On December 10, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to discuss nine proposals aimed at expanding health insurance coverage across the country. The proposals discussed included sweeping Medicare for All proposals (i.e., establishing a single federal program to offer comprehensive benefits and eradicate the private market), to more incremental policy shifts (e.g., expanding Medicare eligibility to people over 50), and legislation that falls somewhere in the middle (e.g., creating a new public health system while preserving the private insurance market).
The partisan nature of this debate was on full display during the course of the hearing. Though Democrats on the Subcommittee support a variety of approaches, all stressed the importance of increasing accessibility to health insurance and improving available benefits. Republicans, on the other hand, opposed the proposals discussed, arguing that they would all eventually lead to a Medicare for All framework and eliminate the private insurance market to the detriment of consumers.
This marks the fourth universal health care hearing in the 116th Congress. More information on the hearing is available here.