtbag congressman who are writing this bill-voted 280-1 on their own amendment, which made sure they and their families would not personally participate in it. Instead they chose to remain on their current healthcare plan, with premiums paid by the American tax payers for life. In turn, even if private insurance premiums skyrocket to $12,000 a month, they could care less because we are footing the bill. ONLY A GINORMOUS SUCKER would support this piece of garbage legislation which has absolutely nothing to do with improving healthcare or lowering cost. Inferior care, for more money.

Dec. 12 2009 08:50 AM
Ellen Proskauer from Carsluith

Please -- Distinguish the difference between Medicaid and Medicare - Medicare Advantage and Medicaid Managed care.

To be clear - 70% of MedicAID is administered by private health ins. The expansion of Medicaid is deeply flawed. Many reasons not to go there.

But MedicARE - not Medicaid - Expansion may be a great thing. Even if we only get a toe-hold - begin small, the possibilities are endless.

However, I'm troubled: Because we're not clear - because people still don't seem to know the difference between Medicare and Medicare part D (Medicare Advantage, which is Medicare administered by private health ins plans) - will anyone notice, if the expansion includes an expansion of Medicare part D? Will Medicare Advantage apply to new - buy-in Medicare members? I realize the complaints of McCain and co. center around the cuts expected in Medicare Advantage - private Medicare. But from what I understand Medicare part D will still exist. The question is - Will it grow?

Like Medicaid - I would like to see part D eliminated. The privatization of Medicare and Medicaid have been the aim of AHIP forever. Congress should be clear - that this is not an expansion of part D.

Dec. 10 2009 12:21 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Josh - your assertions are just plain wrong.

Dec. 10 2009 11:41 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Mina - the problem with socialism is pretty soon you run out of other people's money. The social security tax was supposed to be a forced savings for regular folk. There is an absolute cap on benefits therefore there needs to be an absolute cap on taxes. Do you think it would be fair to Oprah or Tiger Woods to tax them 16% on their $100 million a year incomes when they, like you or me would only get a few thousand dollars back at best? You liberals need to get better jobs or two or three bad ones, rather than always wanting to soak the rich. Oprah and Tiger need their money, too. Tiger's got at least a dozen hungry mouths to feed and Oprah's got one giant mouth, too.

Dec. 10 2009 11:22 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Oh, medicare has problems because the US government subsidises Private health companies more then %14 more than if medicare did it itself. Id we want a private system let those private companies pay their own bills. hypocrites.

Dec. 10 2009 10:51 AM
Mina MacFarlane from Manhattan

I've never been able to understand why we don't take the cap off the income subject to social security withholding. It's a tax that falls disproportionately on the working poor and the middle class, precisely because it becomes a tax break for those whose income exceeds the cap. Take the cap off. We all should pay towards social security and medicare as long as we are working.

Dec. 10 2009 10:50 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

That medicare is rife with fraud is a myth. Medicare costs %7 of GDP. On par with the european nations. But the US in total is %17. That is to say, there is no more fraud then any other universal health care system. Yes there is medicare, but at %7 of gdp, it still more efficient.

Dec. 10 2009 10:49 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Wow, what a liar - rewriting history with every word. The Congressman, who was the leading proponent of radical socialized medicine, now congratulates himself on creating a reasonable compromise. It’s laughable. And as to giving Americans the Federal Plan, the Dems have consistently said they are not going to let new people into the federal plan. As to Medicare and Medicaid, they are inefficient and filled with fraud. They are going bankrupt and adding millions of new people to those plans will hasten the disaster. The Dems are running around like chickens without heads (or any common sense or sense of decency).

Dec. 10 2009 10:42 AM
huw from Brooklyn NY

Anthony Weiner is being very diplomatic. The fact is that Toad Lieberman is in the back pocket of the health insurers. He will oppose anything that his masters at WellPoint, Aetna, etc., oppose.

Olympia Snowe has already hinted she will oppose. My guess is Lieberman will find a way to oppose once he gets his orders from AHIP. (Lieberman has offered Reason of the Week for months.)

A non-profit, national, private option will be administered by the Privateers. So much for cost-savings there.

Access to the expanded Medicare is like to be limited to exactly those people the health insurers don't want anyway.

And HOW will Dems stay in charge. They've had the majority and have looked for all the world like a tiny, weak minority.

Dec. 10 2009 10:42 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Unfortunately though, this will not go far enough. I understand its progress and how its a first step. But it sets a precedent. The politicians can say we did something and we're done. Look at Medicare Part D. its a good bill, but not a great bill. It will not cover abortion, (the FEHBP forbids it). It also locks in everything on this bill for the future. There are no do overs. Every other nation that has universal care did everything all at once. Everybody got the same care all at once. This separates the population more then we have now. We need a complete overhaul. This is a band-aid. We already have an ad-hoc system that is made up as we go along. This perpetuates that. making up plans on the fly. We need one system for everybody, not ten different systems for different people. That's why things cost so much and we have problems with who has what. This just makes another thing to mix with other things. Paul Starr is cringing.

Dec. 10 2009 10:41 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

Why did Weiner giggle when he admitted that the federal government is printing obscene amounts of money? What is so funny about that?

Also, this healthcare bill will ABSOLUTELY result in New York having less healthcare money than it does now. Why is Weiner putting his political career first...before his constituents?

Dec. 10 2009 10:39 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Ken - the Dems don't really care about you or me. This dance of back door legislation has been a power grab from day one. There are many simple things that Congress can do to make coverage more affordable and more extensive: Tort reform, fraud reform (frauds up 3x this year), restore bankruptcy rules for those hit by medical bills, extend patent life to lower drug costs (they extended copyright twice to protect Mickey Mouse ™), create interstate competition (there are 1300 insurance cos. in the US), extend tax credits, etc. Plus - create real jobs with employer insurance. This admin has been a disaster on job creation. Many people feel that the Dems did not spend all the TARP or Stimulus bill money to keep the pressure on the economy and society with millions of jobs lost that didn't have to be lost. The Dems have been cynical and perhaps even criminal in their behavior.

Dec. 10 2009 10:38 AM
Tom from UWS

If Public Option is actually impossible, and it seems to be with the current Congress and budget, I think the Madeicare buy-in is the next best thing. I for one would benefit, as being over 55 and self-employed I am in my 3rd uninsured year.

It's a GOOD NOTION to make a working program available to more people. Glad to hear that Cong Wiener thinks so, too.

Dec. 10 2009 10:38 AM
Robert from NYC

Yeah but what about younger people? They get screwed. I'm surprised Mr. Weiner fell into this. I'll give him a chance to explain but something has to be done for younger citizens to be able to get into a public program. I am all for the kind of social medicine offered to europeans because 1. it works with little problems (there are problems with everything) and 2. it includes everyone, EVERYONE, young and old.

Dec. 10 2009 10:37 AM
Jon from NYC

Once Anthony Weiner spends a year looking for a job without success and still having to pay the rent, only then *maybe* I'll lend him an ear on his "everyone must to pay for health" position.

If you can't put food in you mouth and clothes on your back, then how the hell does he expect that we should have to shell out even more money that we didn't hav in the first place?!?

Dec. 10 2009 10:36 AM
Betty Anne from UES

What about 20-54? 20-39 is a probably the HIGHEST risk group with NO ACCESS.

Dec. 10 2009 10:35 AM
huw from Brooklyn NY

Perhaps Anthony Weiner can tell us why his single payer proposal was taken off the table in the House but Stupak's torpedo anti-Choice measure was not.

Why are Obama and Pelosi (and Reid) bending over to please conservatives and so-called moderates but doing NOTHING to please liberals?

Dec. 10 2009 10:34 AM
Daniel from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

As 34 year old freelancer who cannot afford health insurance at its current rates, I am disappointed and betrayed by Mr. Weiner's support of this "compromise".

Please ask the Congressman how expanding medicare helps me and my friends in the same situation.

Dec. 10 2009 10:34 AM
Ken from Manhattan

Dear Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA (December 10, 2009 - 10:13AM)

Please consider the following, from Kathy in CT (December 09, 2009 - 02:28PM):

. . . In ADDITION to Medicare for those over 55, the current plan being costed out (from NY Times):

" . . . . . calls for the creation of a new menu of national insurance plans, modeled after those offered to more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents.

The new insurance plans would be overseen by a federal agency, the Office of Personnel Management, which now runs the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and directly negotiates prices and benefits packages with private insurance companies. The private firms eagerly participate because of the large customer base. "

THAT IS the public option for those under 55.

For months folks have been saying "Well I wish WE could get the same plans the senators and administration have." WELL THIS IS IT. For those who can pay, we'll pay (but FEHBP gets far lower premiums than we could ever) and for those who can't, there will be subsidies.

GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE -- this is the best thing that's been proposed since last February and everyone is whining because it doesn't say PUBLIC OPTION in big purple neon letters.

The good thing about this approach is that both Medicare and the FEHPB are already up and in existence, so instead of waiting till 2014 (yup) for a NEW program to be created from scratch, we could enroll in these programs MUCH sooner.

. . . Listen to what Paul Starr says. He's probably the smartest guy in the country on healthcare policy and he said this whole new approach is a great idea.


Dec. 10 2009 10:24 AM
NeitherHereNorThere from Manhattan

Although I know he has spoken about this often on the show I would still like to know why Anthony Weiner thinks that Democrats are so afraid of Universal Health Care (like the Republicans) when statistics show that life expectancy is higher and health care costs are lower in countries that have it. I was always really disappointed to see commercials on CNN that show the one disgruntled Canadian with their health care when the mere mention of any privitization of health care is the quickest way for a Canadian politician to not get elected.

Dec. 10 2009 10:19 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

I hope the Congressman is not going to sell out his liberal supporters on the single payer option. He has been a leading proponent of this and should confront the President and Reid on this matter. After all 14,000 people a day lose their insurance. (Of course it’s because they have lost their jobs due to the horrible mismanagement of the past year). I hope the Congressman has the guts to stick to his convictions.

Dec. 10 2009 10:13 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

It definitely sounds like a possibility. Its buckets cheaper and provides more or less equal care and has a huge satisfaction rate. But there's a few problems. Drug coverage. Medicare part D is a joke, and has to be fixed or millions of people will be screwed. Extending it would be hazardous without the fix. I don't know the numbers (30 seconds on google can fix this) but how many of the uninsured will this cover? Aren't people over 55 are more likely to have jobs with insurance than those younger? Or do you have to retire to get it at 55? Finally, with reimbursement rates so low, many doctors now refuse to accept patients with medicare, and have to wait for treatment ala a waiting list, especially for mental health. I don't know a single private doctor that takes it.

Dec. 10 2009 09:41 AM
Ella Beilin from United States

When I was about to turn 62, I announced at my firm that I would be retiring at 62. At the interview with the SS office, I was grately disappointment to find out that I would not be eligible for Medicare. It seemed only logical to me that if early retirement age is 62, the person would also qualify for Medicare. I certainly support this proposal.

Dec. 10 2009 08:52 AM
George from Bay Ridge

What does the congressman think of the ongoing state fiscal crisis?

Dec. 10 2009 03:45 AM

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