WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Senator Tim Kaine introduced a bill to expand health care called “Medicare X.” Sen. Kaine said the idea is to create a new public option for health insurance. But gaining support for the plan remains a challenge.
“We would direct Medicare to develop a policy for working people,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D) Virginia.
Senator Kaine said he’s not trying to reinvent the “health care” wheel. His Medicare-X plan would only expand existing Medicare coverage beyond senior citizens.
“So that any working age person in the country can look at that policy, and if they decided they liked its coverage or cost, they could buy it,” Kaine said.
Supporters said the goal is to provide quality, low cost care to more Americans, including people living in rural areas with limited insurance options. Senator Kaine said his plan could increase competition and drive down health care cost.
Republican Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said health care is a top priority.
“There’s no question about it, we have to have competition,” said Rep. Carter.
Carter said he wants to see Obamacare replaced with a Republican plan that keeps protection for those with pre-existing conditions.
“We are going to continue to push forward with what we believe is the best health care system for Americans,” said Carter.
Republicans aren’t backing Medicare-X yet. Kaine said he hopes it gains traction in Congress.
The plan would also increase tax credits to help more people pay for their insurance.