During her Senate campaign part of Hagan’s platform called for a Medicare buy-in proposal so that people without insurance between the ages of 55 and 65 could purchase coverage through the popular public program for the elderly.
The proposal has attracted renewed attention as a possible compromise measure to replace the public option. Now it looks like the Senate’s most craven member, Sen. Joe Lieberman, will try to kill the Medicare expansion and the public option — and he may very well succeed.
Here is what Hagan said in her platform:
Allow Individuals Ages 55-64 to Buy Into Medicare. Many Americans are unable to receive health insurance because they do not have access to employer-based insurance and because their chronic conditions make buying private health insurance impossible. Without health insurance, these Americans, who have often worked their entire lives, could suffer from a catastrophic bankruptcy if they develop serious health problems. Further, there is an added strain on the Medicare system when 65 year olds, who were previously uninsured, enter the system because they are less healthy than their previously insured peers. Kay will sponsor legislation that allows Americans ages 55-64 who do not have access to a group or federal health insurance plan to buy into the Medicare system, which will prevent and detect illness and reduce costs when they finally enroll in Medicare at age 65.
I’m sure the Medicare proposal will not be the deciding factor in how Hagan votes. She will likely consider the bill in its entirety, as she should; nevertheless, I hope she is fighting for this important campaign pledge.