What Does Bernie Sanders' Single-Payer Healthcare Bill Mean For You?

More senators plan to co-sponsor Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all bill

Bernie answered them today in a Times's op-ed entitled "Why we need Medicare for all:" "The reason that our health care system is so outrageously expensive is that it is not created to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way, but to provide huge profits to the medical-industrial complex", Sanders wrote. "Bernie, this ends your dream of a single-payer health care system for America", he said.

Co-sponsors with Sanders include Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeff Merkley, Sheldon Whitehouse, Brian Schatz, Mazie Hirono, Ed Markey, Al Franken, Tammy Baldwin, and Richard Blumenthal.

Here's what we know so far...

Should health care in the year 2017 in the United States of America be a right of all people? Bernie Sanders suggests they are in proposing a plan that would have the government foot most medical bills.

Sander promised Wednesday that any increase in individual taxes would be "more than offset" by the health care spending savings people would enjoy. 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 USA resident in the fourth year. Over the next two years, Medicare enrollment would drop to 45 years, then 35 years old. By the fourth year, all residents of the USA would be eligible for the program. Although, as ThinkProgress.org points out, it's unclear how the drafters intend to define "resident". The overall coverage figures only appear larger when Medicaid's exploding enrollment is considered.

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"When I was working on healthcare back in in '93 and '94, I said if we could've waved the magic wand and started all over, maybe we would start with something resembling single-payer plus other payers, like other countries that have universal coverage and are much better at controlling costs than we do, primarily in Europe", Clinton said.

The U.S.'s patchwork system is mostly private, partly public and covers the vast majority of Americans.

It also expands reproductive health services to include abortion. Managing utilization and, in turn, expenditures involves striking a balance in incentives among patients and providers and a mix of fee-for-service and managed care elements.

Take Medicare as an example: Medicare, which began in 1965, was initially expected to cost $9 billion annually by 1990. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood's Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs said it was a "refreshing change to see a health care proposal coming out of Congress that explicitly takes women's health into consideration". In the last few months, you have shown the American people what you stand for, when you voted for legislation to throw 32 million Americans off of the health insurance they now have, while giving huge tax breaks to the rich and large corporations.

Moreover, the bill would encourage the government to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

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Sen. Sanders wisely bases his single-payer plan on Medicare because the program has high satisfaction ratings and has traditionally been able to sweep its budgetary problems under the rug. 8, in support of the bill.

A single-payer system would certainly require tax revenue. Even Joe Manchin, widely considered the Senate's most conservative Democrat, said that while he was "skeptical" of single-payer, he thought Congress should "carefully consider all of the options". Sanders' team of drafters told ThinkProgress.org they will release the funding in a "separate white paper".

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today praised the introduction of legislation that would make all Americans and US residents eligible for Medicare. Today, the share of the electorate that believes health coverage is a government responsibility is at the highest level it's been in almost a decade, according to the most recent figures from the Pew Research Center. And a few dozen tiny stocks are set to deliver potentially once-in-a-lifetime windfalls.

The bill hasn't been made public yet, but we'll update this page when it becomes available.

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