Friday, March 26, 2010

Support Rep. Alan Grayson and HR 4789

Representative Alan Grayson may prove to be my next political hero, a role and an honor not frequently filled. He is the author of H. R. 4789 and presented it this way (in case you are stubbornly refusing to watch the YouTube video above!) back on 12 March:

This simple four-page bill lets any American buy into Medicare at cost. You want it, you pay for it, you're in. It adds nothing to the deficit; you pay what it costs.

Let's face it. Health insurance companies charge as much money as possible, and they provide as little care as possible. The difference is called profit. You can't blame them for it; that's what a corporation does. Birds got to fly, fish got to swim, health insurers got to rip you off. And if you get really expensive, they've got to pull the plug on you. So for those of us who would like to stay alive, we need a public option.

In many areas of the country, one or two insurers have over 80% of the market. They can charge anything they want. And when you get sick, they can flip the bird at you. So we need a public option.

And they face no real competition because it costs billions of dollars just to set up a national health care network. In fact, the only one that's nationwide is . . . Medicare. And we limit that to one-eight of the population. It's like saying that only seniors can drive on federal highways. We really need a public option.

And to the right-wing loons who call it socialism, we say, "if you want to be a slave to the insurance companies, that's fine. If you want 30% of your premiums to go to 'administrative costs' and billion-dollar bonuses for insurance CEOs who figure out new and creative ways to deny you the care you need to stay healthy and alive, that's fine. But don't you try to dictate to me that I can't have a public option!"

And there is a way left to get it. By insisting on a vote on H.R. 4789. Three votes on health care, not two. The Senate bill, the reconciliation amendments, and the Public Option Act.

We got 50 co-sponsors for this bill in two days. Including five powerful committee chairman. But we need more.

Sign our Petition at

Call. Write. Visit. Do whatever you can do to get you Congressman to co-sponsor this bill, and push it to a vote. Right now, before it's too late.

Let's do it!

Here is the complete text of the full bill:

HR 4789 IH


2d Session

H. R. 4789

To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for an option for any citizen or permanent resident of the United States to buy into Medicare.


March 9, 2010

Mr. GRAYSON (for himself, Mr. FILNER, Mr. POLIS of Colorado, Ms. PINGREE of Maine, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. KUCINICH, Ms. EDWARDS of Maryland, Ms. WATSON, and Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means



To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for an option for any citizen or permanent resident of the United States to buy into Medicare.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ‘Public Option Act’ or the ‘Medicare You Can Buy Into Act’.

(a) In General- Part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act is amended--

(1) in section 1818(a), by striking ‘or 1818A’ and inserting ‘, 1818A, or 1818B’; and

(2) by inserting after section 1818A the following new section:


‘(a) In General- (a) Every individual who--

‘(1) is a resident of the United States;

‘(2) is either (A) a citizen or national of the United States, or (B) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence; and

‘(3) is not otherwise entitled to benefits under this part or eligible to enroll under this part;

shall be eligible to enroll in the insurance program established by this part. An individual may enroll under this section only in such manner and form as may be prescribed in regulations, and only during an enrollment period prescribed in or under this section.

‘(b) Enrollment; Coverage- The Secretary shall establish enrollment periods and coverage under this section consistent with the principles for establishment of enrollment periods and coverage for individuals under section 1818, except that no entitlement to benefits under this part shall be effective before the first day of the first calendar year beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

‘(c) Premiums-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- The provisions of subsections (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of section 1818 insofar as they apply to premiums (including collection of premiums) shall apply to premiums and collection of premiums under this section, except that--

‘(A) paragraphs (4) and (5) of section 1818 shall not be applicable; and

‘(B) the estimate of the monthly actuarial rate under section 1818(d) shall be computed and applied under this paragraph based upon costs incurred for individuals within each age cohort specified in paragraph (2) rather than for all individuals age 65 and older.

‘(2) AGE COHORTS- The age cohorts specified in this paragraph are as follows:

‘(A) Individuals under 19 years of age.

‘(B) Individuals at least 19 years of age but not more than 25 years of age.

‘(C) Individuals at least 26 years of age and not more than 35 years of age.

‘(D) Individuals at least 36 years of age and not more than 45 years of age.

‘(E) Individuals at least 46 years of age and not more than 55 years of age.

‘(F) Individuals at least 56 years of age and not more than 64 years of age.‘(d) Treatment- An individual enrolled under this part pursuant to this section shall not be treated as enrolled under this part (or any other part of this title) for purposes of obtaining medical assistance for medicare cost-sharing or otherwise under title XIX.’.

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