health care

Do you support partially expanding Medicare by allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare?

Yes

Yes, supports

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet supports this proposal, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden’s health-care plan includes a public option “like Medicare” that appears to include all Americans, regardless of age.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“I support a public option allowing people to buy into Medicare,” Bullock told The Post.

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, he told The Post.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, he told The Post.

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Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“My preference would be to leave Medicare alone and have people in the 50-64 range covered by my universal health-care plan,” Delaney told The Post. “Having said that, allowing people over 50 to buy into Medicare as part of improving the Affordable Care Act is a good idea.”

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John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

“I support lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 50,” de Blasio told The Post. “I would ensure during the transition to a Medicare-for-All structure we provide those over 50 with the opportunity to buy-into Medicare or if we are unable to accomplish a Medicare-for-All structure I support it as a way to build upon the Affordable Care Act to lower health care costs for millions of Americans. ”

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, her campaign told The Post.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. “Yes, everyone should be able to buy into a public option regardless of age,” Hickenlooper told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. Inslee supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, she told The Post.

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of Stabenow's Medicare at 50 Act.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“My first choice is to have a comprehensive health-care plan to provide affordable health care to most Americans,” Messam told The Post. “Anything that falls short of that goal is not the type of change big enough to solve the problem. I believe health care is a civil right, and rights shouldn’t get parceled out piecemeal.”

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Wayne Messam
Messam

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, he told The Post.

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

“There are ways to strengthen Obamacare, such as adding a public option, increasing subsidies to make coverage more affordable or lowering the age eligibility for Medicare,” Ryan said in a Facebook post.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“My Medicare-for-all Act has a four-year transition. Year One involves lowering the Medicare age and improving Medicare benefits, including adding coverage for dental, vision and hearing aids,” Sanders told The Post. “So while I support getting more people onto Medicare, I believe it should be a first step towards further health reform.”

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support coverage for all, i.e., Medicare for all who want it. This would serve as a public option for any American,” Swalwell told The Post. He co-sponsored the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, which would establish a Medicare buy-in option for people ages 50 to 64.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren supports allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare, her campaign told The Post.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I’m not opposed to Senator Stabenow’s approach, but I find it not to be comprehensive enough, so I’m putting my effort into more ambitious, holistic approaches,” Williamson told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I agree with the goal of expanding Medicare to be available to and cover more individuals, with the eventual goal of providing a competitive option to all Americans,” Yang told The Post.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

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Background Some lawmakers have proposed taking incremental steps to expanding health coverage by lowering the eligibility age and giving more people the option of buying into Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors – essentially, offering “Medicare-for-more.” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced the Medicare at 50 Act in February, legislation that was co-sponsored by a number of the Democratic contenders.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll from January 2019, 77 percent of the public favors allowing people ages 50 to 64 to buy insurance through Medicare.

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various health-care policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

The page will update to reflect candidates’ positions as they become more clear. We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We will also note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee by March 13. The Post will reach out to additional candidates as they enter the race and then include them here.