[media id=11078] (h/t Heather.) Here's Steve Benen with a roundup on Monday's biggest story in healthcare reform: The story of the day is not Ben N
December 8, 2009

(h/t Heather.)

Here's Steve Benen with a roundup on Monday's biggest story in healthcare reform:

The story of the day is not Ben Nelson introducing a Senate version of the Stupak language -- the smart money is on it failing (I'd put the over/under at 43) -- but rather a "sweetener" for the left, to make another public option compromise more palatable.

Sam Stein, Ezra Klein, and Brian Beutler are all reporting the same thing: an expansion of Medicare eligibility is on the table.

Senate Democrats are discussing the idea of expanding Medicare by lowering the age at which the elderly could enter the government-run insurance program, Democratic sources on the Hill tell the Huffington Post.

The proposal would lower the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 55, though an age limit of 60 has also been suggested. Crucial details -- such as the timing of the implementation of such a reform -- were not provided due to the sensitivity and ongoing nature of the deliberations. A high-ranking Democratic source off the Hill confirmed that such discussions are taking place.

Lowering the floor for Medicare is one of several ideas being discussed as a way to pacify progressives upset over the potential elimination of a public option for insurance coverage, one of the sources added.

As you'll remember, I've been talking about this for a while as their Hail Mary pass, and Howard Dean suggested the same thing. After all, if they don't give people something before the midterm elections, they're in real trouble.

And this is also to pacify the crotchety old liberals who've made life so very unpleasant for the Congressional handmaidens of the insurance industry. And while I wouldn't mind having this, it still doesn't solve the real problem: Namely, no competition for the insurance industry.

And it doesn't do a damned thing for people like my uninsured son, who will still be forced to buy crappy, overpriced insurance. I'm not willing to throw young people under the bus. (And I hope my kids remember that when it comes time to "reform" Social Security.)

Stay tuned. It's gonna be a hell of a fight.

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