Bernie Sanders Says Medicare Expansion Will Remain in Spending Bill: ‘Not Coming Out’

By: Christina Zhao; Newsweek

Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday expressed confidence that Medicare expansion of dental, vision and hearing coverage will remain in the Democrats‘ paired-back spending bill amid ongoing negotiations between progressives and moderates in the caucus to iron out sticking points, with a deadline 8 days away.

“The expansion of Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision is one of the most popular and important provisions in the entire reconciliation bill. It’s what the American people want. It’s not coming out,” tweeted Sanders, a Vermont independent and chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

His remarks came days after Biden called including the expansion of Medicare in the spending bill a “reach,” given staunch opposition from moderate Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

“I think it’s a good idea and it’s not that costly in relative terms especially if you allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices,” Biden said during a CNN town hall Thursday. “But here’s the thing: Mr. Manchin is opposed to that as is, I think, Senator Sinema.”

Democrats plan on passing the measure known as the Build Back Better Act through a budget process called reconciliation, and with the chamber split 50-50, all members of the caucus will need to vote for it to pass.