Article by Marty Stempniak, AARP

“Lawmakers hoping to dive into the idea of “Medicare for all” dipped their toes in uncertain waters by unveiling slightly less ambitious new legislation Wednesday.

Three Democratic senators introduced their Medicare at 50 Act, which would expand the federal payment program to individuals between the ages of 50 and 64. Those involved said this change comes in response to demands they heard recently on the campaign trail.

“Wisconsinites have sent a clear message to Washington that they want us to work together to expand access to healthcare and lower costs,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said in a statement. “Our legislation will give millions of older Americans another choice for more affordable, quality health insurance coverage.”

She’s joined in the push by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), with several other Senate Democrats also sponsoring the legislation. Brown said that he favors universal coverage for Americans and thinks allowing those in their 50s to voluntarily buy into Medicare is a logical first step in that direction.

Some, such as the Federation of American Hospitals, voiced immediate opposition to the proposal. President and CEO Chip Kahn said such a change “would harm more Americans than it would help,” and instead urged lawmakers to expand affordable private coverage.”

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