Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is giving a new push to his 2020 campaign today by announcing a new version of his “Medicare for All” plan.
“What our system does is get rid of insurance companies and drug companies making billions of dollars in profit every single year,” Sanders told CBS News in an interview Wednesday.
.@edokeefe: “What happens to insurance companies after your plan is implemented…?"
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “If you want cosmetic surgeries. Under Medicare For All, we cover all basic healthcare needs.”
O'Keefe: “So basically Blue Cross Blue Shield would be reduced to nose jobs?” pic.twitter.com/ZPNSbgpT0g
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 9, 2019
Sanders believes that renewing the debate over his call to eliminate private health insurance and provide government health insurance for all Americans will shake up the 2020 race and give him an advantage.
Four other senators running for the Democratic nomination, however, have said they also will support Bernie’s updated single-payer health care proposal.
By reintroducing his bill, with major enhancements, Sanders will put a renewed focus on the Democratic debate over the future of healthcare in America.
Sanders and other Democrats have been attacked by Donald Trump and other Republicans for what they say is the excessive cost of Medicare for All.
But there are several different Democrat proposals, and they all have different price tags.
What’s important for Democrats, however, is that public opinion is with them. Most voters want changes to be made in America’s healthcare system. And they trust Democrats more than Republicans to make the changes they want.
The goal is to make healthcare more affordable while also reducing the number of uninsured.
More conservative Democrats want the party’s 2020 focus to be on safeguarding popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as the one that protects coverage of pre-existing conditions.
“Our #1 goal should be to make sure we keep in place those protections so people don’t get kicked off their insurance,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar , a Minnesota Democrat who isn’t signed onto Sanders’ bill, told reporters yesterday. “Then we also have to see the Affordable Care Act as a beginning and not an end.”
Four other Democratic senators also running for president — Elizabeth Warren , Cory Booker , Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand — have come out in favor of Sanders’ single-payer plan. These candidates have pointed to their support of Medicare for All as proof of their progressive credentials.
Warren has said there are “a lot of different pathways” to universal coverage. “What we’re all looking for is the lowest cost way to make sure that everybody gets covered,” she said.
Donald Trump and other Republicans, of course, have already begun to attack Sanders’ plan as too expensive. They also say that healthcare should not be provided by the government, but by private corporations.
American Voters Support Sanders’ Plan for Medicare for All
A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans support the idea of Medicare for All unless it would result in higher taxes or longer waits for care.
The poll found 56% of voters like the idea of a single payer plan, but that support falls to 26% when people were told Medicare for All could lead to delays in getting care and to 37% when they were told it could mean higher taxes.
The existing for-profit corporations that are making billions of dollars from our current system have joined together to lobby against Medicare for All. They (along with the Republican politicians they have bought) will do everything they can to spread propaganda about the horrors of government-run healthcare.
As the 2020 presidential debate unfolds, healthcare will be one of the most important topics discussed. And Bernie Sanders will be at the forefront of that debate as he continues to fight to provide affordable healthcare to all Americans.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.