Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all Bill and Funding
Bernie’s Medicare-for-all bill ignores funding, but not as an oversight. The bill itself purposefully leaves funding mechanisms open to debate.
The idea was to present a healthcare bill, alongside different funding options, to give legislators more options for debating and creating the proper funding mechanisms.
The funding mechanisms are then meant to be debated and added during the legislative process or voted on as separate legislation altogether. To aide in the effort of picking the right mechanisms, Bernie Sanders presented an extensive study on potential revenue sources (some of, or all of, which can be used to fund the expansion of Medicare).
In other words, Bernie Released two key documents:
- His Medicare-for-all bill which expands Medicare coverage to all citizens to create a universal single payer healthcare system.
- An extensive fiscal study with many potential revenue sources identified. These include higher taxes on high incomes, an estate tax increase, a capital gains tax increase. In return, there is a projected of $4,400 for the typical middle class family.
The bottom line then is: the bill isn’t “ignoring funding” as some critics have suggested, rather it is leaving the funding mechanisms open to debate and offering a list of funding options in a separate document.
This avoids having the bill’s progress sidetracked by arguments over specific funding mechanisms.
FACT: On September 13, 2017, Bernie Sanders introduced his Medicare for all bill (“A BILL To establish a Medicare-for-all national health insurance program”) into the Senate with 16 cosponsors. This bill would transition the US to a Universal Healthcare System over 4 years if enacted. Even if the bill doesn’t pass as written, there are a lot of smart provisions which future healthcare reform plans (including state-based plans) can draw from in the future. So its worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with. You can learn all about Bernie’s Medicare-for-all bill here.