Biden Plugs ‘A New Health Insurance Option,’ Expanded Medicaid/Medicare

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally in Miramar, Florida on October 13, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in rally in Miramar, Florida on October 13, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Democrat Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats rail against President Trump and Republicans for wanting to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, with its high premiums and co-pays and limited options for millions of Americans.

But even Biden isn’t satisfied with the law as it now stands.

At a campaign stop in Miramar, Florida on Tuesday, Biden urged a larger role for government in Americans’ health insurance coverage, including bigger subsidies and expanded Medicaid/Medicare:

“Together, we’ll build on the Affordable Care Act by adding–by adding a new health insurance option, a not-for-profit option, to give private insurers a real competitor,” Biden said.

“We’ll increase (government) subsidies so premiums are lower cost to get more coverage, lower deductibles, lower out-of-pocket expenses.

“And by the way, anybody, anybody who qualifies for Medicare, but lives in a state like your governor that doesn’t allow for 800,000 people to have it, will automatically be enrolled. It’s wrong.”

Biden meant “anyone who qualifies for Medicaid”; Florida has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But Biden also could have been thinking about Medicare for all, which has always been the goal of Democrats.

According to the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations, Democrats will secure universal health care through a public option, as follows:

Private insurers need real competition to ensure they have incentive to provide affordable, quality coverage to every American. To achieve that objective, we will give all Americans the choice to select a high-quality, affordable public option through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

The public option will provide at least one plan choice without deductibles, will be administered by the traditional Medicare program, not private companies, and will cover all primary care without any co-payments and control costs for other treatments by negotiating prices with doctors and hospitals, just like Medicare does on behalf of older people.

The lowest-income Americans not eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled in the public option at no cost to them, although they may choose to opt out at any time. Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan, even those who currently get insurance through their employers, because Democrats believe working people shouldn’t be locked into expensive or insufficient health care plans when better options are available.

…For the 4.8 million adults who should be eligible for Medicaid, but who live in states where Republican governors have refused to expand the program, Democrats will make the public option available without premiums. And we will enable millions of older workers to choose between their employer-provided plans, the public option, or enrolling in Medicare when they turn 60, instead of having to wait until they are 65.

Democrats will also empower the states, as laboratories of democracy, to use Affordable Care Act innovation waivers to develop locally tailored approaches to health coverage, including by removing barriers to states that seek to experiment with statewide universal health care approaches.

… When the public option becomes law, it will be available on the Affordable Care Act marketplace for all Americans to choose; low-income people not eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled at no cost to them, and may choose to opt out if they wish.

We also know that finally covering every American through the public and private insurance system alone is not enough to guarantee universal access. That is why Democrats support doubling investments in community health centers and rural health clinics, including increased support for dental care, mental health care, and substance use services like medication-assisted treatment…

Also See:
Nancy Pelosi on Obamacare: ‘I Wanted Single Payer’
Conyers: Obamacare Is ‘Platform’ for Creating Single-Payer System

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