WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVEC) -- Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says his Medicare-X Choice Act would offer families, individuals, and small businesses additional, low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace by allowing Americans to choose among existing private insurance plans or a public one.
"What we hear about it, we want more choices and we want more affordability," he said.
The plan initially would be available in areas where there is a shortage of insurers or higher health care costs due to less competition—including rural communities in Virginia—and then would become available in every zip code in the country in 2023.
"It would offer more affordability and the roll-out would be particularly beneficial in the rural parts of Virginia and the rural parts of America that have the fewest choices for consumers," he said.
Kaine is also expressing support for a bipartisan bill, proposed by Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Washington Senator Patty Murray to help stabilize Affordable Care Act marketplaces by restoring payments for the rest of this year and the next two years.
"It would stabilize the market for a couple of years, but it would then give us the opportunity in the health committee where I serve and in the finance committee that works on Medicaid and Medicare issues, it would give us a chance to engage in a more deliberate and thoughtful dialog about other steps we should take to improve health care for Americans," Kaine said. "And we are happy to have found what we consider to be a bipartisan solution going forward. I'm going to do everything I can to support it and see that it passes."
But the measure may be doomed before it even gets off the ground. President Trump expressed opposition to it, Tweeting today: "I can never support bailing out (insurance companies) who have made a fortune (with Obamacare").