There is nothing more frustrating then when the answer is starring everyone in the face and no one sees it.
As Obama like to remind everyone Medicare will be in the red inside a decade and not much in the current reform bills will stop that. The "Exchanges" won't be fully operational for years, even then the saving from direct competition between the private companies won't be felt for years after that
The Public option, even if it survives, won't be available for years and even then there will be limited access. And most importantly does nothing to help the people fighting for their lives today.
The easiest way to save Medicare right now is to allow a younger and healthier population, income based premium access to Medicare. Not only is it an easy to understand "Public Option", it offers a relatively quick lifeline to those most in need.
If we look at this issue with the urgency that a single mother with a Cancer diagnosis and no insurance is watching this debate we see a couple things that can be done right now. First Pass legislation that forbids denial and desparate pricing for pre-exisiting condition. Outlaw Annual or lifetime caps on benefits and restrict companies ability to drop coverage.
These things could go into effect tomorrow. Insurance Companies won't like it and it probably will effect their bottom lines, but last time I looked their bottom lines were pretty fat.
The other thing that could be done quick is open access to Medicare. Many on the right point to medicare and point out that Medicare is almost bankrupt. Well DAA! it only covers old and disabled people. Opening Medicare up to everyone is the answer starring us in the face.