Just hours before the next Democratic debate in South Carolina, Bernie Sanders has dropped a bomb by unveiling his detailed Medicare for all healthcare plan.
Here are the details from the Sanders campaign:
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 has been criticized by both his Democratic primary opponents and some in the media for not revealing the details of his plan. The Sanders Medicare for all plan is ambitious and bold. The Sanders campaign states that a family of four making less than $50,000 per year will pay only $466 a year for healthcare because the premium would be based on a 2.2% premium tax paid by all households based on income. Sanders projects that middle-class families will save $5,000 per year and businesses will save $9,400 per year.
The bulk of the revenue to pay for the plan comes from a 6.2% premium on employer income, savings from health tax expenditures, and raising taxes on the wealthy.
Sen. Sanders has firmly staked out his position to the left of Hillary Clinton on healthcare. The details of his plan will no doubt be a source of conversation in during tonight’s Democratic debate. The Clinton campaign will be forced to discredit a healthcare plan that promises to provide savings and coverage for all.
Universal healthcare has long been a dream for Democrats, liberals, and progressives. Bernie Sanders has put out a detailed plan to turn the dream into reality, and in the process, he may have sent an earthquake through the Democratic primary.