Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A major liberal U.S. policy group on Thursday proposed a new solution to guarantee healthcare coverage for all Americans, by upgrading Medicare.
The Center for American Progress released the proposal, "Medicare Extra for All," which aims to make the program available to everyone -- regardless of income, health status, age or insurance status, while preserving employer coverage for those satisfied with the existing system.
"Healthcare is a right, not a privilege," CAP chief executive Neera Tanden said. "The Affordable Care Act was an historic accomplishment and a giant step toward universal health coverage. The sustained political fight over the law shows that Americans want to expand coverage, not repeal it.
"Medicare Extra would take the next step by guaranteeing the right of all Americans to enroll in the same high-quality health care plan. It is time to guarantee universal coverage and health security for all Americans."
The "Medicare Extra" version announced by CAP Thursday features an out-of-pocket limit, coverage for dental care and hearing aids and integrated drug benefits.
Under the plan, premiums would be capped based on income for the plan, which would offer zero or low deductibles, no-cost preventive care, generic drugs and treatment for chronic disease.