Earlier than the pandemic, households had been already fighting the skyrocketing prices of healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Then, the pandemic struck, and it has proven that our healthcare system should be extra resilient and fewer weak to catastrophe; extra equitable and fewer susceptible to racial injustice; and extra inexpensive and fewer financially damaging.
My answer: Cross the Medicare for America Act, a invoice I launched with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Sick.) that might obtain common, inexpensive, high-quality well being protection. Primarily based on Medicare and Medicaid, it expands the advantages and providers lined to incorporate pharmaceuticals, dental, imaginative and prescient, listening to providers, and long-term providers and helps.
Given the tragedy that has ensued at nursing properties across the nation throughout the pandemic, together with in my state of Connecticut, it’s lengthy overdue that we re-imagine, shortly, how we deal with getting older in America. Medicare for America emphasizes home- and community-based providers that might guarantee these with disabilities and older Individuals can reside wholesome lives locally.
Medicare for America is common—when this system begins there could be auto-enrollment at delivery for kids, and people who are at present uninsured or grow to be uninsured could be lined.
Whereas the invoice permits employers to proceed providing high-quality, gold-level protection or greater to their staff, employers might enroll their staff in Medicare for America and simply pay the federal government what they might have remitted to an insurance coverage firm. Or, staff might select Medicare for America over protection being supplied by their employer, no questions requested. Their employer would proceed contributing to the employee’s well being protection.
We’ve put a person on the moon, so absolutely we are able to determine how employers pays the federal government or an insurance coverage firm. Congressional staff have a number of choices for insurance coverage carriers and are proof that employers can do each.
Through the pandemic, healthcare suppliers and employees have been unsung heroes offering take care of Individuals, and our healthcare system ought to acknowledge their value and worth. For a lot of suppliers and employees, scholar mortgage debt imposes monetary difficulties and limitations to their profession targets, and since many healthcare employees are approaching much-deserved retirement, we have to develop the workforce.
To deal with these realities, Medicare for America creates a brand new scholar mortgage forgiveness program for healthcare employees like direct-care employees, psychological well being counselors, licensed marriage and household therapists, doctor assistants, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, docs and nurses. This system will forgive 10% of scholar mortgage debt for every year the supplier or establishment the supplier works for accepts the Medicare for America plan.
We should additionally handle reimbursement charges, and Medicare for America’s charges shall be primarily based on present Medicare and Medicaid charges, whereas proactively growing charges for major care in addition to psychological and behavioral well being and cognitive providers. Moreover, Medicare for America establishes an all-payer rate-setting system to finish the broad variation in costs. Non-public insurers could be allowed to supply plans in compliance with the Medicare for America Act guidelines.
Democrats imagine each single particular person on this nation ought to have high quality, inexpensive well being protection. We simply have a number of totally different concepts on the best way to get there. The identical can’t be stated in regards to the Republicans, who’re actively in search of to remove healthcare from thousands and thousands by uprooting the Inexpensive Care Act, with nary an thought for a substitute. If we might do it once more, we might not select our present system, however we should work with the hand now we have been dealt. That’s the reason Medicare for America takes the prevailing and really imperfect framework and makes the progressive and mandatory modifications to realize our desired finish objective–common, high-quality protection.
The 116th Congress: Policymaking Amid the Pandemic