One of the things that Democrats will able to do with the new Senate reconciliation rules is to pass a massive expansion of Medicare.
Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News noted:
→ What could Democrats do with another reconciliation bill? A lot, potentially. For instance, could they try to pass @SenSanders proposal to lower the qualifying age for Medicare to 55 or 60? Gives proponents of expanding social safety net a BIG opportunity.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) April 6, 2021
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) originally wanted to include the Medicare expansion in the infrastructure bill, but as he said in reaction to the expanded reconciliation rules, Democrats now have more tools at their disposal, and no longer need to jam everything into one big bill.
It would be politically beneficial for Democrats to pass such a large expansion of Medicare eligibility as a stand-alone piece of legislation.
The expansion will be historic, and it should not be lost in the shuffle of a large reconciliation bill.
It would not be Medicare for all as so many progressives desire, but it would be a major step in that direction. In practical terms, it would also allow a group of people who can still struggle with getting and keeping affordable coverage to opt in to Medicare.
A Medicare expansion would be a big win for all, and thanks to the new rules, it is likely to happen.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association