When Sen. Bernie Sanders did this in 2013, he did it alone.
Sanders is attempting to address the call from almost a third of the Senate Democratic Caucus - who've been adamant about a single-payer healthcare system - by proposing the Medicare for All Bill. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Chris Murphy of CT, whose staff has reportedly worked with Sanders on the legislation, have also expressed support for the idea of Medicare for All. Richard Blumenthal, Sanders called the costs of the current system "insane and unaffordable", promising that the average family would benefit financially under his plan "because you will no longer be writing checks to private insurance companies". "I know that taking on the health insurance companies and Wall Street and the drug companies and medical equipment suppliers, all those people who profit off our dysfunctional healthcare system is not going to be an easy fit".
In an interview, Sanders said Tuesday that his measure would likely be paid for in a "progressive way". But the outreach came with a warning.
Sanders counters America already rations health care, with thousands dying because they can't afford it. But patients would also likely seek more treatments and services under single-payer, and, as Vox notes, the prices now paid by Medicaid under Sanders' plan would go up. "The reality is that when millions of Americans stand up and fight back, when they become engaged politically, there is nothing that will stop us".
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center, joined by Sen.
If passed, the Medicare for All Act of 2017 would replace the current healthcare system with a public system paid for by higher taxes, covering everything from hospital stays, doctor visits, mental health program, dental, vision and reproductive care, including abortion.
"We should understand that everyone-all-should receive the healthcare they need regardless of where they come from or their zip code", said Sen.
In the broad strokes it'd resemble the health care systems of other nations. "I'm all about giving the patient the power, I am a doctor".
Really, it serves as an announcement: The Democratic party considers single-payer at least worth talking about. Backed by 16 Senate Democrats, the legislation would transition the US healthcare system to a single government-run plan that covers all Americans.
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Single-payer will force Americans to wait for critical care and stress the Medicare program once it is extended to people younger than 65, Barrasso said.
However, consumers may have to pay up to $250 out-of-pocket for prescription drugs, with incentives to use generic medications.
Sanders' proposal is a "horrible idea", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (no relation to the senator) told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Long-term care, which Sanders had included in the version he unveiled during his presidential campaign a year ago, will not be covered. He intends to address this and related elements of his plan in a separate piece of legislation.
The bill calls for the elimination of premiums for private health insurance, deductibles and co-pays. "What I can say is we are going to be listing a number of revenue-raising proposals, which will generate more than enough money for what we want to do".
On the campaign trail, Sanders pitched a version of the bill with an estimated price tag of almost $1.4 trillion, to be paid for in part by a proposed new 2.2 percent income tax on all Americans, a 6.2 percent levy on employers and further round of tax hikes on the wealthy. Kamala Harris, D-California, a co-sponsor of the Medicare-for-All bill, identifying health care as "a non-partisan issue". From there, she said, the U.S. should take incremental steps toward a single-payer system.
Democratic heavyweights such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., understand the inherent dangers of moving too far to the left on health care.
The answer, according to this new version of the bill, is to roll it out over a four-year transition period, a process Gillibrand and her office had a big hand in crafting. The first year, everyone under 18 and over 55 would be covered; that would expand to everyone over 45 in the second year, everyone over 35 in the third year, and every US resident in the fourth year.