Former Congressman Anthony Weiner will forever be remembered as the Twitter Twit who didn't understand that when you go to someone's profile and Twitter invites you to "Tweet to @name" you are being invited to send a tweet which begins with @name to your entire stream (in his case including an obsessive looking for evidence that he was screwing around) and not direct messaging @name.
But that was nothing compared to the error which I made too (OK I've made the Tweet to error too but not showing my tighty whities. ). He wrote that Medicare buy in (people age 55-64 can get Medicare if they pay the full expected cost of insuring them) was better than the public option somewhere where Joe Lieberman could read it. He too is not on Atrios's e-mail list (Duncan Black specifically and 100% seriously warned all his blogger friends to not absolutely no way write anything good about buy in where Lieberman might read it). Now I don't feel personally responsible for Lieberman single handedly blocking the reform, since I am sure that he (like the crazy guy who screen captured the photo of Weiner's Weiner) doesn't read this blog.
Now it was probably inevitable that Lieberman would hear that lefties actually prefer Medicare buy in to the public option, but Weiner being a very loud very partisan very un Lieberman was the worst possible messenger.
I just learn that Steve Benen, like Duncan Black knew that there was a huge risk in letting Lieberman know that we support something, since then he will automatically oppose it and just think this years best Chirstmas present will be the adjournment of the last Congress with Lieberman.
But my point is ooops I did it again. The current debate on the fiscal cliff includes the Republican proposal to raise the Medicare age. This is an impressive proposal as it is the worst proposed policy reform since AIDS to families with dependent children (I think I won't type the name of the guy who thought that was a funny joke). There is no doubt that Republicans insist on this mainly because they know that Obama hates the idea.
But I can't help thinking of a counter proposal to raise the age to get Medicare plan A plus plan B for a premium which covers 25% of the cost to 67 year but allow people 65 nd 66 to buy in to Medicare paying full average cost plus 1% to be saved in the Plan A trust fund. If Republicans really cared about the deficit (and chickens had lips) they would prefer this, since by construction it lowers the deficit. If they really wanted to strengthen Medicare (and pigs fly) they would prefer this because it improves the Plan A actuarial balance. They will have trouble explaning why they are against this proposal.
The idea is that if it passes, the line can't be held at 65. Why not make even more money for the plan A trust fund by selling Medicare to 64 year olds or even 63 year olds and .. Single payer !
Proposing switching from just giving (with 25% of cost premiums for plan B) to selling for a profit to 65 and 66 year olds is terrible politics. The proposal will be Liebermaned and will outrage the elderly. Here I'm sure the best proposal is keep things as they are and see if the PPACA reforms save Medicare. No benefit cuts. No concessions. This is the hill on which Democrats should make their stand -- the Republicans will die trying to storm it.
But the idea of trying to sneak buy in back in is irresistible to me. Good thing almost no one reads this blog.
I have been angry with Brother Krugman more than once for not understanding this Lucas-critique type problem. I hold that his vocal support scared the crappy conservadems away from more than one good idea in 2009 and 2010.