Friday, October 23, 2009

Put Up or Shut Up

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), a strong proponent of the public option Medicare Part E, says that the members of the House and the Senate who are opposed to a government-run health insurance program should therefore be opposed to Medicare. After all, it’s the granddaddy of public options. Yet the ones who are eligible for Medicare have all signed up for it, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Rep. Peter King (R-NY).

So they’re already getting the same type of public option that we’d like people who are without insurance to be able to get. And I guess the purpose of this list was to kind of point out some of the hypocrisy of this debate.

Indeed.

The usual response from the folks who are against a public option but take the Medicare is, “Well, I’ve already paid for it, so I’m entitled to it,” a reference to the amount of money taken out of their paychecks as part of the 7.65% Social Security/Medicare deduction. Actually, it doesn’t go into a savings account for them; they’re paying for the people who are already on it, and when they go on Medicare, we’re the ones who will be paying for them.

But Mr. Weiner’s point is well-taken: these people who are so all fired-up against any form of public option can either be true to their convictions and drop their Medicare coverage, or they can shut the hell up and give the rest of us what they’re so happy to have for themselves.

HT to Think Progress.