The Senate Dems are talking about expanding Medicare. Well, expanding Medicare to people over 55. Um, expanding Medicare to some people over 55. Er, expanding Medicare to some people over 55 who can afford to pay the price.
Is this a good idea, or part of a good idea? What and Why?
What is it?
The details are sketchy at this point. The so-called expansion of Medicare is tied to discussions about killing the public option because that insurance company lackey, Senator Joe Lieberman (I, CN), could otherwise kill health care reform demanded by the majority of Americans.
And those right wing nut cases think we lefties are jamming health care reform down their throats?
We turn to the New York Times
The New York Times offered a variety of perspectives on the issue.
A column in Tuesday’s New York Times raises an issue not raised by many who opine on the bailout of the auto industry – the relationship between health care financing and the bailout. David Leonhardt examines the much discussed wage disparity between the unionized autoworkers and their non-union counterparts employed by foreign manufactures in the US like Toyota and Nissan.
Ezra Klein in his blog picks up the same theme. Apparently the Republicans in the US Senate missed their helpful analysis – as did most of the talking heads on the news shows.
They make two relevant points. Most of the disparity between the wages is in legacy cost, and secondly, wages are not the significant cost driver in the cost of an automobile. They both agree that Detroit’s troubles are not related to costs, but to their inability to design and build cars that the American public wants.
Personally, I do not think the car makers deserve all of the criticism they received; a lot, just not all of it. Until a couple of months ago, our family had two American made vehicles in our driveway. Their combined mileage was almost 350,000. Our high priced foreign car cost more per year to repair than the other two combined.