Democrats Abandon 'Medicare For All' Act, Focus On Obamacare Instead
26 Democrats who signed the previous version of the Medicare for All dump latest bill
A total of the twenty-six House Democrats who signed the previous version of the Medicare for All Act have dumped the latest bill released Wednesday to begin focusing on Obamacare instead.
The Democrats picked up 40 House seats last year, but lawmakers supporting the e Medicare for All Act has plummeted to 107.
The number is less than 124 co-sponsors the Medicare for All Act finished with the 115th Congress.
Those who have dropped out include:
Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., the House Majority Whip;
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce's Health Subcommittee
Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., chairman of the House Budget Committee.
But the massive divide reveals inner turmoil in the Democratic Party between those seeking to set an aggressive agenda that lays out development for a liberal candidate to topple President Trump in 2020.
It is also possible that various lawmakers have backed away from the idea of a fully government-financed healthcare system in support of keeping private insurers in the game.
Despite this, Democrats insisted they agreed in pursuing universal healthcare.
They say the priority should be to shore up Obamacare.
Democrats pledged that after working to preserve Obamacare, they would look at options that would increase insurance rates and reduce the cost of coverage, according to reports.
"We are not going to enact 'Medicare for All,'" Yarmuth said,
"We'll have a pretty good extensive debate on the variables in doing an expanded Medicare solution, and we are going to start that process in the Budget Committee."
According to The Washington Examiner: Yarmuth has asked the Congressional Budget Office to write a report about the various issues the committee will need to consider in crafting a government-financed healthcare system.
But the Budget Committee is looking at other bills that would expand Medicare, including legislation letting people buy into Medicare at a younger age.
"I thought it would be best for me to either not co-sponsor any of them or co-sponsor all of them," Yarmuth said of the Medicare options on the table.
"We have at least four different approaches introduced by members of the Budget Committee."
Eshoo, too, said that she is seeking to remain neutral toward the proposals in her role as the Health Subcommittee chairwoman, which she said was commonplace.
"I want everyone that comes before the committee, anyone that has introduced a bill ... some manifestation of universal healthcare, that they get a fair shake," she said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who hasn't supported either version of the Medicare for All Act, has said that he wants to work first on fixing Obamacare.
That's the approach the healthcare industry is pushing for, and another large portion of the caucus wants to do the same.
According to a report from The Hill: The federal government should expand ObamaCare subsidies for low-income people to reduce premiums, a health insurance group said Thursday.
According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), expanding the tax credits to give more financial assistance would help reduce premiums and ensure more people get covered.
The proposal would also impose a cap on how much a household can spend on premiums so that coverage would be more affordable.
The group also wants to create a national reinsurance program to reduce premiums by helping insurance companies pay claims for high-cost patients.