House, Senate Introduce Medicare-for-All Legislation
February 2019 ~
House and Senate representatives have introduced legislation that, if passed, would allow individuals between 50 and 65 years old to buy into Medicare using the same tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies available on the Affordable Care Act Exchanges (ACA). Premiums from the new enrollees would go into a buy-in fund, separate from traditional Medicare, which the bill’s sponsors say will allow the plan “pay for itself” with the additional funds collected.
The Medicare at 50 Act seeks to expand Medicare to a younger population than is currently eligible and would allow enrollees to purchase coverage on the Marketplace using ACA tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies, with premiums calculated to prevent financial risk to the existing Medicare program.
The State Public Option Act would extend ACA premium and cost-sharing subsidies to buy-in and public option plans developed by individual states, provide federal match funding for state costs for administering the program, as well as increased primary care provider payments in the Medicaid program nationwide.
Supporters of Medicare-for-All suggest the bills have significant potential to lower costs and that younger consumers on the exchanges could see their premiums go down if the 50 to 65 year old demographic are removed from the risk pool.