For the first-time since 2019, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, reintroduced his plan to establish Medicare for All (the United States), the only wealthy country without universal health insurance.
Sanders introduced the legislation with 14 cosponsors on Thursday “to guarantee health care in the United States as a fundamental human right to all,” according to his press release. The Medicare for All Act of 2022, also known as the Medicare for All Act, would establish a universal health care system over the next four yearsGradually expanding Medicare coverage until all medical benefit areas are covered and all members of public are covered.
The proposal allows any member to access any health care provider and facility they wish, without worrying whether or not it is covered. It would also allow Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices to lower government and individual costs.
The bill’s introduction came as the Senate Budget Committee, of which Sanders is the chair, held a hearingThursday, April 13, 2009: A discussion on the subject. The aim of the hearing, entitled “Medicare for All: Protecting Health, Saving Lives, Saving Money,” is to examine the benefits of Medicare for All both for public health and for the economy – and the benefits, Sanders says, would be vast.
Medicare for All was first proposed in the United States in 2005. as early as the 1960sWhen Medicare was first established, it was in Although lawmakers and activists have advocated for itSanders introduced the concept to the mainstream for decades. his 2016 presidential run. It has become a rallying call for progressive activists and legislators over the years.
In his opening statement on Thursday, Sanders emphasized that he believes the debate over Medicare for All isn’t really about the merits or demerits of the system, but rather a struggle between the wants and needs of the American people versus the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
“Let’s be clear about something – and this is maybe the most important point that I want to make – the current debate that we’re having on health care and Medicare for all really has nothing to do with health care. Because, in my view, this dysfunctional health care system cannot be rationally defended,” he said.
“What this debate has everything to do with is the unquestionable greed of the health care industry and their desire to maintain a system which fails the average American but which makes the industry huge profits year after year after year,” he continued.
Sanders stressed that, ultimately, the profit motives of the health care industry will always outweigh the health of its patients, as it is a for profit enterprise. He said that insurers made millions while millions of Americans lost insurance or struggled to pay for the necessary medication or visits during the pandemic. hundreds of billionsMillions of dollars. In the meantime, compensation for executives in insurance companies shot up 31 percentBetween 2019 and 2020
“The debate we’re having is whether we have a health care system which provides quality care to all in a cost effective way, or whether we have a system which makes the drug companies and insurance companies and their executives very, very wealthy,” he said.
Sanders pointed out that corporations’ lobbying campaign against Medicare for All echoes the original lobbying campaign against Medicare, one of the most popularFederal programs in the U.S. have spent billionsOver the past decade, millions of dollars have been spent on campaigns and advertisements to help fight Medicare for All. Similar to attacks on Medicare before it was established, Medicare for All has also been attacked by fear mongering right-wingers as “socialist.”
Americans spend trillions of dollarsThe lawmaker stated that while they spend more annually on health care than those in countries with universal coverage, they have worse health outcomes. Meanwhile, insurers and lobbyists take the money and spend it lobbying to keep it the way it is.
Although Medicare for All would be costly to implement, it is possible. conservative Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that it would save Americans billions of dollars each year, making it less expensive than the current system – with the added benefit that Americans would no longer have to deal with piles of bills and the tedious bureaucracy of private insurers.
“This is an issue not just of health care. This is an issue about what kind of nation we are,” Sanders said. “It’s an issue of whether we’re going to turn our backs on 60,000 people a year who die because they cannot get the health care that they need, turn our backs on the fact that we live shorter than some people in other countries, turn our backs [on the fact] that we are spending twice as much per capita as the people in other nations.”
“This is an issue that has to be dealt with. Medicare for All will become the law of the land – if not now, then in the future,” Sanders concluded. “Because this is what the American people want.”