A proposal was recently released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) for Medicare Extra, an enhanced version of the Medicare program and a plan to guarantee universal health coverage in the United States. The plan would be available to all Americans, regardless of income, health status, age, or insurance status. According to reports, Medicare Extra highlights and tries to resolve the reasons for the high cost of the American healthcare system head-on by placing caps on doctor and physician reimbursements, reducing administrative costs, and negotiating with drug and medical device companies.
The new single-payer health plan, allows all Americans to enroll in the same high-quality plan. Enrollees would pay premiums on a sliding scale from $0 up to 10 percent of their income. Reports reveal that premiums would not cover the costs of the plan; and it would be financed by reduced health care costs and increased tax revenue. News reports reveal that the new CAP government healthcare plan would essentially eliminate the popular Medicare Advantage program, replacing it with “Medicare Choice.” Medicare Choice would be available as an option to all Medicare Extra enrollees. Medicare Choice would offer the same benefits as Medicare Extra and could also integrate complementary benefits for an extra premium.
Reports indicate that Medicare Extra would strengthen, streamline, and integrate Medicaid coverage with guaranteed quality into a national program. It would also guarantee universal coverage and eliminate underinsurance, while still preserving employer-based coverage as an option for millions of Americans who are satisfied with their insurance.
Medicare Extra would provide comprehensive benefits, including free preventive care, free treatment for chronic disease, and free generic drugs. The plan would guarantee the following benefits:
- Primary and preventive services
- Hospital services, including emergency services
- Ambulatory services
- Prescription drugs and medical devices
- Laboratory services
- Maternity, newborn, and reproductive health care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Habilitative and rehabilitative services
- Dental, vision, and hearing services
- Early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services for children
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