As 2018 kicks off, Democrats are looking to move from defense to offense on the issue of healthcare, the Associated Press reports.
The Democratic party has long focused on playing defense against Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In the wake of the Republican tax plan’s passage, which effectively eliminates the ACA’s individual mandate, Democrats are shifting their thoughts toward new models of healthcare coverage.
Here are some of the foremost ideas, along with who’s behind them.
Medicare for All
Who’s behind it: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
What it is: “Financing would be funneled through the tax system. Individuals wouldn’t have to worry about deductibles, copays or narrow provider networks. Although state-level attempts to enact single-payer care have floundered because of the large tax increases needed, about one-third of Sanders’ Democratic colleagues in the Senate are co-sponsoring his latest bill.”
Who’s behind it: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
What it is: The program “would allow individuals in communities lacking insurer competition to buy into a new public plan built on Medicare’s provider network and reimbursement rates. Medicare would be empowered to negotiate prescription drug prices. Medicare-X would be available as an option through HealthCare.gov and state health insurance markets.”
Medicare Part E
Who’s behind it: Yale University political scientist Jacob Hacker
What is is: “It would be financed partly with taxes on companies that don’t provide insurance. Consumers would pay income-based premiums. Hospitals and doctors would be reimbursed based on Medicare rates, generally lower than what private insurance pays.”
Who’s behind it: Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján
What is is: The program “would allow states to open their Medicaid programs up to people willing to pay premiums. Although Medicaid started out as insurance for the poor, it has grown to cover about 75 million people, making it the largest government health program. Most beneficiaries are now enrolled in private insurance plans designed for the Medicaid market.”