Whether to include a new public health insurance option as part of health reform legislation has bedeviled Senate leaders trying to hold on to the 60 votes needed to ultimately pass a bill. The idea of allowing some individuals to voluntarily buy into Medicare before age 65 has emerged as a possible component of a compromise in this area.

While the Medicare buy-in idea is mostly new to the current health reform debate on Capitol Hill, the idea has a pedigree in health policy circles, as Jeff Goldsmith pointed out several weeks ago on this Blog. Goldsmith said the solution to the public option conundrum was “hiding in plain sight” in the form of encouraging early Medicare buy-in. Read his entire post here.