Bernie Sanders, a third-term US Senator for Vermont is a huge proponent for “Medicare for All”. Sanders doesn’t view health care as an “option”, but rather a basic human right.
His website www.berniesanders.com shows this quote from Sanders,
“We say to the private health insurance companies: whether you like it or not, the United States will join every other major country on earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they’re sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital.”
Traditionally, Medicare has referred to health insurance for the 65 and overpopulation. It’s important to note that the “Medicare for All” that Bernie is referencing would include individuals from birth and up. This would be a single-payer healthcare system.
Here are the highlights of the plan:
- Healthcare would be available to every resident of the US
- The plan would give you the freedom to visit doctors and facilities of your choice (not be limited to a specific network)
- No one would be excluded regardless of sex, age, race, sexual identity, etc.
- Dental and vision benefits would be included in addition to health benefits as well as long-term care
- There would be no cost-sharing (copays, deductibles, co-insurance)
- Prices paid for prescription drugs and medical equipment would be negotiated yearly (the plan would make sure no American paid over $200/year for their medicine)
While Bernie’s plan sounds good in theory, there are still many unknowns surrounding specifically HOW his plan would work. Of great concern is how much taxes would increase to help fund the plan and if those taxes would end up costing citizens more than traditional health insurance premiums, deductibles, and copays.
Would this plan create chaos in the marketplace? With the entire population being covered by Medicare for All, would doctors’ offices and hospitals and clinics become overburdened, causing patients to wait months for appointments?
As with any new idea or concept, the unknowns are many and leave a multitude of unanswered questions and concerns.