By Tulay Turan, J.D.
Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) have introduced the Choose Medicare Act (S. 2708), which would allow employers to purchase Medicare for their employees and give individuals who are not already eligible for Medicaid or Medicare the opportunity to enroll in Medicare.
The bill provides that public health plans (to be known as Medicare Part E) would be offered on all state and federal exchanges. Employers could choose to select Medicare Part E rather than private insurance to provide health care to their employees. The plans would cover essential health benefits and all items and services covered by Medicare.
"Every American deserves the promise of access to a popular, affordable, high-quality health care option," said Merkley. "Fortunately, we already have exactly such an option – and it’s called Medicare. The Choose Medicare Act creates a Medicare option for all, putting consumers and businesses in the driver’s seat on the pathway to universal health care."
The bill also would establish an out-out-pocket maximum in traditional Medicare and extend eligibility of the Affordable Care Act’s premium tax credits to middle-income earners.
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