Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others have introduced a “Medicare for All” bill. Introducing a bill doesn’t mean it will become law any time soon, but it may be a good sign that something seen as politically unviable in the past is now at least being seriously discussed by mainstream politicians.
The universal Medicare proposal released this week extends health insurance coverage to every single American free of copays, premiums, and deductibles — and has long been viewed as a direct threat to highly profitable health-related industries and providers.
The bill calls for gradually expanding Medicare coverage, starting with the young and phasing in other segments of the population. The plan would cover all essential services, including routine doctor visits, emergency room care, mental health, dental, outpatient care, and forms of treatment.
Sanders’s office also released a statement this week laying out various financing methods for the bill, including an employer tax, closing tax loopholes, and a variety of progressive income-based taxes.
Taxes are unpopular of course, but we have to remember that workers and employers are all paying enormous health insurance premiums, much of which either gets eaten up by the enormous inefficiencies of the health care industrial complex, or goes into the pockets of insurance and drug companies as profits.