Congressional Democrats Push Biden to Include Medicare Expansion in Relief Plan

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • May 3, 2021
President Joe Biden detailed his "American Families Plan" (fact sheet) in a speech to Congress on Wednesday, April 28. The President's plan will seek to expand federal support for lower-income and middle-class Americans, offset by a series of tax increases on wealthy Americans' incomes, investments, and estates.

Ahead of the speech, 17 Democratic senators sent a letter to the President asking for the inclusion of provisions to lower the Medicare eligibility age, expand Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision care, implement a cap on out-of-pocket expenses under traditional Medicare, and allow the program to negotiate lower drug prices. House lawmakers also sent a letter to Biden reiterating the call for these proposals to be included in the plan.

Proponents of Medicare expansion envision that the added costs of these proposals would be offset by the savings that resulted from allowing the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices.

The White House did not include Medicare benefits expansion or drug pricing as components in this second phase of the President's economic recovery plan (fact sheet), but the President did propose addressing the issues separately in his recent speech to Congress.

Impact on General Dentistry: AGD supports enhanced benefits and reimbursement in private sector initiatives for dental benefits while remaining opposed to Medicare's expansion to include dental benefits. AGD believes that the Medicare program cannot sustain the inclusion of dental benefits.