Dem House Budget chairman moves forward on ‘Medicare for All’

January 9, 2019

Responding to the concerns of the American people, on January 7, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky) sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office, requesting a report on the “design and policy considerations lawmakers would face in developing single-payer health system proposals.”

Yarmuth wrote, “The House Budget Committee will soon schedule hearings to review potential ways to achieve affordable, high-quality health care coverage for everyone, including Medicare for All,” adding, “… It is key that we start these discussions with a qualitative assessment of how policy design choices could affect the federal budget, national health care spending, and access to care.”

Indeed, since mid-December, nationwide access to healthcare insurance has been under siege—and Americans have made it known that they want their coverage protected and extended.

The Affordable Care Act’s changes to the U.S. healthcare system since its passage in March 2010 have been so pervasive that nearly all Americans would be affected in some way if a federal judge’s December 14 decision ruling the entire law unconstitutional is upheld, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll.

Based on its latest polling, conducted in late December, the foundation says that fully 65% of Americans believe that the pre-existing condition protections provided by the law are “very important” to them; and 62% think that the act should be retained and strengthened because it prohibits health insurance companies from charging sick people more.

Getting input from the CBO is an important step forward for consideration of single-payer health care, (or “Medicare for All”), according to a report by The Hill. The idea has gained new momentum since Democrats took control of the House on January 3.

During the last session of Congress,Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) s requested a CBO analysis of the single-payer proposal put forward by Senator Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vermont) during the 2016 presidential campaign , in the hope that it would hurt the effort by highlighting its high costs.

Yarmuth, on the other hand, is not requesting an analysis of a specific bill, so it will not carry a headline cost number the way a score of Sanders’s bill would, The Hill reported.

The CBO report is a precursor to hearings in the Budget Committee.

Research contact: @thehill

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