Kissell supports President's public option but will not offer up Medicare as a sacrifice

Rep. Larry Kissell has never once said he would not support a public health insurance option. In the latest whip count Kissell acknowledged he will support a bill with a public option as long as it meets the same criteria President Obama set out - it must be deficit neutral, end discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, have real portability, bend the cost curve with real competition, and Larry adds one other requirement - the bill cannot offer up Medicare as a sacrifice.

This week an anonymous source leaked information from a caucus meeting claiming that Larry Kissell had said he would vote against any bill with a public health option. That simply isn't true. According to what I know about where Larry stands, for that claim to have any semblance of truth the House Leadership's proposal must not meet the President's requirements or it reduces Medicare benefits. We will know on Friday when the House Leadership releases the bill.



Medicare has to change

I like how Larry's talking about this, but I wish he'd go one step ahead and stop pretending like nothing has to change in Medicare. Cost and demographics are like two speeding trains racing toward each other. The crash is entirely predictable.

If he wants to get serious about the issue he should be asking "What should Medicare look like in 30 years ... and what's the best way to get there. A real experiment is necessary. The current version of the public option is, if nothing else, a grand experiment. It needs to be done.

Don't get me started on Joe Lieberman.

You don't overhaul Medicare by using it as bait

in a healthcare reform battle.

Medicare might need to be tweaked, but it isn't something that should be snuck into other bills. edit - I do agree with you that we need to make sure Medicare can continue to meet the needs of our seniors.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well that's true too.

All I'm saying is that there is no politically acceptable economic model that keeps Medicare going as is. Which means something will change. I'm betting what will change is our definition of "needs of our seniors."

Well, that's not all I'm saying. I'm also saying that I'd welcome any elected official to be brutally honest about our aging demographic problems.

Few do, of course. I thought Larry might be one of them, and I still do sometimes.


*Might* need to be *tweaked*?

The projected unfunded liabilities for medicare are $38 trillion! Medicare consumes 22% of our nation's health care spending. By Obama's own admission, it "wastes" $143 million / day!

I think and argument could be made that much of what is wrong with our health care system is medicare.

What good is a bill that reforms our health care system when you immediately take 22% of it off the table.