Delaney Cosponsors Legislation to Create Medicaid-Based Public Option

Oct 25, 2017
Press Release
State Public Option Act would allow states to offer Medicaid buy-in to all

WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) is an original cosponsor of the State Public Option Act, legislation filed today that allows states to create a Medicaid buy-in program for all of their residents, regardless of income. The legislation to create this Medicaid-based public health care option was filed by Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3) and Senator Brian Schatz (HI).

States that take up this option must offer the Medicaid buy-in on the health insurance exchange, providing additional options to Americans living in counties with few choices and creating more competition. 

“I am proud to cosponsor the State Public Option Act, legislation designed to make sure that every American has access to quality and affordable health care,” said Congressman Delaney. “Instead of tearing programs down and reducing access, which is what the extreme Republican measures in Congress have done, we should expand what works and fix the individual exchanges; that’s exactly what this bill addresses. In many places, consumers have limited options and costs are becoming prohibitive and adding a public option would make a tremendous difference. In addition to the millions of people who would directly benefit from being able to enroll in Medicaid, this legislation would also introduce more competition into the marketplace, which ultimately benefits all consumers. We have to be honest with the American people: health care is one-sixth of the national economy and we’re not going to fix real problems with slogans. A public option, along with additional measures such as lowering the age to qualify for Medicare and extending CSR payments would create universal access, improve quality and reduce costs.”

Under the State Public Option Act, states would maintain the ability to setup their own programs, although their Medicaid buy-in benefit package must be at least equal to benchmark coverage and comply with the Affordable Care Act’s 10 Essential Health Benefits. The legislation also includes provisions to increase reimbursement rates for primary care providers.