Politics

Mike Bloomberg calls for public option in his 2020 health-care proposal

Key Points
  • Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg unveiled his health-care plan, which includes a public option that's similar to former Vice President Joe Biden's proposal.
  • The plan stops short of the "Medicare for All" concept that's being pushed by progressive candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Former New York Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Thursday unveiled his health-care plan, which includes a public option and is similar to former Vice President Joe Biden's proposal.

The former New York City mayor's plan would allow voters to "buy a Medicare-like health insurance policy, administered by the federal government but paid for by customer premiums," his campaign explained.

In a statement, Bloomberg, who has a net worth of just over $54 billion, pledged to provide universal health care and reinvigorate President Barack Obama's signature health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, if he were to become president.

"President Trump has spent three years sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and offering nothing in return but empty promises," Bloomberg said. "We will reverse the president's attacks on the Affordable Care Act, reach universal coverage, reduce costs for all Americans, increase support for rural communities, and fix our broken healthcare system once and for all."

The plan stops short of the "Medicare for All" concept that's being pushed by more progressive candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Here are the plan's top priorities, according to the website:

  • Allow people to buy a Medicare-like health insurance policy
  • Extend tax credits for individuals and families with high insurance premiums
  • Allow families to buy health plans in the individual market with federal subsidies
  • Create a permanent federal reinsurance program for the individual market
  • Conduct aggressive efforts to sign people up for insurance

Biden, Sanders and Warren are ahead of Bloomberg in all of the national polls. Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg have both said they back health-care plans that give an option to voters to buy into a Medicare-like public option, while stopping short of Medicare for All.

Bloomberg offered four pillars for affordable health care, starting with "extending tax credits for individuals and families" whose premiums are more than 8.5% of their income. Another one of his ideas is "creating a permanent federal reinsurance program for the individual market which would reduce premiums by up to 10 percent."

Bloomberg's campaign for president released his plan as he spoke at a rally in Tennessee on Thursday. He plans to open a campaign office in Nashville.

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