Federal Medicare expansion sees health lobby resistance

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Following early successes of President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion budget blueprint, health lobbyists are pushing back against related proposals to expand Medicare as part of the deal. 

The political efforts led by Democrats who see the expansion as an essential initiative clash with the interests of healthcare lobbyists, who seek to protect insurers' bottom lines, according to an Aug. 27 Politico report. 

Professional healthcare advocacy groups, such as the American Dental Association, are asking Congress to consider the scope of its actions, according to Politico. Instead of widespread expansion, the association pitched expanding benefits just for those who make below 300 percent of the federal poverty line. 

"Let's focus on those who currently can't afford to see a dentist, people who are most likely to end up in the emergency room," said Michael Graham, ADA senior vice president for government and public affairs.

Matt Eyles, president and CEO of AHIP, brought up concerns that the cost of expansion could limit some fringe Medicare Advantage plan benefits that members saw at no charge. But those concerns have been met by lawmakers who say the government should slash Medicare Advantage payments to fund the new bill.

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