Higgins Testifies on Medicare Buy-In Legislation in House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) testified before a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, titled “Proposals to Achieve Universal Health Care Coverage,” in support of his bill H.R. 1346, the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act. The bill, which is cosponsored by Representatives John Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), and Peter Welch (VT-AL), allows those aged 50-64 to buy into the highly successful and popular Medicare program.
Click the photo to see Rep. Higgins testimony or click here: https://youtu.be/pEuESWwESyo
In his testimony, Higgins stated that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a start and not a finish to achieving affordable healthcare for all Americans, and that it’s time to move forward by using the best public option which already exists: Medicare. By offering Medicare to a new segment of the population, H.R. 1346 would keep costs down and stabilize our insurance markets, building on the success of the ACA.
Congressman Higgins also noted a January poll on the issue conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 77% of Americans support a Medicare buy-in for those aged 50-64, the highest level of support among the Medicare expansion policies they polled.
In addition, the RAND Corporation found that if it were available, six million Americans would take advantage of having access to a Medicare buy-in plan, nearly 14,000 per Congressional district. In the first year the buy-in would be offered, the annual buy-in premiums for a 50-year-old would be $2500 less than a gold plan. For a 60-year-old, the annual buy-in premium would be $8300 less than a gold plan. The study also found that overall out-of-pocket spending for those choosing the buy-in would go down 28 percent. And the buy-in would save the federal government money as well, reducing federal spending by $4 billion.
Higgins said, regarding the bill’s target demographic: “This age demographic, 50 to 65, is to this century what the traditional Medicare population was the previous century. And that is that private insurance had every opportunity to write policies for people that were older and sicker but chose not to do it.”
The hearing can be viewed in full here. Also testifying before the committee on their plans to achieve universal health care coverage were Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-07). The Medicare Buy In and Health Care Stabilization Act currently has 49 cosponsors in the House and has been referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means.