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Kaine, Bennet Issue Statements on Report on Medicare-X Choice Act

New report notes that Medicare-X would reduce uninsured population by 1.1 million and save households $10.9 billion if phased in by 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Urban Institute issued a report indicating that U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) Medicare-X Choice Act, introduced in February 2021, would reduce the uninsured population by over a million Americans and save households, employers, and the government billions of dollars.

According to the report, Medicare-X would reduce the number of uninsured people by 1.1 million, would save households $10.9 billion, and would save the federal government $20.3 billion if phased in by 2023, and would cut spending on health care by $456 billion over a ten year period.

“I’m proud that this report confirms that Medicare-X would get a million more people insured and lower costs by hundreds of billions of dollars over a decade,” said Kaine. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced just how much we need to expand access to affordable, quality health care. This legislation will help so many Americans, particularly in rural areas, get the care they need at a price they can afford.”

“Medicare-X will not only cover more Americans, but save them money on their health care. With the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve built on the progress of the Affordable Care Act to cover more people and reduce the cost of prescription drugs,” said Bennet. “It’s time to finish what the ACA started, and help close the coverage gap in America through a public option.”

The Medicare-X Choice Act would build on the Affordable Care Act by establishing a Medicare Exchange public option within the Medicare framework in every county in America, providing an additional, affordable option in all communities.

The Medicare-X public option would initially be available on the Affordable Care Act exchange in areas where there is a shortage of insurers or higher health care costs, including rural communities in Virginia and Colorado. The Medicare Exchange plan would then expand to every ZIP code in the country and be added as another option on the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace. 

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden last month, adopted two provisions of Kaine and Bennet’s Medicare-X Choice Act. The bill requires Medicare to negotiate drug prices, as well as extends expanded ACA premium tax credit for three years.