Medicaid’s Public Health Plan Options 

Jama Article Aug 31 - 2020


Andrew Bindman

JAMA Forum 
August, 2020

The democratic nominee for president, former Vice President Joe Biden, has made the availability of a public option (a Medicarelike health plan operated by the federal government) a central component of his health care platform. One goal of this policy is to lower costs for consumers who purchase coverage in health insurance marketplaces. Biden would also increase population coverage by making his public option available at no cost to income-eligible adults in the 12 states that have still not expanded Medicaid as a part of the Affordable Care Act. In the states that have already expanded Medicaid to low-income adults, he would allow these states to convert their expansion population to the federal public option, provided the state maintains its contribution toward the cost at the level it had been through the state’s Medicaid program.

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