October 5, 2023

United States President Joe Biden speaks about updated CDC guidelines on masks for people fully vaccinated during an event held outside the White House on April 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s new plan to strengthen the social safety net would not expand Medicare coverage, an omission that could anger dozens of Democratic lawmakers who urged him to expand the program to more Americans.

The White House on Wednesday unveiled the $ 1.8 trillion plan for American families, the second part of the president’s $ 4 trillion stimulus plan. It calls for paid holidays and free preschool to be expanded, childcare and higher education to be made more affordable, and family tax credits passed under this year’s coronavirus law to be extended.

The plan does not include Biden’s commitments to create a public health insurance option and lower the Medicare Eligible Age to 60 years. It plans to invest $ 200 billion in permanent premium cost reductions for people who buy insurance in the individual market. The guideline was adopted as part of the pandemic aid.

Dozen of Biden’s party lawmakers have urged him to lower the Medicare Eligibility Age as part of the proposal, saying the move would expand coverage to millions more Americans. They also asked him to allow Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies to cut costs. The new package did not make the determination.

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Seventeen senators wrote to Biden on Sunday asking him to include both guidelines in the family plan. More than 80 House Democrats sent a similar letter to the president on Monday.

Biden plans to outline the restoration proposal ahead of a joint session of the democratically held Congress on Wednesday evening.

When asked Tuesday why the government hasn’t called to lower the Medicare eligibility age or allow direct negotiation of drug prices as part of the plan, a senior administrator pointed out funding to lower the cost of premiums. The policy is “one of the most powerful investments we can make” to bring down prices and expand coverage, said the official, who refused to be named.

“The president was very, very clear that he remained fully committed to negotiating the price of prescription drugs. You will hear him as a top priority and something he thinks is urgent,” he said Officer.

It is now unclear whether the exclusion of health policy will jeopardize Biden’s passage in Congress. With Republicans opposed to both major social security expansion and tax hikes, Democrats may have to approve the proposal themselves through a budget vote.

Health insurance emerged as the top priority in Democratic elementary school last year – even before millions of people lost their private insurance during an economic slump and deadly pandemic. A wing of White House hopefuls, led by Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Called for a deposit system that covers all Americans.

Biden chose to expand gradually, advocating a public option, and then a Medicare eligible age of 60. Despite the intense focus on insurance during the campaign and a health crisis that uncovered loopholes in the current system, the White House has not yet proposed these health plans.

The government has taken steps to protect people during the pandemic. Along with the subsidy increases passed earlier this year, the federal government opened a special registration deadline for Obamacare so that Americans can buy plans.

The Democrats in Congress, who support Medicare’s expansion, have called it a direct tool to both increase insurance coverage and reduce health inequalities. The agents and senators who wrote to Biden suggested an estimate that lowering the eligible age to 60 would allow 23 million more people to qualify for Medicare.

Lowering the threshold to 55 would call 42 million more people into question for the program, lawmakers wrote.

Proponents of direct Medicare price negotiations with drug companies say the change would not only lower costs for consumers, but also free up money for the federal government to pay for their coverage.

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