Matthew Holt

Four grumpy lefties with Laura Flanders

Maggie Mahar, Jon Cohn, Jon Nichols and Olga Pierce hang out with Laura Flanders on the amusingly titled GRITtv and discuss how screwed up the politics of health care are in the Senate. Twenty minutes of amusing chat without a “moderate” or a Rpublican in sight. (Can’t get the video to embed here, so sneak over there).

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  1. Once again Maggie Mahar cites the tired old canard that the “excess” payments to Medicare private plans are spent entirely on frivolous things like gym memberships. In fact, most of the excess payments fund lower deductibles and co-pays. Liberals have been screaming for years (see any issue of the AARP Bulletin published since 1985) that traditional Medicare shifts too many costs to beneficiaries, they ought to at least have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that roughly half of the excess payments to private plans end up in the pockets of the beneficiaries who enroll in those plans. If liberals want to advocate a sensible reform of private plans, they should be calling on Congress to abolish the private fee for service plans while expanding the managed care plans that actually offer the potential to improve the efficiency of the health care system.

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