A group of Democratic senators on Wednesday introduced an expanded public option for health insurance as the party debates the next steps to build on ObamaCare.
The new proposal, called the Choose Medicare Act, was introduced by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), both seen as potential presidential contenders, though Murphy has said he is not running in 2020.
The measure has no real chance of becoming law anytime soon, but is part of a growing debate among Democrats about what the best next steps beyond ObamaCare are, which could come to fruition when Democrats next win back the White House.
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Congressional leaders were poised last month to spend tens of billions of dollars in the omnibus bill to temporarily shore up Obamacare’s failing health insurance system.
That money, however, never would have given Americans the long-term relief they so desperately need.
After this idea was struck from the spending bill, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who had worked closely with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to shape a bipartisan deal, said that “the only choice we have is to go back to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”
We agree. Obamacare is broken and cannot be fixed, and there is a better way forward.
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The Trump administration hopes to move forward with a rule expanding alternatives to ObamaCare plans by this summer, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta said Monday.
The rule allows for small businesses and self-employed individuals to band together to buy insurance as a group in what are known as association health plans.
“We hope to have that by this summer,” Acosta said Monday during a tax reform event alongside President Trump in Florida.
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Medicaid expansion is back on the ballot.
Organizers in Utah submitted signatures on Monday to put an initiative expanding Medicaid on the state’s ballot in November. They got 165,000 signatures, or about 50,000 more than they needed.
State legislators are actually pushing a limited form of Medicaid expansion, but, as we covered before, the Trump administration seems unlikely to greenlight that proposal. The ballot initiative being submitted today would be a clean version of expansion
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