Report: the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:
Source: CPC Position Paper: Health Care
The Progressive Caucus is united in its goal of making health care a right, not a privilege. Every person should have access to affordable, comprehensive and high-quality medical care. We must use our health care dollars efficiently and ensure public accountability in all medical decisions. Based on this goal, we support the following principles:
All Americans, including the 44 million currently without health insurance, deserve to have the health care they need, regardless of ability to pay.
Medicare must remain solvent and available for the millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on the program. The Progressive Caucus supports expanding the program to cover prescription drugs and other needed products and services for beneficiaries. We support a Medicare buy-in for individuals age 55 and older. We support lowering out-of-pocket costs for seniors who currently pay, on average, 20% of their income for health care.
Proposals should be rejected to
change traditional Medicare from a defined benefit to a defined contribution or voucher system.
Balanced Budget Act cuts that are negatively affecting patient access to hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies must be restored.
Medicaid must have the resources to continue to provide coverage and care for low-income individuals, including children in the CHIP program.
Individuals with disabilities should retain their health benefits when they return to work and to have access to rehabilitative and other needed services.
Funding and outreach and other programs serving low-income Americans should be expanded. Examples of such programs are the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualified Individuals programs; transitional funds for Medicaid recipients who are also welfare-to-work recipients; and for HHS for mental health outreach for the elderly.