One of the most interesting conversations going around today is the talk about rebranding the concept of a Public Option regarding health care reform.
It’s easy to understand why. The term “Public Option”, a worthy phrase when introduced last year, was meant to convey the thought of health care coverage for everyone who doesn’t have it.
Unfortunately, after months and months of unsubstantiated right wing attacks and claims of socialism, tyranny, and so on the phrase has taken on a new, and more disturbing connotation at the hands of the Republican Party, the tea party crowd, and various right wing Obama haters in the Fox media group and elsewhere.
Rather than allowing this to continue, isn’t it time to come up with a new name for health care reform for all?
From The Hill:
House Democrats are looking at re-branding the public health insurance option as Medicare, an established government healthcare program that is better known than the public option.
The strategy could benefit Democrats struggling to bridge the gap between liberals in their party, who want the public option, and centrists, who are worried it would drive private insurers out of business.
While much of the public is foggy on what a public option actually is, people understand Medicare. It also would place the new public option within the rubric of a familiar system rather than something new and unknown.
The idea has bubbled up among House Democrats and leaders in the past week, most prominently in a caucus meeting last Thursday.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) spoke out last week in favor of re-branding the public option as Medicare, startling many because he has loudly proclaimed his opposition to a public option.
Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), the veteran chairman of the House Transportation Committee, also voiced his support, as did House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).
John Schadl, a spokesman for Oberstar, explained the congressman likes the idea because people are familiar with Medicare.
What a great idea! Medicare itself has garnered a reputation as government healthcare at it’s finest…even to the point of Americans forgetting what it actually is. Remember these comments from a town hall protester?
Keep your goddam hands off my Medicare!
It’s not a new issue or idea, but it’s definitely one whose time has come.