May 01, 2018

Duckworth Announces Support for Legislation Expanding Access to Medicare


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced her support of U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) Choose Medicare Act, which would allow Americans of all ages to purchase health coverage through Medicare. The legislation would create a new Medicare Part E plan to provide gold-level coverage of essential health benefits and other services.

“After 16 months of Congressional Republicans pushing harmful repeal bills that would’ve left millions of Illinoisans—and countless more around the country—without health coverage, it’s clear that the American people don’t want us to go backwards,” Duckworth said. “We have to build on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act in expanding access to healthcare, and this legislation will be an important step toward making healthcare more accessible and affordable for hardworking Illinoisans.”

Medicare Part E would be available to any individual in the United States who is ineligible for Medicaid, CHIP or a traditional Medicare plan, and individuals could enroll through the existing Federal and State exchange programs, including the Small Business Health Options Program Exchanges (SHOP exchanges). Individuals choosing to be covered under Part E would pay premium rates that fully cover the cost of the health benefits provided by the plans.

Senator Duckworth has been an outspoken opponent of the Republican-led attempts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and take away health coverage for millions of Americans. She has drawn on her own experiences to highlight how certain communities, such as Veterans and people with disabilities, would be especially devastated by these bills.

The legislation is being co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Tom Udall (D-NM).