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Adding New Covered Services: Dental, Vision and Hearing

A bill has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, Michigan Democrat to expand Medicare to include vision, hearing, and dental. This is a bit bold when you consider the current climate in Washington.

Dental, vision, and hearing problems leave a lot of seniors affected and Levin says Medicare should cover this. Many people don’t realize that these types of conditions aren’t covered for the elderly which are most likely those who will need these treatments.

Levin stated it is important to expand and improve our health insurance in the United States, not to limit it or be tied to how well someone is doing economically.

Levin says a Congressional Budget Office score has not been received for the bill so it does not include funding. But he said the federal budget could be allowed time to adjust if the expansion would be phased in over the course of time and limiting the benefits could help keep the expansion for taxpayers affordable.

Levin’s bill faces no chance in getting a hearing since Washington has zero appetite when it comes to increasing federal benefits especially while Republicans continue to move forward in an effort to gut the ACA “Affordable Care Act” which reduced the amount of uninsured from 12.4% for 2010 to only 6.1% in just 5 years.

Under the Republican’s bills it has been estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that between 22 million and 24 million Americans nationwide may lose their insurance.

There has been a additional separate bill which has been proposed which would prevent the IRS “Internal Revenue Service” from enforcing the mandatory insurance provision in the Affordable Care Act. The ACA’s success has factored in the individual mandate being crucial in that it will discourage the young and healthy uninsured individuals from waiting to get insurance when they become ill.

U.S. Rep wants Medicare to cover vision, hearing, dental

It may be audacious, given the current climate in Washington, but U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., has introduced a bill to expand Medicare.

Levin says Medicare should cover vision, dental and hearing problems, which affect many seniors. He says many people don’t even realize these conditions are not covered for the elderly, who are the most likely to need treatment for them.

Levin says it’s important to improve and expand health insurance in the U.S., not limit it.

“I mean health care should not essentially be tied into whether one is well off economically,” says Levin.

Levin says he has not yet received the Congressional Budget Office score for the bill, so it doesn’t including funding. But he says the expansion could be phased in over time to allow the federal budget time to adjust, and the benefits could be limited to keep the expansion affordable for taxpayers.

There’s no appetite in Washington for boosting federal benefits, so Levin’s bill faces zero chance of getting a hearing.

Meanwhile, Republicans persist in their efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act, which Levin notes reduced the level of uninsurance in Michigan from 12.4% in 2010 to 6.1% in just five years.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates between 22 and 24 million people nationwide could lose insurance under the Republicans’ bills.

A separate bill has also been proposed to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory insurance provision.

The individual mandate is considered a crucial factor in the ACA’s success, because it discourages young and healthy people from remaining uninsured until they become ill.