Rosen Co-Sponsors State Public Option Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, announced her co-sponsorship of the State Public Option Act, a bill that would allow states that choose to expand Medicaid the ability for their residents to buy into the program.

“Nevadans deserve access to affordable, high-quality care, and that’s exactly what the Medicaid public option would offer. This bill would allow states like Nevada to give residents the ability to buy into the Medicaid program and receive quality coverage that includes the ten essential health benefits guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Rosen. “I will continue working to improve our country’s health care system by defending the constitutionality of the ACA and stabilize our health insurance market so that we can lower health care costs for hardworking Nevada families.” 

BACKGROUND: The State Public Option Act would give states the option to allow (but would not require) all state residents that are not concurrently enrolled in another insurance plan to buy into the state Medicaid program through their state’s Exchange. Coverage for individuals choosing to buy-in would be paid for by premiums, with no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Premiums could not exceed 9.5 percent of household income, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits could be applied to Medicaid buy-in premiums. The bill would provide states a 90 percent increased federal match for administrative expenses related to setting up Medicaid buy-ins. The bill would also make permanent the ACA’s Medicare payment increase for primary care providers and expand incentives for states to opt into the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. 

Last Congress, Rosen backed identical legislation in the House. She also co-sponsored H.R. 635, the CHOICE Act, which would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer a new nationwide public health insurance option that provides value, choice, competition, and the stability of affordable, high-quality coverage financed through premiums, rather than taxpayer dollars.