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Reps. Larson, Courtney, & Higgins Announce New Legislation to Make Medicare Buy-In an Option for Americans Ages 50-64

July 28, 2017
Press Release
House Members Lead Common Sense Effort to Build Medicare Buy-In and Stabilize Health Marketplaces

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. John B. Larson, (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), and Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the “Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act”, a bill that improves on the successes of the Medicare program and provides Americans (ages 50-64) a new option for affordable, quality healthcare. The Act will offer people in this age group the new option to buy-in to Medicare thus avoiding the increase in premiums that older Americans often face. Additionally, working Americans who receive employer sponsored coverage (ages 50-64) who wish to buy into the program would have the option to do so, and their employers could continue to contribute to their premiums pre-tax, a win-win for those employers and employees.

The bill also proposes important common sense solutions to bolster stability in the health care marketplaces and by investing in innovative ways to reduce potentially billions in waste, fraud, and abuse, especially in the Medicare system that 57 million Americans have paid into.

“In public events and town halls across the country, the American people have spoken up and demanded solutions. They have rejected ACA repeal and they have rejected partisan bickering. That is why I have joined with Reps. Higgins and Courtney to develop a simple and commonsense solution that offers one path forward to strengthen our health care system. This proposal will give Americans (ages 50-64) the ability to buy-into Medicare as a quality, affordable coverage option,” said Rep. Larson. “Additionally, through targeted reforms focused on improving the quality and delivery of care, we are looking to the future to strengthen the long-term solvency of Medicare, and the health care system overall.”

Rep. Courtney said, “With the demise of “repeal” which was structured from day 1 as a hyper partisan Republican exercise, it is time Congress listens to what the American people have been saying loud and clear for several years. We need to work together to fix the weaknesses in the ACA rather than butcher it. The Medicare Buy In and Health Care Stabilization Act provides relief for the higher cost, older population in the individual and small business market, and restores the market stabilizers that Republicans have undermined and to caused insurance premiums to spike in 2017 and 2018. Lastly, the bill provides exciting new ways to reduce health care spending by cracking down on fraud and instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to employ tried and true tools to cut costs in the area of prescription drugs. This bill not only does not add to the deficit, but it will, in fact, save money for America’s taxpayers.”

“For more than 50 years Medicare has been a reliable, efficient, and popular healthcare delivery system for older Americans and it is time to build on healthcare that works,” said Rep. Higgins.  “Americans pay too much for health care and still the country ranks near the bottom, among similar sized nations, in quality for its investment.   This legislation would allow us to leverage the purchasing power of the millions of people to deliver better care at lower costs.” 

Additional cosponsors of the “Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act” include:  Rep. Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2), Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-9), Rep. David Cicilline (RI-1),  Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20), Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-2), Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4) and Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22).