So, now that we’ve established that what Max Baucus and his insurance-industry buddies want is not what Teddy Kennedy wanted, the question is: What did Teddy Want?
We’ve already established that, too: Single-payer, or "Medicare for all". But since he couldn’t get that, he compromised by backing the inclusion of a strong public option in whatever legislation came before Congress. HR 3200 has it. So does the Senate HELP Committee bill. But nothing that Big Bucks Baucus backs has a public option of any sort, much less a strong one.
Baucus is trying to fool us all into thinking he and Kennedy never disagreed on anything health-care-related, when in fact Kennedy and Baucus sparred openly this year over the inclusion of a public option in health care reform legislation.
As both David "Kagro X" Waldman and Jane Hamsher point out, naming a bad bill after Teddy is an insult to his memory. It’s better to name the key thing he wanted, the one thing that was non-negotiable to him, after him: The public option. In that spirit, I decided to break out the graphics program and create a little Teddy for Teddy, and call it "Tedicare". I’ve put a basic slogan on Tedicare’s chest, but readers are invited to come up with better ones.
Tedicare for All!