US Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled his healthcare plan this week: Medicare For All. Sanders’ plan would expand the current Medicare scheme to all Americans over the course of four years, beginning with those aged over 55 and under 18. Then, it would drop to 45, then to 35, to finally covering all Americans in a single-payer system.
“You’re going to the same private doctor that you went to. You’re going to go to the same hospital that you went to. The only difference is instead of having a Blue Cross Blue Shield [insurance] card, you’re going to have a Medicare for All card. That’s it,” said Sanders about his proposed bill.
The plan states that a family making US$50,000 per year typically pays US$6,273 per year in health costs and that Medicare for All would bring this down to US$466. It would also reduce costs for employers by an average of 75 percent. The plan is estimated to cost US$1.38 trillion per year, would be funded by several measures including an increase in taxes for the rich and by negotiating prices with suppliers such as pharmaceutical companies.
For the bill to pass, it would require the support of the majority of the senators from the House of Representatives. Once that happens, the project would have to go to Congress and be signed or vetoed by the President within 10 days.
The US is one of the only major countries of the OECD without a unified healthcare system and healthcare costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US.
SOURCES: Mexico Health Review, The New York Times, The Guardian, berniesanders.com, GlynLowe.com via Flickr.com