Bernie Sanders Healthcare Plan: 'Medicare-for-All' Proposal Estimated at $1.4 Trillion Per Year
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders disclosed his "Medicare-for-all" plan, which the Vermont senator says will save the country $6 trillion over the next 10 years.
On Sunday evening, hours prior the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate, the Sanders campaign revealed the health care plan that would expand Medicare, build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cease copays and deductibles.
"Universal health care is an idea that has been supported in the United States by Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman," Sanders said in a statement with the release of the health care plan. "It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege."
According to the Sanders campaign, the U.S. currently spends $3 trillion per year on health care, or approximately $10,000 per person. Citing University of Massachusetts of Amherst economist Gerald Friedman's analysis, Sanders' plan would save $6 trillion during the next 10 years, while "dramatically" reducing overall health costs and prescription drug prices." Per Friedman's review, a family with an income of $50,000 would pay only $466 per year in the Medicare-for-all program, instead of the current average of $4,955 in premiums for private insurance and another $1,318 on deductibles the insurance hasn't covered. Businesses would also save more than $9,400 per year with Sanders' plan.
The presidential candidates' health care plan would be paid for with several taxes, including a 2.2 percent health care premium, 6.2 percent health care payroll tax paid by employers and an estate tax from the "wealthiest" Americans in addition to tax code changes "to make federal income tax rates more progressive."
Wealthier Americans, comprising of those earning between $250,000 and $500,000, would be taxed at a rate of 37 percent annually. Americans earning $10 million or more per year would be taxed 52 percent.
Overall, the Sanders campaign says the Medicare-for-all plan will cost an estimated $1.38 trillion per year.
Immigrants' Right to Health Access
Although the plan released on Sunday did not specifically address immigrants, he has previously supported a platform to allow all immigrants -- including the undocumented community -- to purchase health insurance through the ACA marketplace exchanges.
Based on the current ACA law, immigrants are not allowed to engage in the health insurance marketplace. If elected, Sanders has said he will direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide ACA access to immigrants with deferred status -- that includes recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the pending Deferred Action for Parental Accountability programs.
Clinton Camp's Response
Following the release of Sanders' health plan, Hillary Clinton's campaign acknowledged the Vermont senator has previously altered his health care platform stance on a number of occasions.
"Senator Sanders has been changing a lot of positions in the last 24 hours because when his plans and record come under scrutiny, their very real flaws get exposed," Hillary for America spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement on Sunday. "After digging in his heels for weeks, he backpedaled on his vote to give sweeping immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers. And after weeks of denying the legitimacy of the questions Hillary Clinton raised about flaws in the health care legislation he's introduced 9 times over 20 years, he proposed a new plan two hours before the debate."
"Hillary Clinton knows what it takes, and has what it takes, to protect the gains of the Affordable Care Act and secure quality, affordable health care for all Americans," added Fallon. "When you're running for President and you're serious about getting results for the American people, details matter-and Senator Sanders is making them up as he goes along."
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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