WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Alan Grayson wants to open Medicare enrollment to anyone who can pay for it.
Last week, the Florida Democrat introduced H.R. 4789, also known as the “Medicare You Can Buy Into Act,” to provide a public option in the healthcare reform effort. So far, 74 members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors, including New Jersey representatives Rush Holt and Donald Payne.
Grayson said, “Obviously, America wants and needs more competition in health coverage, and a public option offers that. But it’s just as important that we offer people not just another choice, but another kind of choice. A lot of people don’t want to be at the mercy of greedy insurance companies that will make money by denying them the care that they need to stay healthy, or to stay alive. We deserve to have a real alternative.”
The bill would allow any American citizen or permanent resident to buy into Medicare at cost, which would not add to the deficit or increase the burden on taxpayers.
Any participant in the option would be eligible for Medicare Part A and B coverage, as well as Medicare Part D prescription drug access. This legislation does not affect the current Medicare program, established for older Americans age 65 and up.
“The government spent billions of dollars creating a Medicare network of providers that is only open to one-eighth of the population. That’s like saying, ‘Only people 65 and over can use federal highways.’ It is a waste of a very valuable resource and it is not fair. This idea is simple, it makes sense, and it deserves an up-or-down vote,” Grayson said.
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