Health

Sanders Plans To Introduce 'Medicare For All' Bill

| by Ray Brown

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced that he plans to introduce a "Medicare For All" bill into the U.S. Senate.

Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled House of Representatives failed to unite behind a plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," Sanders told a group of his constituents in a Vermont town hall meeting that he'll introduce legislation that expands Medicare to all Americans, reported Vermont Public Radio.

"It is a common sense proposal, and I think once the American people understand it, we can go forward with it," Sanders said after the town hall.

Although such a bill would be difficult to win support in the Senate, Sanders said he believes a Medicare for All bill would appeal to many red state conservatives who voted for President Donald Trump.

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The Vermont Senator isn't the only person pushing a Medicare for All bill.

Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan introduced a Medicare for All bill into the House of Representatives in January.

"This bill establishes the Medicare for All Program to provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, dietary and nutritional therapies, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care," the proposed bill states.

Conyers' bill has 72 co-sponsors as of March 27.

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All of the bill's co-sponsors are Democrats, according to Congress.gov.

During the 2016 Democratic primary, Sanders ran against Hillary Clinton on a platform that advocated for a Medicare for All program.

But that wasn't the first time Sanders had attempted to bring a single payer-system to the forefront of the national political discussion.

Back in 2011, Sanders introduced a Medicare for all-style bill along with former Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington titled, "The Health Security Act of 2011."

"The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to its people," Sanders said in a press release at the time. "Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care with worse results than others that spend far less. It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage. It is time for the United States to provide a Medicare-for-all single-payer health coverage program."

The bill never went up for a vote. 

Sources: Vermont Public Radio, Congress.gov (2), Sen. Bernie Sanders / Photo Credit: Nick Solari/Flickr

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