Moderate Democratic presidential candidates sound the alarm over Conservative Party's landslide victory in U.K.'s general election.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed his Democratic presidential primary rivals on Thursday for their “Medicare-for-all” proposals, claiming their plans are “more likely to reelect Donald Trump” than they are to bring health insurance to more Americans.
Bloomberg, who was speaking at a library in Memphis, Tenn., was announcing his own health care proposal when he tore into the “Medicare-for-all” plans being pushed by fellow candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“We don’t need Medicare-for-all proposals that are more likely to reelect Donald Trump than expand coverage,” Bloomberg said.
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Bloomberg instead proposed a “Medicare-like public option” that would be administered by the federal government but paid for by customer premiums. The plan would first target uninsured, low-income residents in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The billionaire businessman also wants Medicare to include an optional policy covering dental, hearing and vision care, and to require all states to cover oral health services for adults in Medicaid, along with capping out-of-network charges at 200 percent of Medicare rates.
“My proposal will build on what works, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act [ACA],” Bloomberg said. “We'll make sure that people who like their private insurance can keep private insurance, while also providing coverage to the uninsured.”
Additionally, Bloomberg’s own proposal calls for lengthening the sign-up period for buying health insurance through the ACA, which has been shortened under President Trump from 90 days to 45 days. If elected president, he would defend ObamaCare as it faces a lawsuit brought by Texas and other states threatening to overturn the health care law, the candidate added.
“During his first two years in office, the number of uninsured people in America increased by two million,” Bloomberg said of President Trump. “Today thanks to Donald Trump, more Americans do not have insurance, more Americans have to decide between going to the doctors or putting food on the table.”
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He added: “The president has never proposed a plan to cover the 20 million people who would lose coverage” by scrapping ObamaCare.
The former New York City mayor’s health care plan also would require all insurance plans to meet the standards set under the ACA such as covering maternal care and preexisting conditions.
To pay for the plan, Bloomberg said that the proposal would cost approximately $1.5 trillion over 10 years and would be offset by policies that lower costs, including capping provider payments, ending surprise medical bills, negotiating drug prices and reforming Part D. He said some of the funding would also come from the existing federal budget.
His campaign said that more details on how he plans to pay for the plan will be released in the coming weeks.
Bloomberg’s plan is similar to ones proposed by some of the more moderate Democratic presidential hopefuls such as former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
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Biden’s plan calls for expanding the ACA — the signature health care law created during then-President Barack Obama’s administration in which Biden served as vice president — along with pushing to add a “public option” that would allow people to select a government health insurance plan, while others could continue using their private insurance.
“I understand the appeal to Medicare-for-All. But folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare. And I’m not for that,” Biden said over the summer. “I was very proud the day I stood there with Barack Obama and he signed that legislation.”
Buttigieg's health plan would offer a public option that includes automatic and retroactive enrollment for anyone without a private plan.