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The Democrats' Social Spending Bill Would Expand Medicare And Medicaid And Lower The Cost Of Prescription Drugs

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Kaiser Family Foundation

On this edition of Your Call, we’re discussing the latest on the Democrats' $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, which would expand Medicaid and Medicare coverage.

Under the bill, Medicare would finally cover dental, vision and hearing benefits, lower the eligibility age to 60 and have the power to renegotiate prescription drug prices. More than 60 million people, including older adults and younger adults with disabilities, rely on Medicare for coverage.

The bill would also expand Medicaid to four million low-income people in 12 states with Republican governors who’ve refused to expand coverage. A disproportionate share of people of color, mostly in the South, would gain access to free health coverage.

Guests:

David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect and author of Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power

Judy Stein, executive director and founder of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a nonprofit law organization that works to advance access to Medicare coverage

Amber Christ, directing attorney of the health team of Justice in Aging, which is part of the California Health Care Foundation

Web Resources: 

The American Prospect, David Dayen: Interlocking Crises in Congress Have Simple Solutions

Vox, Dylan Scott: Why Democrats want to boost Medicare benefits in their budget reconciliation bill

The Nation, John Nichols: Has Big Pharma Bought Enough Democrats to Derail Biden’s Plan?

Chicago Tribune, Stacey Burling: Poor hearing is bad for your health, but Medicare still doesn’t cover hearing aids

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.