It’s called Medicare X. Democrats Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and former vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine of West Virginia authored the plan and if it passes anyone would be able to buy a Medicare plan for their health care needs.
Bennet said this is a more realistic idea than the single payer system, Medicare for All.
“I just think this is a much more practical way of trying to achieve the objective of universal coverage, and over time, a reduction in our expenditures on health care, then practically any other proposal that’s been made since the ACA was passed,” he said.
Kaine and Bennet’s plan leaves ObamaCare and the current private system intact and just allows people of any age to go the Medicare route if they want to go that way.
The plan also expands access to tax credits to help people buy ObamaCare coverage. Those credits can be used to purchase the Medicare plan or ObamaCare-based insurance. Kaine and Bennet also do not want anyone to have to pay more than 13% of their income toward insurance premiums.
A similar version was also introduced in the House where it stands a much better chance of being heard.
While ObamaCare isn’t likely to be repealed and replaced this year or next by Republicans like President Trump called for, but he’s still fighting in the courts to make changes to the law. One battle shaping up to wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court is the decision by Texas Judge Reed O’Connor that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. His reasoning is based in the tax reforms of 2017 making the individual mandate null and void.
Since it’s gone, O’Connor said the entire law is unconstitutional.
Two Republican attorneys general — Montana’s Tim Fox and Ohio’s Dale Yost — have filed suit to stop O’Connor’s ruling. They say he went too far and overstepped his authority.
"No sound application of neutral rules and precedents — whether based on the Constitution’s original public meaning or Supreme Court precedent — could lead a court to strike down an entire congressional act based on the unconstitutionality of a single, inoperative provision within it," the states wrote.
The two attorneys general say it’s clear to them that when the tax reform package repealed the individual mandate, Congress intended to leave the rest of the law intact and that O’Connor knows that. "Congress would have been crystal clear if it had wanted to do something as extreme as making the entire Act rise or fall with the constitutionality of a completely inoperative provision," the brief they filed said.
The real worry — of course — is the protection of pre-existing conditions.
“The court’s decision, if affirmed, will deprive millions of non-elderly Ohioans and Montanans of coverage for pre-existing conditions. It will also negatively affect countless others who organized their affairs in reliance on the Act’s many unrelated provisions,” Fox said.
Fox and Yost say — ironically — even opponents of ObamaCare want to protect pre-existing conditions. “It is understandable that some who dislike the Affordable Care Act would cheer the result below. But they should remember that what goes around comes around. If allowed to stand, the decision ... will be used to invalidate any number of federal and state laws," the brief said.
Source links: The Hill — link 1, link 2