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'Why the Unnecessary 6?': Medicare for All Advocates Warn Biden That Lowering Age to 60 Solves Nothing

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/09/why-unnecessary-6-medicare-all-advocates-warn-biden-lowering-age-60-solves-nothing

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Me and other CD posters repeatedly admonished Obama to limit his 2010 “healthcare reform” to lowering the Medicare age to 60 rather than pursuing his ACA corporate welfare scheme with 2000 pages of weasel clauses. That approach would have enabled many workers age 60-64 to retire, opening up their jobs for younger workers, and giving workers in that age group who lost their jobs after the 2008 crash affordable medical insurance. Had he done that Obama also would not have lost control of Congress and Trump would not have been elected in 2016.

The number of COVID-19 job losses compared to 2008 will preclude the age 60 plan from being much help in 2020 and beyond. Not to mention that if age 60 is your starting point in the negotiation you are guaranteed to end up with zilch, which is why Biden and his Wall Street bankrollers are eager to propose it. Four decades of the dimcritters demanding an inch and getting nothing keeps confirming that you need to demand a mile to get an inch.


Look at it this way. Using the incrementalist approach as so many DNC supporters claim the only way to get things done , if it took 54 years to knock get the age one could get Medicare to 60 from 65 than all you need to do is wait and in 702 more years you people in the USA will have medicare for all!

In the meantime you can erect a memorial to Joe Biden and put it next to the Jefferson Memorial so as to draw tourists in for the next few hundred years so they can honor the guy who got “Medicare for all” rolling. After all if there a statue in his honor he must have been a great man!


Recall that as LBJ was signing Medicare into law in 1965 he noted that he wanted M4A but had to limit it to 65 plus to get the GOP and dixiecrats to vote for it. Although he also admonished Congress to expand it to all Murkins in the coming years, Congress has been cutting Medicare back and making it more costly for beneficiaries for nearly 55 years.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas was launching single payer medical insurance in a conservative lightly populated province in Canada that didn’t take long to spread across Canada.

The takeaway: Just like Canada, single payer needs to be launched in one of the 50 states so it can spread. Washington DC is too hopelessly corrupt for it to ever originate with the US Congress.


I’m of mixed thoughts on student loan forgiveness. I had large student loans and paid them off. It took seven years of living in near poverty.

At the cost of a college education today, people need to think long and hard about borrowing large sums for education without considering potential return or lack of return on investment. A liberal arts education is wonderful to possess, going a long way toward producing a well rounded well educated individual. But, to borrow $200,000 in order to obtain what, a degree in English, for example, or music, that qualifies one to do what? Teach at a $25,000 starting salary? Borrow another $150K to go to law school? So my taxes should go to pay off those loans? I repaid mine. Now, you want me to repay yours? Choices have consequences. If we taxpayers pay off your student loans, maybe we should require 7 years of some sort of national service – teaching in poverty stricken areas for room, board and minimum wage maybe. There would undoubtedly be opportunities of all kinds available to make use of such a program. You borrowed massive amounts of money for your education. Taxpayers are covering your debt. You owe the taxpayers labor for which you have already been paid if you aren’t paying back your loans. Minimum wage, room and board for seven years. To pay off $200,000 in student loans. That’s a GOOD DEAL.


This is what the stumblebum Biden advisers think is going to boost turnout enough to put their political corpse into power? They seem to be going for the world record in incompetence–set by Clinton’s brainless team in 2016.


These silly arguments start to seem like meaningless convulsions of an expiring corpse – the corpse metaphorically of our Empire, and literally of so many dear ones. Even ones who were all alone, leaving this plane with “hollow, ancient eyes” (So poetically rounded, if terribly heartbreaking, for Prine’s expired genius now to stand for all the ordinary folks he sang about - that he wound up going out with.)

Lowering Medicare eligibility by five years (?!) matches the utter stupidity of EPA’s recent reduction on restrictions for gay blood donors: It used to be you couldn’t donate unless celibate for a year. Supposedly to attract more donors, they reduced the term of celibacy to three months. (As Dave Barry said: I swear I am not making this up. And as he did not say: We’re just rearranging infected sailors on the Titanic.)


“Hey I worked for 25 cents an hour why the heck should people working now get 15 bucks.”

“I went through my entire life scrimping and saving and borrowing money to pay for my health bills and now people want all of this stuff for free on MY taxes”

Now Europe has many Countries where higher education paid for and these programs implemented in places where past Citizens had to borrow and save for their own educations. This is how progress works. Just because YOU went through poverty to pay off your own student loans it does not mean everyone else must. Just because families bankrupted by high costs of health care in the USA it does not mean everyone else must face that same choice.


Rather than tweaking the loan machine, simply fund public colleges like they did a half century ago so students can do like I did getting through four years on my minimum wage job earnings (less than $2 per hour at that time). I always spent more on books than I did on tuition.

“Policies I would expect from Republicans” would be laughable if so many people were not dying from lack of health care. The GOP would never propose ANY Medicare expansion seeing how the GOP’s health care policy for at least half a century has been: What part of DON’T GET SICK don’t you understand ?


I assume you are aware of many state single payer efforts that have occurred. Here is link to some current state groups: ~https://www.healthcare-now.org/legislation/state-single-payer-legislation/.

I don’t know how Canada handled this, but there are some tricky things involving single state efforts. For foreign travel, people know there could be an issue with foreign health care - I’m not sure what current Medicare covers. Some are going to get some form of traveler’s insurance (I never did when I was young, but I was pretty reckless on many things). But nobody is going to be thinking of that going from state to state. Also, we tend not to have much residency requirements for states (for in state tuition, yes - often a waiting period - drives me bonkers). So will a single state get flooded by a bunch of people with crushing expensive health problems? If it was me, I’d sure as hell move to Vermont if they were the only place that had Single Payer and I lost my job and had a major health problem - I could find some cheap place to live and obviously I’m coming out way ahead (quite possibly saving myself from financial ruin).

Then there is all the interaction with existing federal programs - will the feds take the money they were giving to the states for Medicare/Medicaid to administer a single payer system - if not, you are absolutely dead.

I’m not convinced the fight for a single state is any better - I definitely don’t want to give up the fight at the federal level.

As far as lowering to 60 - of course it’s bullshit, incremental reforms and then “evaluate if they work before you go on” are always at issue when most of their potential benefit lies in their very universality (e.g. simplified hospital billing from a single carrier).


If Medicare isn’t fixed first, all of this is moot anyway. In a system where prices continue to explode, an 80-20 policy still makes medical care out of reach for most Americans.


I changed my party affiliation back to independent and sent unsubscribe requests to actblue bull shutters. I dislike Biden from the time he first ran for WH. He’s a ruthless sneaky crooked corporate Democrat and too fucking old to change. He’ll never work for the majority working class Americans.


Indeed what the hell? Why is there a need for extra coverage, not even a dental coverage, what a damn joke. I’d rather die with dignity than to rely falsely on that kind of half ass measure health insurance, ahem, partial insurance. So try not to get part sick, either stay healthy or die. On the on hand your told you have insurance, while the other hand goes into your pocket to steal your wallet. I’m working thru this maze with my mother’s policy to figure out how to help.


Want my support Mr. Biden? How about making the Democrat Party truly democratic. Fair, monitored elections with paper ballots, verified vote counts with exit polling as well as getting rid of the super delegates. So we can be assured that whoever wins actually gets the nomination - not this manipulated highly questionable process that always screws the challenger.


I don’t think the blame deserves to be on Bernie. A better target if you want to blame someone would be all of the voters who opted for Biden instead of Bernie. Or perhaps the blame needs to be placed on the MSM which propagated the notion that Biden was electable (while Bernie was not).

But the blame game gets you nowhere. The right issue is what to do now.


Every single Democratic Establishment politician “is” a Republican that infiltrated the Democratic party some many decades ago.

Don’t be fooled any longer than you have already.


as if he was ever going to push for even that paltry concession.

jesus, this isn’t hard: Joe Biden is from the far right of the Democratic party. If he were a southerner, he’d have been a bloody Dixiecrat.

The rank and file voted for this sack. They can live with that mistake when their cushy middle class lives collapse.


Uncle Joe has promised to support Medicare For All as soon as polling shows more than 75% approval on Wall Street.


Joe Biden: “I support all of the incremental change acceptable to Wall Street!”


Taxpayers don’t pay for programs at the federal level. So, you aren’t paying a damn thing for someone else. When you pay taxes to the state, it is money you owe to the state. The state spending is not linked to taxing or “borrowing” at the federal level like it is at the state level. It is different than state and local governments. And if the argument is that you paid it so why shouldn’t someone else, could that not be use against any progress, ever? Why should we end slavery? I was a slave the last 50 years, why should you get off? Why have single payer? My dad died because he lacked access to healthcare? Why push for the Civil Rights Act? I had to live under the boot of Bull Connor, why not you? If you want to use that logic, why fund primary education? Why logically cut off funding at 12th grade? I don’t buy your line of reasoning, sorry.