In the latest attempt to repair the U.S. health care system, a Democratic congressman has unveiled the Medicare Buy-in and Health Care Stabilization Act, which would let Americans older than 50 buy into Medicare.
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) will formally introduce the bill in the fall. To date, the measure has 14 Democrat co-sponsors, the Buffalo News reported. The Health Care Stabilization Act would allow anyone between 50 and 64 years of age to purchase Medicare coverage on Affordable Care Act health exchanges.
“This bill would mean an immediate cost reduction for health care for people aged 50 to 64,” Higgins told the Buffalo News. “They would immediately save 40 percent from the premiums they are paying now.”
Monday on radio, Glenn shared additional thoughts on this type of government intervention.
“It doesn’t matter what’s in it. It’s going to stabilize the health insurance industry so we can make sure we have a stable [industry],” Glenn joked.
Essentially, the measure would throw more money at Obamacare, until its health care exchanges break down in again a couple of years, forcing the “stabilization” of a singer-payer system.
“We’re just a few years away from being on this show begging them to go back to Obamacare,” Co-host Stu Burguiere said.
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: Really interesting plot being — or course being plotted right now by the president and the White House. He has now come out against the establishment of the G.O.P. So first he came against the conservatives and the Freedom Caucus. So those who were really strong on the Constitution and the free market. And he put all of his eggs into the Reince Priebus, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan bag. Which we knew to be a rotten bag from the beginning.
But trust the president. That’s where he went. Now he’s taking on the entire G.O.P. Where is he going? Who is he — what constituency will he have?
The Democrats, I think when they have power and they start to pass things and put it on his desk, he will sign them. So if they want to come up with some, you know, thing that’s, you know, even more socialist on health care, I believe he will sign it. Because he will look at that as bipartisan wins. And so you will have, if effect, a Republican president siding with a Democratic Congress. Because the G.O.P. has destroyed itself. He didn’t. They did. They destroyed it. And now he’s just going to stand there and make sure that they stay in the grave. And part of me celebrates.
It is — it is time for a new party. It is time for a new direction. It’s time for new leadership. However they want to do it, that’s fine with me.
But I don’t believe in the party, at all. I don’t believe in the Democratic Party. I don’t believe in the Republican Party.
STU: That was kind of the case of a story I read this weekend, basically saying that now because he’s excised all of the establishment people from his cabinet, basically, that he is essentially an independent. Now, it’s not exactly true. But it is an interesting theory in that he no longer has any back — real back channels to Congress to help form policies. He is not tied into that. And that was what Spicer and Priebus and many others below him that have come and gone kind of allowed for.
GLENN: It didn’t really help, did it?
STU: Oh, I’m not saying it did. I’m just saying it’s going to be interesting to see where he goes now. Because, really, the only person left in the cabinet that has a real connection to the Republican Congress is Mike Pence. Really, there’s no one there at this point with that sort of tight connection to influence policy. But, I mean, that doesn’t — again, that’s not really the concern, I don’t think, of the president. I think the president wants to move things along. He wants to collect his wins. And he’s right now frustrated he’s not getting those. So he wants to go in a different direction. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can pull that off.
Honestly, from the Republican Congress, what I would like is for them to work as an independent body.
GLENN: Me too.
STU: I don’t know. A coequal branch of government. Let’s throw out a crazy theory. You know, and have them pass things that they believe are good, that they believe will advance the conservative cause that will limit government. And give them to the president. You know what, he’s going to sign all of them. He’s going to sign all of them. He’s not going to care. He’s not going to push back against it. He will sign all of them. He is a legislative hall pass. That is an incredible thing to get from a president. You wouldn’t have had that from President Cruz or President Jeb Bush or president anybody.
GLENN: But you don’t have — what you have is very small men. You have Mitch McConnell, who is not going to give up his power. And he is going after people like Mo Brooks now. He is — I mean, they are spending a fortune going after anyone who was with the Freedom Caucus. So the G.O.P., under Mitch McConnell, targeting his own now. You have the G.O.P., the coffers are full.
They are taking in money hand over fist. So he’s doing his job. He’s — he’s making the G.O.P. money. And we’ll see, in the midterms if they win elections.
Only after they lose elections will they think that maybe they should change leadership.
STU: But, I mean, if this is a disaster and it continues this way, they don’t get tax reform done, by the way, you know, if something like that goes along. You’re going to go into 2018 with no accomplishments. They’ll likely lose control of one or both in Congress, and then the temptation will be there.
GLENN: Yeah. They will lose control of Congress possibly for the next 20 years. I mean, you can’t do what they just did to their base and expect anybody to vote or trust you again. And, you know, they think, well, you know, just — we’re just better than the other guys. Yeah, but that doesn’t — that doesn’t do anything, but just make people say, “I don’t want a part of either of you.”
STU: I don’t know. It does seem to be a pretty good tactic. It does seem to pay off in elections. I don’t know if it can pay off forever. I don’t think it’s a good way to build a party or to build —
GLENN: It’s going to work for Donald Trump for a while. It’s going to work for him.
STU: But, I mean, remember, the G.O.P. congressmen, in 90 percent of districts outperformed Donald Trump. Ninety percent. This is not a huge — it’s not like Donald Trump won where all Republicans lost. I mean, he underperformed the — the generic G.O.P. congressmen very consistently. The issue here though is they need to do something to justify that —
GLENN: There are two things less popular than Donald Trump. And that is Congress and the media. He looks like the only guy. If he starts pummeling Congress, in particular, the Republicans, he’ll become popular.
STU: And he’s — I mean, he’s starting to do that —
PAT: Yeah, he’s doing that.
STU: I mean, he — and, you know what, he’s right on this. I really do blame Congress for this, particularly the health care situation. It’s absurd.
PAT: Oh, yeah. This is Congress’ fault. They completely blew it.
STU: Because they started with a crap heap of a plan that they couldn’t pass.
STU: Then they changed it a little bit and got it through the House. Then they went through the Senate with a worse plan that they couldn’t pass. Then they went to the Senate with a plan that they all voted for before, and then all — nine of them changed their — or, seven of them changed their minds and voted against the thing they already voted for.
GLENN: And then what they failed to pass in the end was, let’s have another conversation in private about this.
STU: Uh-huh. They couldn’t even do that.
GLENN: They couldn’t even pass that. They couldn’t even agree to talk about this. That’s how bad they are.
STU: And the risk was, he worried that they would get rid of the individual mandate. Like, the consequence essentially — because the Senate was like, look, we’re not going to — unless you promise we’re going to go into conference, we’re not going to pass this bill because this bill was a bad bill. We’re not going to pass this bill.
The bill essentially just got rid of the individual mandate. It did almost nothing else, except for a couple of delays of a couple of different taxes and regulations. It did almost nothing else, except get rid of the individual mandate.
PAT: It didn’t even get rid of the taxes. It just delayed them. So bad.
STU: Right. Even that, they couldn’t come to say — well, God forbid, the worst part of Obamacare they couldn’t come to a conclusion that they should get rid of it.
GLENN: So let me tell you something that I think has a real chance of passing. The moderates, the left and the right are coming together now, and they’re going to pass something. And they’re working on something called — think of this. What is the problem with the world today? It’s in chaos. You don’t know what’s up and down. You don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. You’re — you’re worried because the whole thing could collapse or blow up. They’ve just come up with the Health Care Stabilization Act. Doesn’t that sound good?
STU: Hmm. This is our insurance bailouts.
GLENN: This is our stabilization act, Stu. It doesn’t matter —
STU: So it’s insurance —
GLENN: No, it doesn’t matter what’s in it. It’s going to stabilize the health insurance industry.
GLENN: So we can make sure that we have a stable —
PAT: Are you opposed to stabilization of health care?
GLENN: To stabilization. You’re certainly not a patriot.
PAT: Wow. Wow. Why do you hate people?
STU: In this form, I am —
PAT: Why do you hate people?
GLENN: Why do you hate people and want them to die?
STU: So is that what they’re going to do? You think they’re going to go to that —
PAT: I’ll bet they do.
STU: Throw a bunch of money at the problem. Basically, fix Obama Obamacare.
GLENN: Yeah, they’re going to go for a stabilization act.
STU: And when I say fix Obamacare, I mean dump a bunch of money until it’s broken again in a couple of years.
GLENN: Yes. But it will stabilize it because we just can’t get it done. And, look, a lot of people really like this and are benefiting. So let’s just dump more money into it. And let more time go by so it has its — its fingers and its roots deeper, wrapped around our —
STU: We’re just a few years away from being on this show, begging for them to go back to Obamacare. We will be on the air being like, “Gosh, if we could just get off this single-payer and go back to Obamacare, which was really good.” That is how close — they’re going to move this Overton window until we can’t even see it from where we are right now.