October 31, 2017
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about our nation’s health care system. I appreciate the time you took to write, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
I understand you support the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” (S. 1804), which was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on September 13, 2017. This proposal would create a new national health coverage plan run by the federal government. After a four year phase-in, all Americans would be covered with this plan, regardless of their income level.
I agree that all Americans should have health care. I am very interested in exploring a variety of options to ensure that every person in our country has affordable, quality coverage. One option I support is having a public health insurance option. This public option would offer an affordable health plan to all Americans, regardless of the state they live in. This plan would compete with private plans to help control costs for everyone and ensure that consumers have real choices in their options for health coverage.
You may be interested to know that I am an original cosponsor of the “Medicare-X Choice Act of 2017” (S. 1970), which was introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) on October 17, 2017. This bill would establish a public health insurance option based on the Medicare provider network and similar payment rates to provide a lower cost option to consumers through the health exchanges. S. 1970 would become available first in areas without adequate competition in 2020, and would expand throughout the individual market by 2023.
I also support the progress that has been made toward universal health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This law provided health insurance to 20 million Americans who did not previously have access to care. The law also includes critical protections for all consumers, prevents insurance companies from setting annual or lifetime limits on coverage, and prohibits insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to women or people with pre-existing conditions.
That is why I am appalled by the Republican’s various plans to repeal the ACA and implement a law that guts financial assistance to low- and middle-income individuals and families, ends Medi-Cal as we know it, and defunds Planned Parenthood. I am pleased that the latest Republican effort to repeal the ACA was defeated. It is my hope that Republicans have finally learned that they cannot ram through such significant changes to the law that impact millions of Americans so drastically. Full Senate committee hearings, robust debates, and input from everyone who would be affected are critical to ensure that changes are made to truly improve the law, not just check a box on a political promise.
We share the same goal of expanding health care to every single American, and I value your input on how best to achieve this goal. Please know that I have taken careful note of your concerns, and I will be mindful of your thoughts as the Senate continues to debate health-related legislation.
Once again, thank you for writing. Should you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C., office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at feinstein.senate.gov. You can also follow me online at YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and you can sign up for my email newsletter at feinstein.senate.gov/newsletter.
United States Senator