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House committee holds first hearing on Medicare for All bill

America's Health Insurance Plans says MFA would likely result in higher premiums for consumers with private coverage.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

In the politics of healthcare, Medicare for All is front-burner issue in the Democratic primary and perhaps the general election.

MFA advocates turned out for today's House Committee on Rules hearing on the Medicare for All Act of 2019, HR 1384, a bill for a single payer system sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal that would establish a federal health insurance program. Other similar bills are being put forward, such as one in the Senate from Senator Bernie Sanders and there are other plans that would include a public plan option.

WHY THIS MATTERS

All of the proposals expand government involvement in health insurance, either through universal coverage or the choice of government or private health insurance.

All would disrupt the current healthcare system.

Health insurers say the proposals to "force government insurance systems upon Americans" do nothing to address the real issue of healthcare, which is the cost.

AHIP instead urge Congress to improve the current system to ensure Americans have affordable, comprehensive health coverage that promotes timely access to high-quality care.

TREND

Medicare for All, considered a far-left proposal in 2016 when it was raised by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, has moved forward as a key issue in the 2020 Democratic primary and perhaps the general election.

Democratic front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday called for giving everyone the option to buy into Medicare through either a government-run program or private insurance, according to The Hill. This is not the Medicare for All bill plan supported by Sanders.

ON THE RECORD

"These proposals do nothing to address our top challenge: a growing health care affordability crisis," AHIP said. "We remain concerned that these proposals would result in higher taxes on all Americans, higher total premiums and costs for people enrolled in private coverage, longer wait times, and lower quality of care."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com