Congressman Tim Ryan Joins Reps Larson, Courtney, and Higgins to Introduce the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act

Sep 14, 2017 Issues: Economy, Protecting Our Seniors

Washington, D.C. – Representative Tim Ryan (OH-13) joined Reps. John Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), and Brian Higgins (NY-26) this week to announce the introduction of the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act. A commonsense effort to create a Medicare Buy-In option for Americans ages 50-64 and to stabilize the health care marketplaces. The Act will provide a new option for Americans ages 50-64 to buy-in to Medicare thus avoiding the increase in premiums that Americans in this age group 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, which was introduced this week, also proposes important common sense solutions to bolster stability in the health care marketplaces and bring down health care costs by finding innovative ways to reduce billions in waste, fraud, and abuse in the health care system.

“Medicare is a program that works. As we continue to debate the future of healthcare in our country, Americans are seeking real solutions that address their long-term needs. Medicare is a program that has been meeting those needs efficiently, providing quality healthcare to our seniors since it was enacted in 1966. The creation of Medicare is one of our greatest achievements and it has helped lift millions of seniors out of poverty. Today Congress has the ability to allow Americans aged 50 gain access to Medicare by buying into the program, and giving even more men and women the opportunity to receive quality, affordable health insurance. This is a common sense proposal that would improve the lives of millions of Americans," said Rep. Ryan.

“Throughout the entire health care debate in Congress, all the American people have wanted are common sense solutions. They are sick of partisan politics, and they don’t want to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am proud to join with Reps. Courtney and Higgins to develop the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act, that builds on the successes of the ACA and Medicare to strengthen our health care system,” said Rep. Larson. “This proposal will give Americans (ages 50-64) the ability to buy-into Medicare as a quality, affordable, and much-needed coverage option. The Act also aims to cut down on extraneous costs in our current health care system through targeted reforms, and provide a better delivery and quality of care to all Americans.”

“When it comes to the current healthcare debate, Americans have been telling congress loud and clear what they want: constructive solutions that can get bipartisan support,” said Rep. Courtney. “The ACA was never intended to be the final word on healthcare and Republicans are right that some parts of that bill are now broken, or at least not working as intended. We can agree that ACA needed to be fixed and we should be working together rather than attempting to butcher the bill without putting a new plan in place.  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 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 is an important step forward towards a system that provides affordable, high-quality options to all Americans.

Rep. Higgins said, “Medicare is an American success story.  Prior to the enactment of Medicare almost half of Americans over 65 didn’t have insurance, today nearly all do.  For more than 50 years Medicare has proven to provide quality, affordable coverage that Americans like.  Expanding the Medicare model to a larger population simply makes sense.”

Additional cosponsors of the “Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act” include:  Andre Carson (IN-07), David Cicilline (RI-01), Steve Cohen (TN-09), John Delaney (MD-06), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Bill Keating (MA-09), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Don McEachin (VA-04), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), David Price (NC-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Dina Titus (NV-01), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Peter Welch (VT), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Ruben Kihuen (NV-04), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), John Garamendi (CA-03), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Jared Polis (CO-02), and Denny Heck (WA-10).