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:

  1. His Medicare-for-all bill which expands Medicare coverage to all citizens to create a universal single payer healthcare system.
  2. 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.

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Stephanie Smith on

As a person nearing Medicare eligibility I have heard from others I know and I was wondering how this will effect those that are already on Medicare. Will they still pay premiums? When I read through this it sounds like this plan eliminates premiums and deductibles. That would be a change to the existing system. I think this should be discussed and clarified so that you don’t have a large group of Medicare recipients very nervous. on

I agree. We are working on going through the bill line-by-line. Once we have that we will present a more detailed summary.

Generally though, eliminating costs for Medicare means savings for seniors… and expanding Medicare means every healthcare reform from here out is focused on improving Medicare. So I assume one of the groups that will be behind this is the AARP.

Fred Hass on

What is the actual dollar cost per year for s.1804 ? I have devised a Medicare 4 All plan that would save $1.242 trillion a year;using these monies , its possible to HELP fund Social Security,infrastructure projects & business would realize $414 billion dollars in reduced health insurance costs.There is also enough money to fully fund THE WALL.the Wall would be funded quid pro quo for passage of DACA.This all is called a GRAND BARGAIN.Would you please take a look at my plan.Where can I slow mail it to. on

It is a really cool idea, not sure I am the right one to be contacting. Try finding the universal or single payer efforts in your state and seeing if you can talk to someone there. You can also try contacting our Revolution.

Many people have their own agenda (already fighting for a specific plan), but many are also willing to help, review plans, and lend a hand.

You can always share a digital version with us here:

christine on

It’s basic common sense. Single payer works very well in all other countries which have it in place. Its a no brainer, and a humanitarian program which provides healthcare as a right, not a privilege. That Bernie did not specify specific funding is just good politics; those opposing will rip apart every idea before the bill passes! That said, his proposal for ( in general terms), funding is right on! Higher taxes for the very richest, a capital gains tax and inheritance tax would alone be the answers. I believe bug corporations need to be taxed heavily when they remove production from this country in order to make products much cheaper- this is what has caused many Americans to lose jobs, retirements and healthcare benefits.
Yes Yes Yes for M4A!! I am a nurse, and most of my co-wirkers, and physicians, are for this sensible humane and fair healthcare system.