Sen. Chris Murphy has introduced the Choose Medicare Act, which is designed to allow anyone who is not currently eligible for Medicare or Medicaid the ability to enroll in Medicare either as an individual or through an employer’s health care coverage.
In presenting the bill, Murphy argued that this strategy would improve the level of health care affordability. He predicted private insurance premiums would fall as a result of increased competition from Medicare, while the federal program would have more leverage in negotiating for prescription drug prices.
The bill is also being presented as a tool for extending the Affordable Care Act’s rating requirements to all markets, while permanently preventing discrimination in coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
“People in Connecticut love Medicare,” Murphy said. “It’s popular, it’s patient-friendly, and it’s cost effective. Every individual and every business should have the right to buy into Medicare, and our bill allows this to finally happen. For those who think that Medicare is the right plan for all Americans, this bill puts that theory to test and allows for consumers and businesses to decide whether they want to remain on private insurance or switch to Medicare. Our belief is that the Medicare plan will be the most affordable and the most efficient, but we can’t know that unless everyone is given the choice to purchase a Medicare plan.”
Murphy co-authored the bill with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), and the legislation is co-sponsored by nine Democratic senators, including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal and New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand.