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by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
The program “would be complex and costly, burdened by bureaucracy and rulemaking that would unnecessarily delay access to care for millions,” hospital federation warns. Congressional Democrats seek a new federal health care program to join Medicare and Medicaid. The proposal is expected to be included in the upcoming $3.5 trillion budget bill. It would apply to people in 12 states that have declined to expand Medicaid coverage in recent years and provide coverage for some additional 2.2 million people who are currently ineligible for Medicaid.
Details of the plan are still unclear, but it will reportedly involve subsidizing private insurance purchases from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges as a first step while setting up an entirely new federal coverage program for the long run. Eventually, the “federal fallback option” would be run through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.