House Democrats are asking President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to lower the Medicare eligibility age and expand its benefits in the American Families Plan.
Congressman Joe Neguse, Representative Pramila Jayapal, Representative Conor Lamb, and Representative Jared Golden are leading Democrats in their efforts to expand Medicare. The group has collected nearly 60 signatures from House Democrats in support of the expansion.
In a letter, Democrats suggest changing eligibility age to 60 years old to expand coverage to more than 23 million or 55 years old to expand coverage to more than 40 million adults.
“Lowering the eligibility age and improving its benefits package would provide immediate and substantial relief for millions of individuals throughout the United States, as well as much-needed long-term security,” a letter from House Democrats reads. “Now is a historic opportunity to also make an important expansion of Medicare that will guarantee health care for millions of older adults and people with disabilities struggling with the health and economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The group also encourages improving Medicare benefits by expanding coverage to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits — Democrats believe this can be accomplished by negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of drugs.
“Addressing inequities in health coverage and access, as communities of color and low-income individuals are disproportionately more likely to be uninsured,” the group of Democrats wrote in a letter.
The Congressional Budget Office says that the Democrat’s plan for the Medicare program would save over $450 billion and increase revenues by $45 billion in the next decade.