Tags: Health Topics | Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | tim kaine | michael bennet | medicare option | medicare-x legislation

Kaine, Bennet Seek Public 'Medicare-X' Healthcare Option

(MSNBC's "Morning Joe"/YouTube)

By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2017 02:59 PM

Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said Thursday they are calling for a public healthcare option to be made available as part of the Affordable Care Act to allow people more choice with their coverage as market competition declines.

"Tim and I both heard from our constituents, especially in rural Colorado and rural Virginia, that it's just unreasonable to force people to buy insurance when there is no competition," Bennett, of Colorado, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"The price is high, the deductible is high, and the people want to have an option. That's what this very strong public option Medicare-X is all about."

The public option would, if approved, essentially extend Medicare benefits to Americans regardless of age, giving individuals and families another option for high-quality, low-cost healthcare benefits.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., have been working on a bipartisan plan that stabilizes the insurance market, but Kaine said Thursday there has been "great inconsistency" concerning President Donald Trump, who reversed his decision to back the measure Wednesday.

"Michael [Bennet] has been part of this deal-making effort," Kaine said of his partner on the Medicare-X legislation. "We all have been, when the skinny repeal vote failed in July, that effort to take insurance away from 20 million people, we started to work on a bipartisan proposal to stabilize the individual insurance market."

Lawmakers owe it to the American public, Kaine explained, to show them that after "seven years that we can do something in healthcare in a bipartisan basis."

Six Republicans have come out in support of the Alexander-Murray bill, Kaine, who was Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016, added. He also thinks the measure can be passed as part of some larger legislation this year, but then lawmakers must move on the the bigger question of how to fix healthcare moving forward.

Bennet commented he has always believed the public option should have been part of Obamacare.

"Whether we will pass it, that is an interesting question, because virtually nothing can pass these days in the Congress," Bennet said. "I think that as part of an attempt to actually resolve the issues that people are having – not so much with Obamacare, but with the American health care system – this ought to be part of the solution to that, and I am optimistic that we'll be able ultimately to get it passed."

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Two Democrats are calling for a public healthcare option to be made available as part of the Affordable Care Act to allow people more choice with their coverage as market competition declines.
tim kaine, michael bennet, medicare option, medicare-x legislation
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2017-59-19
Thursday, 19 October 2017 02:59 PM
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