MEDFORD, Ore. -- Senator Jeff Merkley wants to expand Medicare coverage to all Americans. Today he introduced the Choose Medicare Act.
This would allow anyone to enroll in Medicare for their insurance plan, and allow employers to purchase Medicare to offer employees. Merkley says the Medicare would expand to cover reproductive and pediatric services. Senator Merkley adds it would operate under Medicare Part E, for everyone. He says it would be paid for by premiums.
"It has to operate on it's own financial footing, and not in anyway affect or take away from the medicare plan that we contribute to through our paychecks," says Senator Jeff Merkley.
At a press conference today Senator Jeff Merkley said he expects insurance companies to oppose the legislation. He thinks it will create a more competitive industry and level the playing field. One local health care provider at the press conference agreed with him.
"I'm looking forward to the day when health care premiums are decreasing due to the creative work being done by all of us that provide health care for our communities. Sometimes the only way to make this happen is through competition," says Richard Booth, the CEO of Siskiyou Community Health.
Senator Merkley says he plans to educate the public on this option over the next couple months.
To read the full bill click here.