As Promised, Sanders Details Universal Healthcare Plan

Bernie 2016


U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday detailed a Medicare-for-all plan to provide better health care for all Americans at less cost.

“Universal health care is an idea that has been supported in the United States by Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman,” Sanders said. “It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege.”

The proposal would expand Medicare, the popular and successful health care program for seniors, and build on the success of the Affordable Care Act, which Sanders helped craft. Patients would be able to choose their own doctors and receive comprehensive care for everything from hospital stays to emergency room visits to primary and specialty care.

Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan would save $6 trillion over the next 10 years compared to the current system, according to a detailed analysis by Gerald Friedman, an economist at University of Massachusetts at Amherst who is a leading expert on health care costs.

In a nation that now spends $3 trillion a year on health care – nearly $10,000 per person – Sanders’ plan would save consumers money by eliminating expensive and wasteful private health insurance. The plan would save taxpayers money by dramatically reducing overall health care costs and bringing down skyrocketing prescription drug prices which are far greater in the United States than in any other country.

The typical family earning $50,000 a year would save nearly $6,000 annually in health care costs, Friedman calculated. The average working family now pays $4,955 in premiums for private insurance and spends another $1,318 on deductibles for care that isn’t covered. Under Sanders’ plan, a family of four earning $50,000 would pay just $466 per year to the Medicare-for-all program.

Businesses would save more than $9,400 a year in health care costs under Sanders’ plan. The average annual cost to the employer for a worker with a family who makes $50,000 a year would go from $12,591 to just $3,100.

The shift to universal health care would be paid for with a 2.2 percent health care premium (calculated under the rules for federal income taxes); a 6.2 percent health care payroll tax paid by employers; an estate tax on the wealthiest Americans and changes in the tax code to make federal income tax rates more progressive.

Under the plan, individuals making $250,000 to $500,000 a year would be taxed at a rate of 37 percent. The top rate, 52 percent, would apply to those earning $10 million or more a year, a category that in 2013 included only the 13,000 wealthiest households in the United States.

Additional savings would be achieved from reducing outlays for taxpayer-supported health care expenditures.

Sanders laid out his health care plan and progressive tax reform proposals here in South Carolina where he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were to take part on Sunday night in a nationally televised debate in their contest for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

To read more about Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan and his progressive tax proposals, click here.
To read Professor Gerald Friedman’s analysis of Sanders’ plan, click here.

9 thoughts on “As Promised, Sanders Details Universal Healthcare Plan

  • January 17, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you, Senator Sanders (soon to be POTUS),

    My wife and I are teachers with two boys and are paying over $500 per month for health coverage and every time we go to any doctor’s office, more money goes out.

    #feelthebern and #cleanthehouse


  • January 18, 2016 at 3:37 am

    did you notice that billo is “sorry” but he won’t pay 90 percent of his income to pay for the berne’s proposal on health care-that he would “flee” to Ireland from whence his family came to escape the potato famine,or some other contrived disaster-well the famine is over,and billo can return to a country which actually has single payer health insurance,on a gdp which is a fraction of ours.even the skinheads over there would not tolerate the for profit system we have here.especially when said skinhead is denied care for his child so that a few people can live like gods,while hiring shills to make astonishingly bogus about how much single payer would cost.

  • January 18, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Well done. It will be difficult to get the conservative media to treat this honestly or even report it, but this is an excellent analysis.

  • January 18, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Thank you Bernie for giving us a real choice for a real change.

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Delaware has a single payer health care bill. for 900,000 citizens we spend $8.5 BILLION….keeping the for profits in the mix steals 45cents out of every health care $, to support millionaire CEOS, and shareholders….the only country in the world who does that. We could pay for dental, mental, optical, long term care, prisoners, aids, you name it and Delaware would save $3.5 BILLION a year….Our STATES are going bankrupt, while delivering poor medical care….the premiums are so damn high and the drugs so out of reach for most…having access to a doctor, doesn’t mean you can afford to pay for the drugs he will pick for you…in fact the insurance company can and does overrule your doctor and tell that doctor to offer you something less expensive….I have a neighbor on Medicaid with a horrible case of diarrhea…went to doctor twice, he prescribed a medication and the insurance company refused to pay. The neighbor has a gut bacteria that regular medications do not tret…so its been a week now, waiting for the insurance company to act..while my neighbor is so weak he can barely walk….that is whats going on in the US under Obamacare, and why we need single payer…..81% of americans want single payer.

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Did you know that drugs are sold on TV networks to operate their “News studios”….watch the news and watch the drugs being offered. I know for many years I worked at CBS in NY and it was the drug company advertisements that was the bulk of our funding for the newsroom.

  • January 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    President Bernie’s health care plan isn’t going to get off the ground unless we get rid of the teabaggers in Congress.

  • January 18, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    This is a wonderful health plan! However, can you tell us if Bernie’s plan gives folks an “option” to just keep what they have and not be included in his plan? I am a solid supporter of Bernie Sanders and campaign for him just about every day. I would like to have this information in case others ask about it.

    Also, was that a typo in stating the rate for those with incomes of $250,000 or more will pay a rate of 37% — that is extremely high!

    Thank you,
    Jerry Thomas

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