Mark Trahant: Grandma and health care reform
"You hear a lot about grandma now that Congress is back to work on health care reform legislation.

“Poor old grandma” is a reason opponents say they will fight health care reform. Grandma will lose services, her Medicare will be less than it is, and some bureaucrat far away will decide when it’s her time to die.

This is not the first time this debate has surfaced. In the 1960s opponents of Medicare used the phrase “poor old grandma” to warn that the legislation would rob elderly of their Social Security or provide insufficient care. They were wrong, of course. Medicare has probably become the most popular government program ever. These days it’s common to speak as if Medicare is the universal coverage for American elderly. (Medicare is for the elderly and disabled, Medicaid is partnership with the states aimed at some people with low-income.)

And that’s mostly true. Mostly. But Indian Country was largely left out of the original Medicare and Medicaid, plan, a problem that was fixed when President Ford signed the 1976 Indian Health Care Improvement Act into law."

Get the Story:
Will ‘Poor old grandma’ redefine this debate? (Mark Trahan 9/8)

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