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Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in Washington, D.C., on June 16. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is working with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to add dental, vision and hearing health coverage to Medicare, the New York senator announced Sunday.

Why it matters: Schumer said the effort is meant to close "a gaping hole" in the health insurance program that covers millions of Americans age 65 and older.

  • He said they would attach the additional benefits to the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, two multi-trillion dollar proposals unveiled by President Biden earlier in 2021.

What they're saying: "If you talk to family medicine or primary care doctors, they will tell you with certainty that ignoring medical issues related to dental, vision and hearing often devolves into far more serious medical problems for people — especially seniors — that cost more to treat and are harder to remedy," Schumer said during a news conference Sunday, according to New York Daily News.

  • "With the current Medicare platform, those three things are just left out, like it's no big deal. But it is a big deal and we should fix it," he added.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Schumer had planned to formally trigger the budget reconciliation process for the American Jobs and Family Plans last week.

  • The process would allow Democrats to pass the legislation through the Senate by simple majority, preventing Republicans from blocking it with a legislative filibusters.

Go deeper

Sep 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The debt ceiling stare down

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress is fast approaching its deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk defaulting on the nation's debt, and, as of now, there's no serious plan to stave off what many members are calling the worst-case scenario.

Why it matters: The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt. If Congress doesn't take "extraordinary measures" to finance the government, it would "likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

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