Sen Joe Manchin on Monday shut down one of Bernie Sanders’s biggest priorities, expanding Medicare.
Sanders insisted in a tweet Saturday that his proposal to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and vision must be included in a budget reconciliation package.
But Manchin on Monday put a swift end to Sanders’s push to expand Medicare, warning the program faces insolvency in 2026.
“My big concern right now is the 2026 deadline for Medicare insolvency, and if no one’s concerned about that, I’ve got people – that’s a lifeline. Medicare and Social Security is a lifeline for people back in West Virginia, most people around the country,” Manchin warned.
Without the stability of Medicare and Social Security, Manchin stays consistent with not wanting to include any advance towards the potential of an expansion, which will cause problems with Sanders, whose vote is also essential to getting the budget reconciliation bill passed through the 50-50 Senate.
One of Manchin’s biggest concerns is that with new states participating in the expansion, who initially declined, they would get all of their costs covered by the federal government.
Stating that “The problem with that one right now we’re paying 90-10. So 10% is being paid for all the states. For states that held out to be rewarded 100% is not fair.”
With a precise slice to the Medicare expansion, there would be a significant reduction in overall price to Biden’s spending bill, which is estimated to be released this week. Manchin raised an important point, addressing now would not be an excellent time to expand Medicare as the federal budget deficit is expected to hit $3 trillion for this year alone, an estimated figure according to the Congressional Budget Office,