Democrats assess health care provisions in $ 3.5 trillion bill
Traditional Medicare delivery is flawed, leaving many seniors without services such as dental, hearing or vision care. Private Medicare Advantage or Medigap supplemental insurance plans are helping close the gap, but lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Are pushing to cover them under the traditional benefit to ensure more access large.
But spending issues are at the forefront of the discussion. The Congressional Budget Office previously estimated that adding the benefits would cost up to $ 358 billion over 10 years.
Forecast: Longer odds. Spending constraints and the time needed for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to implement a new benefit forced the House to postpone dental coverage under its bill until 2028, with patients being responsible for a greater cost sharing than traditional outpatient Medicare Part B benefit. Democrats are debating ways to consolidate the provision into a final package, but further reductions in scope and duration may be needed.
The American Dental Association – which opposes broad Medicare benefits – has also made strides with some skeptical Democrats. Representative Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., Plans to introduce an ADA-backed measure that would instead tailor dental benefits to low-income registrants.
President Joe Biden is asking Congress for $ 400 billion over eight years to strengthen home and community health services. The money would fund the salaries of historically underpaid healthcare workers and increase Medicaid funding for states taking action to improve home health programs.