Sanders relaunches revamped 'Medicare for All' plan

Elizabeth Warren

Nolte Elizabeth Warren Losing Presidential Primary in Home State of Massachusetts Justin Wan Sioux City Journal via APJOHN NOLTE8 Apr 2019

"It is about whether we maintain a dysfunctional system which allows the top five health insurance companies to make over $20 billion in profits a year ago", Mr. Sanders said Wednesday in a statement. Despite Medicare's popularity with its beneficiaries, the majority of Americans express satisfaction with their health care, and many are nervous about giving up private options.

During the 2018 midterm election campaigns, some congressional candidates talked about allowing younger people - anyone older than 55 - to join Medicare or allowing people younger than 65 to buy into it if they choose (what's come to be called the public option).

Simply improving the Affordable Care Act - an idea backed by Sen.

The bill has 14 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate, including four of his presidential rivals - Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Some Democratic 2020 hopefuls point to their support of Medicare for All to prove their progressive bona fides.

Big tax increases would be needed to finance such a system.

What our system does is get rid of insurance companies and drug companies making billions of dollars in profit every single year.

With Sanders' idea returning to the forefront, Republicans have a fresh opportunity to slam his plan as too costly and unworkable. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a news conference to introduce the "Medicare for All Act of 2019" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2019.

It comes as politicians tread carefully over the political land mines a Medicare-for-all endorsement could unleash, while seeking to capitalize on a growing appetite for health reform. "What will be interesting is: Is this sustainable as other candidates get better known?"

Approval for Medicare-for-all drops when people learn that, under such a program, they would likely lose their current health plan (even if the government-offered plan could theoretically provide more generous coverage). But a recent estimate from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of MA in Amherst suggests that the cost could be much lower.

Democratic presidential candidates who don't back the Sanders plan are focused on safeguarding popular provisions of the Obama-era ACA, such as the one that protects coverage of pre-existing conditions. I suppose if you want to make yourself look a little bit more attractive, work on that nose or your ears, they can do that.

Earlier this year, a poll from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans like the idea of Medicare for All but that support flips to disapproval if it would result in higher taxes or longer waits for care.

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