Sen. Tim Kaine said Thursday that he plans to push for a public option in the health care market when the Senate returns after the August recess.
“I’ve thought about if you could have Medicare part E — and E would be for everybody — if you wanted to buy Medicare at any point in life … then you pay premium and buy it, or if employers wanted to use that for employees, then there would be competition, and it would drive down prices,” Mr. Kaine, Virginia Democrat, said on “The John Fredericks Show.”
“It’s likely that [Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado] and I are working on proposal. As we get into longer-term discussions, I think we’re going to put that on a table,” said Mr. Kaine, who sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Mr. Kaine said he favors the public option over the single-payer system that Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Democrat, plans on pushing when health care talks resume. Mr. Sanders has said that he also supports a public option, but believes that should be a temporary program while working on a longer term “Medicare-for-all” program.
The Virginia Democrat also said there need to be temporary fixes to stabilize the individual marketplace, which has seen skyrocketing premiums under Obamacare. Mr. Kaine said the Senate needs to have discussions in the committees on what can be quickly passed to help bring prices down before the next enrollment period.