Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obama seeks votes in Florida

One would have thought that the way to address the looming bankruptcy of Medicare would not be to double down on its unfunded liabilities, but that appears to be precisely what the Obama administration proposes to do by allowing persons over the age of 55 to buy into Medicare.

If this goes through, it will be a bonanza for those who wish to retire early (perhaps exacerbating the financial woes of social security and impairing economic recovery). I know quite a few people who want to retire and have the money to support themselves, but can't hang it up because they literally could not purchase insurance. They may have preexisting conditions or can't afford to buy insurance that is actuarily priced for persons over 55.

Now the Democrats have solved their problem.


George Mitchell said...

Actually, it seems fitting that a "compromise" on health care reform would involve expansion of a program that demonstrably is headed for bankruptcy.

Unknown said...

Settle down, Rick. The proposal has gone to the CBO for analysis. If it comes back negative, it won't even make it to the president's desk.

More telling, perhaps, is your very succinct statement of the problem -- "[t]hey may have preexisting conditions or can't afford to buy insurance that is actuarily priced for persons over 55" (and the problem exists for the self-employed and those employed w/o health benefits, not just early retirees) -- yet, when it comes to the health care debate, characteristic disinterest in engaging in a discussion toward a solution, preferring instead to swipe at the president, who wasn't even represented in the room when the tentative proposal was made.

As it happens, the White House did give a generic thumbs-up to the compromise as a whole after the fact. So, you'd think -- based on your incessant posts on the topic over the summer months -- that what you'd really be expressing here is shock that the president would be willing to give up the public option, rather than so quickly finding a new hobby horse for your contempt.

Rick Esenberg said...

If it doesn't come back negative, I would expect that the books have been cooked. As for the problem, I am not sure why you think I am disinterested in a solution which I think would be facilitation of a market for catastrophic insurance and expanded COBRA rights - with an option to continue only catastrophic coverage. If we're going to encourage people to purchase insurance, I don't see why it must be made unaffordable. As for the public option being gone, I'll believe that it's gone when I see that it's gone. Right now, that's not so clear to me.

Unknown said...

Can't you tell the difference between that comment and your post, both in tone and substance? I don't think catastrophic insurance and COBRA expansion quite cuts it for the coverage issues faced by the 55-64 crowd. But, hey, pushing that as an idea at least keeps the discussion focused where it needs to be.

And I didn't say you were disinterested in a solution, I said you were disinterested in engaging in a discussion toward a solution.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

LOL, Rick it's only during this debate so far as I can tell that your party cares what the CBO says. Back when your party was cutting taxes and it was warning of the deficits we now have, your party's reaction was "so the fuck what?".

Your party put a prescription drug benefit and two wars on the national credit card, so neither it nor its followers has any credibility with regard to fiscal issues.

I mean c'mon, Karl Rove is now complaining about deficits? Are you serious?

Anonymous said...

I think the motive behind this is to open jobs up for younger workers by allowing people to retire earlier.

Rick Esenberg said...


So what is your point? Is it that Bush was fiscally irresponsible so let's just order another round? I agree that Bush's fiscal policy left much to be desired although I think it's a bit more complicated than tax cuts and wars (which are traditionally seen as extraordinary expenditures that are deficit financed; whether that approach fits the war on terror is another matter) and I feel no obligation to defend everything Republicans do.

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