Let People Buy Into Medicare Until New Plan Ready

I was part of a group who had lunch with former Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis a couple of days ago. At one point he offered what I think is a great idea. He said that the country should let people buy into Medicare at cost today, while health care reform is worked out.
I’ve been thinking about the benefits of this idea. Medicare doesn’t have to pay any CEOs hundreds of millions a year, or give million-dollar bonuses to management. Its overhead is microscopic compared to the overhead of private insurance companies, so their costs are much lower.
* Companies that provide employees with insurance could immediately lower their costs dramatically. Just transfer all the employees over the the Medicare buy-in plan instead of the expensive private insurance company plans they now buy.
* Individuals who now buy their own insurance could immediately reduce their own costs.
* Some people who cannot afford health insurance today could afford to buy into Medicare.
* Every doctor’s office already handles Medicare claims, so this would greatly reduce the current overhead costs of doctor’s offices.
* This would bolster the Medicare program.
* People would get better health care because Medicare doesn’t deny treatments to increase their own profits.
* People would actually be insured because Medicare doesn’t look for reasons to cut off coverage when people get sick, like private insurance companies do.

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