Democrats push bill to lower Medicare eligibility age to 60
The legislation, which has at least 125 original co-sponsors, is led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who is also the chair of the Progressive Caucus, Conor Lamb, Susan Wild, Haley Stevens, Joe Neguse and Debbie Dingell. The legislation also includes 10 frontline members as sponsors, who represent some of the most competitive districts in the country.
Lowering the eligibility age from 65 to 60 is very popular in the Democratic caucus, with 70% pledging to support the measure earlier this year. It’s even a priority that Biden himself has claimed. Lowering the eligibility age to five would extend health insurance to at least 23 million people, according to the co-sponsors of the legislation.
“Expanding and improving this very popular program is not only the right thing to do politically, it is also what the majority of Americans from all parties support,” Jayapal said.
Lamb, who represents a more moderate faction of the party, also backed the policy, saying in a statement, “Lowering the Medicare age to 60 will help millions of Americans.”
The moderate West Virginia senator called on his fellow Democrats to “take a strategic break from budget reconciliation legislation,” which sent shock waves across the party. Manchin also reportedly told Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders “hell no” when presented with the $ 3.5 trillion price tag, a price many progressives already saw as a compromise.
If the two bills do not move forward together, Democrats, who only have a three-vote margin to play, risk losing a number of progressives who have threatened to defeat the bipartisan bill if the reconciliation package is not voted at the same time. .
“No infrastructure bill without the $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation bill,” said Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats and led the reconciliation package in the upper house. Sanders supports lowering the age of Medicare eligibility.
Jayapal said in a statement to CNN, “stop on the delivery of child care, paid time off, education, health care, affordable housing, climate action and dental care, vision and hearing to millions of families across America? Absolutely not. “
Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York tweeted: “Manchin has weekly meetings with Exxon and is one of the many senators who give lobbyists their pen to write so-called ‘bipartisan’ bills on fossil fuels. It kills people. Our people. At least 12 last night. Tired of this “bipartite” corruption which masquerades as lucid moderation. “