Key Democrats to write health care bill that offers public option
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) on Wednesday asked for public input on how to craft a "federally administered public option that provides quality, affordable health coverage throughout the United States."
Why it matters: The push for a public option comes days before PresidentBiden’s first full budget, which reports show will endorse the idea of a public option, but actually falls short of including such a proposal or any kind of analysis of cost.
- Some Democrats have urged the president to include a public option or lower the age for Medicare eligibility in his American Families Plan.
- Murray and Pallone lead panels with jurisdiction over health care policy.
What they're saying: In a letter published Wednesday, Murray and Pallone ask for feedback on issues including plan eligibility, benefits to offer and the role of states in administering health care.
- Their goal "is to work towards achieving universal coverage, while making health care simpler and more affordable for patients and families."
- "Health care affordability remains a challenge for many American families despite the fact that the United States spends more on health care than any other country," they write.
The big picture: Health care spending in the U.S. is nearly double the average amount spent by other comparable high-income countries on a per-person basis, according to the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker.
- Despite running for office on the promise of creating a Medicare-like plan, Biden has opted to expand access to plans under the Affordable Care Act for now, per CNBC.