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The Medicare X Choice Act, newly introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, is poised to transform the discussion about how to fix America’s broken health care system.
At first, the bill would offer Medicare-based health care plans in rural areas or regions with only one available insurance plan. By 2024 these options would become available across the country. The senators expect that this low-cost option will increase competition and thereby help reduce health care expenses for Americans and spur innovation in the industry.
Lance Kilpatrick, CoPIRG’s High Value Healthcare Campaign Director, issued the following endorsement of the legislation:
“Too often, Americans have too few choices for health insurance. With such limited options, Americans pay too much for too little in health benefits. And in many rural areas, they must choose between one insurance option or no insurance at all.
“On the other hand, millions of Americans love Medicare for delivering quality care at a reasonable price. The Medicare X Choice Act would provide the rest of the country with the chance to choose insurance similar to Medicare that delivers excellent medical treatment at a fair cost.”
“By providing competition to private insurance plans, the bill will encourage other health care providers to innovate by cutting wasteful spending on useless procedures and tests, reducing administrative overhead and delivering higher-value services.
“This bill would also help the millions on Medicare, because it would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, which reduces costs for everyone.
“Polls continually show that Americans across all demographics want the choice to stay with their existing plan or opt into a Medicare-based plan, if that’s better for their family. Medicare X would give them that possibility.
“We applaud Senators Bennet and Kaine for offering this practical solution for people who struggle with astronomical health care costs and for driving forward a value-based care system.”
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