Biden releases plan that strengthens ACA while dinging 'Medicare for All'

A signpost with the words Affordable Care Act
Democratic primary front-runner Joe Biden released a plan Monday to boost the Affordable Care Act and bashed "Medicare for All." (Getty/kroach)

Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a healthcare plan Monday that boosts the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by adding a public option among other proposals, a sharp departure from several competitors in the Democratic primary for president pushing “Medicare for All.”

In addition to the public option, Biden’s plan would eliminate the 400% income cap to determine whether an ACA exchange customer is eligible for tax subsidies. It would also lower the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% to 8.5%.

“This means that no family buying insurance on the individual marketplace, regardless of income, will have to spend more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance,” according to the plan.

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RELATED: AMA says yes to strengthening ACA, no to ending opposition to 'Medicare for All' single-payer reform

Biden also took aim at his more progressive opponents such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who are pushing for Medicare for All, which would turn Medicare into a single-payer system.

“I understand the appeal of Medicare for All, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare and I am not for that,” Biden said in a video on the plan. “I know how hard it is to get that passed. I watched it. Starting over makes no sense to me at all.”

Sanders hits back at Biden over 'misinformation' on Medicare for All

Sanders got into a spat with Biden Saturday over whether people would lose coverage in the transition to Medicare for All.

Biden has said that he does not want to “start over” by getting rid of the ACA and transitioning to the Medicare for All system. Sanders hit back in a statement Saturday that there wouldn’t be any gap in coverage during the transition to the new system.

Sanders' campaign told CNN it was "preposterous" to argue that the transition to the new system would mean people with cancer and other illnesses don't get needed care.

Booker unveils long-term care plan

New Jersey senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker released Monday a plan to address high costs of long-term care and boost worker pay.

Booker’s plan would expand access to Medicaid assistance for long-term care services by increasing the income limit to 300% of the federal poverty level to qualify for Medicaid. “In addition, individuals that exceed the asset and/or income limits would be able to buy into the program, with cost-sharing determined on a sliding scale,” according to the campaign.

Booker said his plan would also require the traditionally underpaid long-term care workforce to be paid a minimum of $15 per hour, above the average of $11 an hour many workers now receive.

House to vote on 'Cadillac' tax repeal this week

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would repeal the ACA’s tax on high-cost healthcare plans, according to the House majority leader’s office.

The tax has never gone into effect and has been delayed several times. The latest delay expires in 2022. 

RELATED: KFF: 1 in 5 employers may face the ACA's 'Cadillac' tax on high-cost health plans

The tax is one of the unique parts of the ACA that has foes on both the right and the left. Traditionally, Democratic constituents such as unions oppose the tax, because unions usually try to negotiate for high-cost health plans for workers.

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