U.S. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, former Associate Dean of Florida International University’s College of Health, introduced important healthcare legislation that would cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment for all Medicare Advantage enrollees. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2019, one-third (34%) of all Medicare beneficiaries – 22 million people – are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Florida’s 26th congressional district has the 5th highest percentage of eligible Medicare Advantage enrollees in the country and over 79,000 enrollees total. Mucarsel-Powell is pushing to include this legislation in the CARES 2.0 funding package, as part of a larger effort for COVID-19 treatment to be covered for all Americans. U.S. Rep. Ron Kind is also co-leading this legislation with Mucarsel-Powell.
“During this public health crisis, the last thing people need to be worried about is how they will afford treatment if they get sick,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “This bill would help one third of all Medicare beneficiaries – 22 million people – across the country, including nearly two million Medicare Advantage enrollees in Florida. In South Florida alone, there are over 500,000 seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare Advantage who would not have to worry about the cost of treatment if this legislation passed. And as COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color, it is important to note that Medicare Advantage plans enrolled 55 percent of Hispanic and 39 percent of African American total Medicare beneficiaries. I thank House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone for supporting this bill. As a matter of safety and as a matter of equity, this legislation must pass quickly through Congress in CARES 2.0 to get much-needed help to our communities.”
Mucarsel-Powell announced this legislation at a virtual press conference with local doctors and South Florida Medicare Advantage enrollees. A downloadable recording of the press conference can be found HERE.