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Expanded Medicare Benefits Plan Raises Questions of Equity

Aug. 2, 2021, 9:36 AM

The Democrats’ plan to add hearing, vision, and dental coverage to Medicare is stirring debate about its potential effect on low-income beneficiaries and whether it advances the push for greater health equity.

“I’m not sure it closes the gap in equality or the gap in access for underserved communities,” Michael Lutz, a senior consultant at Avalere Health, said.

The benefits, which could cost $358 billion over 10 years, would quiet years of complaints about program coverage and give all beneficiaries better health options.

But given Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra’s calls for racial and social equity in federal ...

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