Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Medicare for those 55

Nothing is quicker to lead you to form an opinion about an issue than a proposal that affects you personally. That’s what happened with me yesterday on the issue of health care reform when the idea of allowing 55 to 64 year olds to buy into Medicare was suggested. (see here and a whole bunch of other places in the news: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/12/compromise_on_public_option_co.html).
As somebody who falls into that age group, this strikes me as a good idea. Central Dallas CDC is a small business, and although we’ve been able to offer health insurance to employees because of our relationship with Central Dallas Ministries, we couldn’t offer it on our own. I couldn’t buy individual health insurance at any reasonable cost because of my age and because I need a knee replacement.

So, in short, I’m really trapped where I am because of health insurance. That doesn’t cause me any problem because I like where I am at, but it seems to me a very bad idea to prevent people in their fifties and sixties from starting new businesses or leaving to work at another small business. It’s just those small enterprises that could often find a lot of value in an experienced employee.

The current rules also prevent me from making Central Dallas CDC fully independent of CDM. Again, not a big issue, but it is one of our ultimate goals. At some point both of these organizations will have new leadership and that leadership may want to pursue independent paths.

In any event, this is a very personal take on the idea of allowing 55 to 64 year olds to buy into Medicare. It would be good for me and good for Central Dallas CDC. I don’t know enough to know whether it would be good for the country and I’m way too pragmatic to worry about whether everyone should have the equivalent of Medicare or whether nobody should. It’s good for me and mine, and that’s all I know.

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