Democrat's Medicare plan options

A Unified Plan for Democrat Medicare in 2020

When your healthcare comes from the government, it makes sense that you want to take a look at where the parties stand. As of June 2019, the Democratic party has plunged headlong toward preparing for the Presidential primaries and the upcoming election in November of 2020.  Each candidates proposals would not take change Medicare in 2020 however if passed by congress they would change the future of the healthcare in this country.

Is there a unified plan for Democrat Medicare?

With so many candidates looking to distinguish themselves with a defined platform and healthcare a contested topic, that is not an easy answer. In short, there is no single plan, but what information tells us is that the party as whole supports a number of similar changes, improvements, and preservations. 

Do All Democrats Support Medicare for All? 

Simply put: No. While Democrat Medicare plans and proposals show more and more politicians throwing their support behind Medicare for All, there are others who do not, but across the board, they share very similar ideas and desires for the direction American healthcare is going in, including Medicare. 2020 campaigns center largely around this topic at this early stage, with four major proposals coming to the foreground:

  • Medicare for All. Sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) and Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA), this proposes transforming Medicare in its current form over a four-year period into a system that comprehensively covers all Americans under a single plan.
  • Medicare for America. Sponsored by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Jan Schakowsky (IL), this plan offers universal coverage, with the option for people to voluntarily keep their employer-provided insurance or switch. Newborns, the uninsured, and anyone receiving government aid would be automatically enrolled in the new expanded Medicare plan.
  • Medicare-X Choice Act. Sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (CO) and Tim Kaine (VA) and Representatives Antonio Delgado (NY), John Larson (CT), and Brian Higgins (NY), this plan would keep the current health system as it is but introduce a new public option, Medicare-X, which would cover all 10 points required by the ACA among other insurance companies. 
  • Medicare at 50 Bill. This bill is sponsored by both Senate and House Democrats would allow Americans 50-64 to buy into Medicare if they choose to.  They say the premiums new Medicare recipients would help the proposal pay for itself.

What Do We Know About Democrat Medicare Stances, As a Whole?

In total, all of the major healthcare plans put forward by Democrats so far have one important thing in common: All of them include considerations for Medicare and seek to preserve or improve the program in some form. 

Each of these major plans, supported by multiple people across both halves of Congress, aim to do any of the following: 

  • Preserve Medicare and Medicaid expansions.
  • Further expand Medicare to cover every American.
  • Preserve the current healthcare system while also introducing a new Medicare plan to cover those who cannot currently obtain coverage.

Furthermore, according to the Washington Post, a majority of Democratic candidates for the 2020 Presidential Race strongly support the following options: 

  • Keeping private insurance (at least for now);
  • A public option that would allow anyone to buy into a state policy regardless of income;
  • Expanding Medicare to cover patients aged 50-64; and
  • Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare.
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