Should hearing, vision and dental benefits be included in Medicare?

Inside West Virginia Politics

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On Inside West Virginia Politics, we’re joined by Max Richtman, CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to discuss the issue brought up in Congress to expand dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare.

As of now, the issue has been included in a reconciliation budget bill. Richtman says the expansion on these benefits is “critical” because they are not “luxuries” as some people think, especially as some people need vision, dental and hearing care for their daily lives, making them essential medical needs. He says this is something the organization has been trying to make happen for a while and is glad to see there is more support in Congress than ever before to have these benefits included in Medicare.

Richtman says a roadblock in getting the benefits included in Medicare is how they will be paid for. He says one suggestion to offset funds for the benefits is to change the rules for the cost of prescription drugs in the Medicare program by allowing the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. The idea, Richtman says, has so far been welcomed by some lawmakers.

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