A new plan signals revived interest in public options and even Medicare-for-all. To address healthcare challenges, the Center for American Progress proposes a new system— Medicare Extra that would include important enhancements to the current Medicare program: an out-of-pocket limit, coverage of dental care and hearing aids, and integrated drug benefits. Medicare Extra would be available to all Americans, regardless of income, health status, age, or insurance status. According to reports, the center aims to finance single payer through a “combination of healthcare savings and tax revenue options.
Reports indicate that Democratic leadership did not support the bill, aiming instead to focus on working to preserve the Obama’s Affordable Care Act amid GOP efforts to repeal the law.
The plan’s authors acknowledge that the plan would require significant tax increases.
The proposed bill would fail to pass in a Republican-controlled Congress, reports reveal that center president Neera Tanden said, “there is consensus on the progressive side that universal coverage should be the goal and health care is a right.”
Benefits (Excerpt from CAP)
Medicare Extra would provide comprehensive benefits, including free preventive care, free treatment for chronic disease, and free generic drugs. The plan would guarantee the following benefits:
- Primary and preventive services
- Hospital services, including emergency services
- Ambulatory services
- Prescription drugs and medical devices
- Laboratory services
- Maternity, newborn, and reproductive health care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Habilitative and rehabilitative services
- Dental, vision, and hearing services
- Early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services for children
Over time, these benefits would be updated, just as benefits are updated under Medicare, through its National Coverage Determination (NCD) process.