House Democrats unveil Medicare expansion plan: 8 things to know

House Democrats have revealed a Medicare expansion plan that is more moderate than proposed "Medicare for All" legislation, according to The Hill.

Eight things to know:

1. U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., reintroduced the Medicare for America Act on May 1.

2. Medicare for America expands Medicare and Medicaid's covered benefits and services to include prescription drugs, dental, vision, and hearing services, along with long-term supports and services for seniors and disabled Americans, according to a news release from Ms. DeLauro's office.

3. The proposed Medicare expansion plan is different from Medicare for All in that it would not replace private coverage with a single government-sponsored insurance option, according to The Hill. Rather, Medicare for America would preserve employer-sponsored insurance for those who like their plans. People with employer-sponsored insurance would have the option to enroll in an expanded Medicare plan.

4. Uninsured Americans or those without employer-sponsored insurance — including people now in the ACA's individual market — would be auto-enrolled into Medicare for America. Those currently on Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Plan also would be auto-enrolled.

5. People under Medicare for America would not have out-of-pocket costs for preventive and chronic disease services, according to the release from Ms. DeLauro's office. This includes pediatric, maternity and emergency services.

6. Medicare for America would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.

7. Under Medicare for America plans, there would be no deductibles, but there would be some income-based premiums, according to The Hill. The legislation caps individual and household premiums at 8 percent of monthly income. Individuals or families with the lowest incomes would receive subsidies.

8. Ms. DeLauro and Ms. Schakowsky initially introduced the Medicare for America Act in 2018. The original version reportedly had no co-sponsors, but the reintroduced version has 16 total co-sponsors.

Read a full summary of the bill here.


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