Bernie Sanders says Senate Democrats weigh $ 1,000 vouchers for seniors to buy new Medicare benefits


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Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will arrive at the Houses of Parliament on October 20, 2020. Stephanie Reynolds / Getty Images

  • Senate Democrats are considering a $ 1,000 voucher for seniors to buy new Medicare benefits, Sanders said.

  • “I think we’re looking at $ 1,000 right away. If you can’t afford it, use it to go to the dentist,” he told Insider.

  • Experts say Medicare can take years to set up a new dental insurance program.

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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Tuesday that Senator Democrats are considering $ 1,000 voucher for seniors Access to extended Medicare benefits that may form a major part of $ 3.5 trillion social spending plan They want to pass this month. He said it would serve as a simple temporary measure while the program was in place.

“When it comes to vouchers, what we want to do is make sure people understand its importance,” a Vermont independent told insiders. “As a bridge, I think we’re looking at $ 1,000 right away. If you can’t afford it, use it to go to the dentist. This is very temporary, but Probably a one-year bridge. “

Senate Democrats Expand Medicare That’s why Partyline’s Social Spending Package covers the benefits of dentistry, sight and hearing. Expanding the scope of the federal health insurance program is a top priority for Sanders as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and is backed by Senate leader Chuck Schumer.

House Democratic Party Introduced law Medicare will gradually start low vision next year, hold a hearing in 2023, and provide dental treatment in 2028. However, Sanders says he wants to speed up the dental treatment timeline.

The bill highlights the challenges the Democrats face when trying to provide tangible benefits to Americans with a social spending package that is still in shape, especially ahead of the middle of next year. Americans over the age of 65 generally vote with high turnout and older people Key voting block This is the case in midterm elections, such as during the presidential election.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, told insiders that he was discussing the idea with Sanders. “I’m talking to Senator Sanders about the best way to get this up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible,” he said.

Democrats in Oregon show similarities to the Affordable Care Act (a health law signed by President Barack Obama) ten years ago, and the four-year “delay” after legislation “people have for the government.” He said he contributed to “understandable skepticism.”

Other Senate Democrats also want to implement the program early rather than later. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania told insiders, “I think we should try to get up as soon as possible.” “I’m not saying it can be done in a few months, but I think it can be done much faster than a couple of years.”

But experts say it can take years for Medicare to design and implement new programs.Medicare Last expanded in 2003 Covering prescription drugs under President George W. Bush, It started to offer Report three years later.

For dentists who form little part of the federal health program, the process involves setting reimbursement rates and registering enough dental care providers to cover tens of millions of Americans. increase.Triciano Iman, Executive Director of Medicare Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation I recently told an insider It can take years for the federal government to “successfully” implement new dental benefits.

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