Dear President Obama: A Modest Medicare Proposal


B3: Thom Hartman, on his Air America radio talk show, summed up his health care proposal in one line: From birth to death, everyone in the U.S. should be covered by Medicare. It's the best one line proposal I've heard to date.
Below is his longer version about Medicare in the form of an open letter to President Obama.

For more from Thom Hartmann, visit

Dear President Obama,

I understand you’re thinking of dumping your “public option” because of all the demagoguery by Sarah Palin and Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich and their crowd on right-wing radio and Fox. Fine. Good idea, in fact.

Instead, let’s make it simple. Please let us buy into Medicare.

It would be so easy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with this so-called “public option” that’s a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won’t – just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy you’re so comfortable with.

Just pass a simple bill – it could probably be just a few lines, like when Medicare was expanded to include disabled people – that says that any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it.

So it’s revenue neutral!

To make it available to people of low income, raise the rates slightly for all currently non-eligible people (like me - under 65) to cover the cost of below-200%-of-poverty people. Revenue neutral again.

Most of us will do damn near anything to get out from under the thumbs of the multi-millionaire CEOs who are running our current insurance programs. Sign me up!

This lets you blow up all the rumors about death panels and grandma and everything else: everybody knows what Medicare is. Those who scorn it can go with Blue Cross. Those who like it can buy into it. Simplicity itself.

Of course, we’d like a few fixes, like letting Medicare negotiate drug prices and filling some of the holes Republicans and AARP and the big insurance lobbyists have drilled into Medicare so people have to buy “supplemental” insurance, but that can wait for the second round. Let’s get this done first.

Simple stuff. Medicare for anybody who wants it. Private health insurance for those who don’t. Easy message. Even Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley can understand it. Sarah Palin can buy into it, or ignore it. No death panels, no granny plugs, nothing. Just a few sentences.

Replace the “you must be disabled or 65” with “here’s what it’ll cost if you want to buy in, and here’s the sliding scale of subsidies we’ll give you if you’re poor, paid for by everybody else who’s buying in.” (You could roll back the Reagan tax cuts and make it all free, but that’s another rant.)

We elected you because we expected you to have the courage of your convictions. Here’s how. Not the “single payer Medicare for all” that many of us would prefer, but a simple, “Medicare for anybody who wants to buy in.”


Thom Hartmann


Jason Grant Garza here ... I WOULD NOT buy into medicare or any other government run health care system since they are unaccountable and inhumane to their "enrollees." What do I mean by this ... I had the GOLD CARD - MEDICARE when SF General broke the law against me. I now have a signed confession through the Office of Inspector General (Donald White 202-619-0088) and yet NO HELP,RESTITUTION, CONTRITION, etc from Medicare regarding their lack of duty towards me when I told them the hospital had broken the law. Medicare told me I was wrong and NOT TO BOTHER THEM ... now, even after vindication by the Inspector General ... Medicare still will NOT explain NOR will the Inspector General do an investigation as to how this agency which is responsible for complaince could fail; however, without an investigation the failure is never acknowledged and correction never made. Type my name into a google search engine and read how the city and government screwed me and what my response has been after vindication ... or better yet thru the last eight (8) years seeking JUSTICE, REMEDY and RESTITUTION ... read the article then feel free to call and use my name and inquire:
1. SF Supervisors (any) (Clerk - 415-554-5184) or Bevan Dufty (415-554-6968)
Gavin Newsom (Mayor) 415-554-6141
Gene O’Connell (SF General Hospital Adm) 415-206-8000
Dr. Mitchell Katz (Director of Public Health - doctor at time - another story) 415-554-2500
Ben Rosenfield (SF Controller - Whistleblower Complaint) 415-554-7500
or maybe the BIG LEAGUE players:
Nancy Peolsi - 415-556-4862
Donald White (Office of Inspector General) 202-619-0088
or better yet the Inspector General at the time (Donald Levinson 202-619-3148) that STILL HAS NOT RESPONDED TO MY INQUIRY OVER MEDICARE FAILURE ... WHY???
or SF Medicare Regional Office (Steve Chickering) that won’t take my calls: 415-744-3501
Call and see why HOPE DIED ...
Ah, the audacity of FALSE HOPE dispensed by FALSE LEADERS promising FALSE FIXES never ACKNOWLEDGING FALSE PROCEDURAL SETUP and NEVER BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE in order to perpetuate the lie ... LOOK OVER HERE but NOT HERE.
So can anyone out there show me how to setup a DEFENSE (Health and Legal) Fund since I don't have MEDICARE (since I dropped their nonperforming, negligent, bad faith policy) and how NOW MEDICARE or the PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF SAN FRANCISCO would LOVE for me to come back as LONG AS NO QUESTIONS ASKED and NO JUSTICE DISPENSED? I mean even as the VINDICATED VICTIM, I don't trust MEDICARE or San Francisco Officials... read my story would you ... they don't even have contrition to their VICTIM and I'm suppose to TRUST that they are looking out for my best interests (were they asleep at the switch when I told the TRUTH ... by the way, what else could I do if the TRUTH wasn't good enough along with the proof - ask yourself, why a signed confession now ... didn't they know during the testilying in court to have my case thrown out even as I was pointing it out?) My case abundantly proves as a fact otherwise ... would they care to PROVIDE FREE LEGAL COUNSEL upon my request in case they break the law again and have NO CONTRITION as in NOW??? You bet your sweet bippy they are NOT! I don't think that it is unreasonable to ask the WOLF (MEDICARE, Government and City (SF) Agencies) for a GUN (Paid Lawyer) considering NOT ONLY have they shown their teeth; but rather than fix just continue to perpetuate the deliberate false lie (correct, self monitoring, self fixing system) that they setup knowing full well it failures and lack of procedure to correct failure. So as you can tell ... IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN and now after paying into a system ... THAT WAS NOT there for me ... no fault of mine ... just the UNACCOUNTABLE people who think I will stoop their level ... selling my soul. And of coarse Medicare doesn't care ... it was negligent and I have the proof ... where are those in government to protect me? And if they won't do something (an complete total investigation listing fault and findings) regarding my case with me and the proof ... WHAT HOPE DO YOU HAVE WHEN THEY SCREW YOU?
This is the typical operating proceduare for government and city workers ... as my case proves ... they will say ANYTHING and after being BUSTED DON'T HAVE THE HUMANITY ... but can certaintly respin the facts, say they care, know what they are doing, are correct and when as NOW in my case all the meaningless words fall aside since the words are just that ... look at my case and I won and can't get an investigation going because it would reveal all since I have kept every piece of paperwork to fully and totally illustrate the farce. So who's following GOD's will? Certainly NOT the officials such as in my case that took an oath to GOD "to do no HARM." Well at least they were the professionals and still have their jobs to "LOOK OUT ??? " for others ... RUN, BE VERY AFRAID ... YOU'RE NEXT in this ruse of PUBLIC SAFETY verse PUBLIC HEALTH ... I mean we have to protect the rich and those that got us here instead of prosecuting or providing public health or mandated (legally required) health care ... just look at my case or ask the California State Prisoners ... ha, ha, ha. PLEASE CALL ANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS LISTED ABOVE ... my case fully illustrates the way ... and let's NOT forget ... I am NOT going away and as the victor I will write the HISTORY and continue to tell the TRUTH. Where's the shame or outrage ???

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Aug. 18, 2009 @ 3:52 pm