Wyden calls for health options

Sen. Ron Wyden proposes more coverage options for employees in the Senate health bill.

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Along with a Maine senator, Sen. Ron Wyden offered a set of amendments calling for more coverage options for employees and keeping premium costs down.

Both Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley offered their views on the latest version of the Senate health reform bill.

A key feature of this week’s proposal was the replacement of the “public option” to let uninsured Americans get medical insurance through the government with a provision allowing Americans 55 and older to enroll in Medicare, the federal government’s senior citizen coverage plan. That drew the ire of Jeff Merkley, who expressed deep concerns Thursday that Oregon would come out a loser.

Merkley, a Democrat, said lowering the Medicare eligibility age would just exacerbate the federal program’s unfair treatment of his state, where enrollees’ coverage is much lower than in most other states. He said that makes the overall bill a poor substitute for the earlier version containing the public option.

Read the full story at The Register-Guard.

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