May 28, 2023

US Senator Patty Murray (R), Democrat of Washington, speaks with US Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington about the 100 days in office of US President Donald Donald Trump and his health policy. DC, April 26, 2017.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Two key Democrats plan to draft a bill to create an option for public health care. They hope this move will expand insurance coverage and reduce costs.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Patty Murray, D-Wash., And the chair of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, Frank Pallone, DN.J. Quality and Affordable Health Insurance in the United States. “

Legislators overseeing health policy looked, among other things, for feedback on who should be eligible for plans, what benefits they should offer, and what role states should play in managing them.

Murray and Pallone set about drafting an insurance bill as President Joe Biden excludes a public option from his economic recovery proposals. Biden ran for president to help create a Medicare-like plan that many Americans could participate in, but for now has chosen to improve access to plans offered under the Affordable Care Act.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on the Murray Pallone Plan.

Some Democrats have urged the president to include a public option or lower the Medicare Eligibility Age as part of his American family plan. Democrats would likely have to pass the proposal, Part Two of Biden’s Restoration Agenda, without Republican votes, using special budget rules.

The GOP fought against the expansion of state insurance. If Democrats choose a public option, they could face additional opposition from the healthcare industry – or within their own party, depending on how the bill is structured.

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About two-thirds of voters, or 68%, are in favor of a public option, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation in March. The proportion includes 56% of Republicans.

How best to grow health insurance emerged as a key issue in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, even before the coronavirus pandemic caused millions of Americans to lose their employer-sponsored insurance.

Biden’s plan to create a public option was different from the Medicare for All payer system offered by its leading challenger for the nomination, independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Biden has taken steps to regulate health insurance and costs since he took office. Its administration opened a special registration deadline for Obamacare insurance plans, which has signed up to at least 1 million people.

The Biden coronavirus aid package, which came into effect in March, included an increase in subsidies for people buying insurance in the ACA market. The American Families Plan calls for $ 200 billion to be invested in the permanent implementation of these measures.

However, Biden did not move as president to introduce a public option. Murray and Pallone said in their letter that despite the efforts of the White House, too many Americans did not have access to news coverage.

“While the Biden Administration has taken a number of steps to expand coverage, including opening a special enrollment period that allowed over a million people to sign up for coverage on the Federal Marketplace alone, tens of millions of Americans still remain uninsured or underinsured. ” the legislature wrote.

Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., And Tim Kaine, D-Va., Wanted Biden to include their Medicare public option plan on a budget settlement this year.

Senators, including Sanders, urged Biden, as part of his recovery plans, to lower the Medicare Eligible Age from the current 65 to 55 or 60. They said he could fund the expansion of coverage by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices directly with drug companies.

Biden did not include the negotiation proposal in his family plan. During his first joint address to Congress, he urged lawmakers to pass laws that allow direct negotiations.

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