Sending Office: Honorable Brian Higgins
Sent By:
Erin.Meegan@mail.house.gov

Moving the healthcare debate forward: Support the Medicare Buy-In & Health Care Stabilization Act

Current cosponsors: John Larson, Joe Courtney, Jared Huffman, Peter Welch, Andre Carson, David Cicilline, Steve Cohen, John Delaney, Rosa DeLauro, Ted Deutch, Elizabeth Esty, John Garamendi, Dennis Heck, Marcy Kaptur, William Keating,
Ro Khanna, Ruben Kihuen, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Alan Lowenthal, Sean Patrick Maloney, Betty McCollum, A. Donald McEachin, Jim McGovern, Grace Napolitano, Ed Perlmutter, Collin Peterson, Chellie Pingree, Jared Polis, David Price, Mike Quigley, Tim Ryan, Adam
Schiff, Carol Shea-Porter, Eric Swalwell, Dina Titus, Paul Tonko, Zoe Lofgren, Dan Kildee, Suzanne Bonamici, Louise Slaughter & Dwight Evans

Dear Colleague,

More than 40 members have joined our effort to improve the ACA by extending the option of purchasing Medicare to Americans age 50-64. This achievable and forward-thinking policy is an important part of the ongoing conversation about how we can make important
progressive improvements to our healthcare system without significant negative budget impact. We hope you join the effort and sign on as a cosponsor.

Our plan would allow Americans age 50-64 to buy-in to Medicare, the system with the highest satisfaction rate of any health insurance program, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. By leveraging the power of Medicare, its wide provider network, and low administrative
costs, those approaching retirement could see significant savings. While the Affordable Care Act has made significant progress towards reducing the number of uninsured Americans and providing consumer protections to patients, there is more we can do to reduce
costs and improve quality, especially for older Americans who face higher premiums and more job insecurity.

Participants could buy into Medicare, including Part A, B, and D, for an annual premium potentially as low as $8,212, compared to the $13,308 it would cost a 60 year old to buy a Gold plan on the exchange (before any subsidies are applied).

Our plan also proposes important common sense solutions to bolster stability in this uncertain marketplace. Establishing a reinsurance program, strengthening the Cost Sharing Reduction program, and investing in ways to reduce long-term costs to the system
are simple but important actions we must take in order to ensure a healthy and affordable insurance market for all.

There are ways to improve quality while also reducing the financial burden on Americans. We encourage you to join us in showing the American people the way forward for our health care system.

The Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act

Section 1: Medicare Buy-In for those age 50-64

  • Participants would purchase Medicare coverage (Part A, B, and D) at-cost, keeping the program budget neutral
  • Plans would be offered on the exchanges, providing opportunity for comparison-shopping
  • Those eligible for premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions could apply them towards their buy-in premium
  • Employed Americans could opt into this plan, and their employers could contribute on their behalf

Section 2: Market Stabilization

  • Re-establish an individual market catastrophic reinsurance program
  • Extend the Risk Corridors to 2020
  • Improve cost sharing reduction subsidies in current law to ensure low-income families can rely upon this assistance every year

Section 3: Achieving Saving in Medicare

  • HHS is authorized to negotiate volume discounts on prescription drugs to achieve even greater savings in the system to the benefit of all Medicare beneficiaries

Section 4: Bending the Cost Curve

  • Establish an advisory commission to address long-term costs and delivery system reforms to improve the quality of patient care, improve the health of populations, and reduce the cost of care
  • Enhance Medicare Program Integrity efforts to fight fraud and abuse in the system that hurts the long-term solvency of the program and harms our beneficiaries

We hope you will join us by cosponsoring the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act. Please contact Erin Meegan (Erin.Meegan@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Higgins’ office, Sylvia Lee (Sylvia.Lee@mail.house.gov)
in Rep. Larson’s office, or Maria Costigan (Maria.Costigan@mail.house.gov) in Rep. Courtney’s office for more information.

Sincerely,

Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. John Larson, and Rep. Joe Courtney

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Family Issues, HealthCare

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