Sen. Kennedy proposes universal Medicare plan

March 1, 2005

In a speech before the National Press Club, Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D-Mass.), proposed expanding Medicare to cover every US citizen within the next decade.

In a speech before the National Press Club, Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D-Mass.), proposed expanding Medicare to cover every US citizen within the next decade. His plan-Medicare for All-would allow residents to choose to enroll in Medicare or pay a premium to join one of the private plans in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program.

Kennedy suggested that his plan could be phased in according to a beneficiary's age. The first stage would include those between 55 and 64, and guarantee health-care coverage to every child, according to the electronic newsletter American Health Line (1/13/05).

Kennedy also noted that the cost of his plan would be funded by payroll taxes on employees and employers, general government revenue, and savings from increased use of technology, including electronic medical records. He believes his plan would save about $380 billion per year in costs.