—Strengthening Medicare to include hearing, dental, and vision benefits, as well as an out-of-pocket cap;
—Expanding Medicare by lowering the eligibility age from 65 to as low as possible; and
—Enabling Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for everyone.
“We can’t let Congress pass up this chance to transform our healthcare system for the better,” the document reads. “Tell the House and Senate to include a plan for strengthening Medicare in a final reconciliation package!”
The petition delivery came after Senate Democratic leaders agreed to include a substantial expansion of Medicare coverage in a recently unveiled $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation proposal. But, as it stands, the measure would not lower the program’s eligibility age from 65 to 60, a move that would extend the program’s coverage to 23 million people.
In a virtual speech to the activists gathered in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) argued that Congress now has a “historic opportunity” to build on Medicare, which currently covers roughly 62 million people. Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is calling for a both a lower Medicare eligibility age and the inclusion of dental, hearing, and vision coverage in the forthcoming reconciliation package.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction