Speed Reads

health-care battle

With Democratic support, Bernie Sanders to introduce bill for universal health care

Backed by at least 15 Democratic senators, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will introduce legislation Wednesday to expand Medicare into a universal health insurance program.

The only way for the U.S. to move away from "a dysfunctional, wasteful, bureaucratic system into a rational health-care system that guarantees coverage to everyone in a cost-effective way" is to introduce "Medicare for All," Sanders told The Washington Post. His bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2017, would replace the current health-care system with a public system paid for by higher taxes, covering everything from prescription drugs to mental health treatment to eye care, with no co-payments. Employers would pay higher taxes, but would no longer have to cover health insurance for workers, and there would still be private insurers for people who wanted elective treatments like plastic surgery. Doctors would be reimbursed by the government.

Sanders told the Post he thinks Americans would be fine with paying more in taxes in exchange for no longer having to fight with health-care companies. He admitted this isn't a cheap proposition, but pointed out that the average American paid $11,365 in taxes while the average Canadian shelled out $14,693, but the average American also paid twice as much in health care as the average Canadian. Read more about the proposal, and the Republicans who are excited to challenge it, at The Washington Post.