Democrats to Begin Medicare Expansion Hearings

Democrats will begin holding hearings on expanding Medicare this spring and are aiming to pass a bill in time for the next presidential term. Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY), chair of the House Budget Committee, told Reuters that new legislation will most likely offer Medicare, which currently starts at age 65, to adults older than 50 or 55.

Some Democrats want to go further and largely replace private insurance with a single-payer system, known as “Medicare for All.” An expansion of that magnitude is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

Members of the Trump administration have criticized a Medicare for All proposal. “The main thrust of Medicare for All is giving you a new government plan and taking away your other choices,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a speech in September.

Source: Reuters, January 29, 2019.