SFr. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reintroduced the Medicare for All Act, a bill that would eliminate private health insurance in exchange for a government-funded system.
Sanders, a socialist who caucused with Democrats, resurrected the plan, which has in the past been the source of immense conflict within the party. Sanders’ bill would eliminate deductibles, copayments and plan premiums while providing everyone with health coverage and massively increasing federal spending.
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“Frankly, I’m tired of talking to doctors telling me about patients who died because they were uninsured or underinsured and came into their office too late for incurable conditions,” Sanders said. said Thursday.
Sanders’ sweeping bill would also include dental and vision care as well as hearing aids, which aren’t currently covered by traditional health insurance or the government’s seniors health care program. The legislation would also ensure coverage for prescription drugs as well as home and community care.
The plan would be phased in over a four-year period. In the first year of implementation, benefits would be expanded to include hearing, vision, and dental coverage, and the Medicare eligibility age would be lowered from 10 years to 55 years. The eligibility age would be further lowered to 45 in the second year and 35. In the third. Throughout this time, children under 18 would be covered. By year four, everyone would be covered by the system.
“Would a Medicare for All healthcare system be expensive? The answer is yes. But while providing comprehensive health care for all, it would cost a lot less than our current dysfunctional system,” Sanders said.
Sanders ran for president twice on a Medicare for All platform, which lost to President Joe Biden’s promise to improve the existing health care law, Obamacare. The health sector has also spoken out against the proposed single-payer plan, spending millions on lobbying to defeat the bill in Congress and on TV spots to sway voters.
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The price of Sanders’ proposal changes slightly depending on the estimated non-governmental entity, but it remains in the trillions. For example, the center-left Urban Institute says such a plan would require an additional $34 trillion in federal government spending over the next decade and that overall health spending would climb to $59 trillion. Meanwhile, economist Charles Blahous of the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center estimates the legislation would add between $32.6 trillion and $38.8 trillion in new federal budget costs over the first 10 years.