Healthcare reform advocate Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, reintroduced legislation that would create universal health coverage for childrena move he has done every new session for at least a decade.
As Barack Obama takes office and sets the direction for reform efforts, Congress is poised to work with him to make comprehensive health reform a reality, Stark said in a statement. The legislation provides useful templates for achieving universal health coverage in America and are consistent with many of the principles outlined by the president-elect.
The bills, the Medikids Health Insurance Act and the AmeriCare Health Care Act, would rework the Medicare program, keep intact employee-based insurance and also offer a new public coverage plan as a means to expand coverage to all children living in the U.S. through the age of 23.
Under the proposed legislation, parents would retain the choice to enroll their children either in public, private or government plans. But if a lapse in coverage does occur, MediKids would automatically fill in the gap until the child is enrolled in another plan.