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Sanders and 15 other Senators introduce Medicare for All bill

Written by Diane Archer

As Congressional Republicans continue to seek a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senator Bernie Sanders and 15 other Senators introduced a Medicare for All bill, providing universal health care.

Even with the Affordable Care Act, more than 28 million Americans remain uninsured, and the cost of health care is prohibitively high for many. Sanders’ bill would both allow people to use virtually any doctor or hospital in the country and lower their costs. It recognizes that Medicare is the most cost-effective health insurance system in the U.S. (The V.A. system is arguably more cost-effective but is socialized medicine and not an insurance system.) And, it projects huge savings from ending the profits and administrative waste of private health insurance, which would no longer be available as primary coverage.

Sanders’ bill is designed to end the financial and bureaucratic obstacles that keep people from going to the doctors they know and trust, getting needed in-hospital care or taking life-saving medications. The bill is aimed at extending lives, cutting our health care costs significantly from the $10,000 per person average today. Sanders’ bill also fills critical gaps in Medicare, offering hearing, vision and dental services and a catastrophic coverage cap. And, people with Medicare would see these additional benefits right away.

The Sanders bill phases in improved Medicare for all for people who do not yet have Medicare over four years. People 55 and older, along with children under 18, would enjoy Medicare coverage in year one. In year two, people 45 and older would be eligible. In year three, people 35 and older. And, in year four everyone. No question that if it were to become law, Medicare for All would give everyone better coverage than they have today—access to the doctors and hospitals they know and trust and all others that they may want to use anywhere in the U.S.—at lower cost. And, The April 2-4, 2017 Economist/YouGov poll shows that the majority of the public–60 percent–supports it.

With a groundswell of support, Congress eventually may do right by the American people and enact Medicare for all. If you support Medicare for all, please let Congress know. Sign this petition.

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3 Comments

  • “Medicare for All” is often used as a short-hand version of a single-payer, government-centered plan that would give comprehensive coverage to everybody. It is a misleading misnomer that it is not at all consistent with what Senator Sanders himself describes as his idea of the perfect plan. He proposes a plan that would rely on taxes for payment and have few if any deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. As any regular Medicare beneficiary could tell him, this is not Medicare. In fact, with Medicare, a person would need no fewer than two private insurance policies in order to have the best coverage.

    “Medicare for All” implies that the new plan will merely involve enlarging the Medicare database size to accommodate more beneficiaries. Instead, it is a total revamping of our health insurance system that will have to cover those with insurance from employer coverage, private coverage including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid along with those not covered at all and to devise a means to pay for it all. It would be a long, winding road with many a twist and turn.

    I suggest that Senator Sanders retire “Medicare for All” and start using a more accurate name, such as single-payer, and that he be more forthcoming in how this new system would be implemented, including when certain key functions will be successfully activated, what it will cost, and how it will be paid for.

  • I left a comment yesterday noting that “Medicare for All’ was a very misleading way to refer to what Sen Sanders is proposing, which is single payer. What happened to it?

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