Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his plan for universal healthcare, just hours before the Democratic debate on Sunday. Calling it “Medicare for All,” Senator Sanders outlined his proposal in which every healthcare service is paid for—from preventive medicine to long-term and palliative care.
“We outspend all other countries on the planet and our medical spending continues to grow faster than the rate of inflation,” said Sanders on his website. “Creating a single, public insurance system will go a long way towards getting health care spending under control.”
Currently, the U.S. spends $3 trillion annually on healthcare. According to Sanders, his plan will save about $6 trillion over the next decade.
Last year the average family premium was $4,955 per year and families spend an additional $1,318 in deductibles. Under his plan, a working family of four earning $50,000 per year would pay $466 to the program. For that same family, employers would pay $3,100; last year the average premium paid by employers was $12,591.
Medicare for All is a component of a larger proposal for tax reform. The government-run plan would be paid for by a 6.2% income based premium by employers and a 2.2% income-based premium by households. He also adds three more tax brackets for families earning more than $500,000 per year, taxes capital gains and dividends as ordinary income, limits tax deductions on families earning more than $250,000 per year, and adds a progressive tax to inheritances more than $3.5 million.
Our Take: We take no political stance here, so we will simply state the obvious. If elected, this ambitious plan doesn’t stand a chance of making its way through a recalcitrant Congress.