Yes We Should
From a personal perspective, this would be a godsend:
Senate Democrats are discussing the idea of expanding Medicare by lowering the age at which the elderly could enter the government-run insurance program, Democratic sources on the Hill tell the Huffington Post.
The proposal would lower the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 55, though an age limit of 60 has also been suggested. Crucial details -- such as the timing of the implementation of such a reform -- were not provided due to the sensitivity and ongoing nature of the deliberations. A high-ranking Democratic source off the Hill confirmed that such discussions are taking place.
The huge group of baby boomers in my age group (the second wave) are facing an unbelievable squeeze and the latest versions of the public option aren't going to help us much, especially in high cost states, unless we are really doing badly financially. I ran the numbers for myself and the reforms will probably end up costing me more, although my coverage will hopefully be better. Allowing me to buy into Medicare at 55 would be a huge relief.
As a good progressive I'm not basing my support for the public option on my own personal situation. But I do worry about the political ramifications with respect to this huge demographic between 50 and 65 that's likely to have very mixed results in this health care reform just as they are dealing with aging parents, college aged kids, lower pensions, loss of housing equity, insecure employment and deteriorating health. If they are nervous about health care reform it's going to cost the Democrats. The seniors are already falling away.
This would go a long way to alleviating their concerns.
Update: Atrios is exactly right. I amend my statement:
This is a terrible idea that only a centrist, moderate, corporate lackey, right wing teabagging villager could love and I will fight it with my last breath! Betrayal!