Category: Health Care
Sanders unveils single-payer bill to cheers from supporters
Sanders Unveils ‘Medicare For All’ Bill

Sanders Unveils ‘Medicare For All’ Bill
Sen. Bernie Sanders is proposing legislation that would let Americans get health coverage simply by showing a new government-issued card. And they’d no longer owe out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles. (Sept. 13)
AP

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 ReportBernie Sanders’s ‘Medicare for all’ bill needs to passClinton ‘dumbfounded’ by Comey letter days before electionMORE (I-Vt.) unveiled his single-payer health-care plan on Wednesday to cheers and a brief “Medicare for all” chant from supporters.

Nine Senate Democrats joined Sanders for the unveiling, with two possible presidential candidates, Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBernie Sanders flexes power on single-payerSchumer noncommittal on Sanders’s ‘Medicare for all’ bill Where Dems stand on Sanders’s single-payer billMORE (N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSchumer noncommittal on Sanders’s ‘Medicare for all’ bill Where Dems stand on Sanders’s single-payer billThe Hill’s 12:30 ReportMORE (N.Y.), getting into the camera shot.

“The American people want to know what we’re going to do to fix a dysfunctional health-care system, which costs us twice as much” per person as any other country, Sanders said at the opening of the press conference, casting aside speculation by the media about what the bill might mean politically for Democrats.

At the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired at the Democratic proposal, calling it a “horrible” idea that would put government further in charge of Americans’ health care.She also belittled Sanders, saying that if his ideas were as popular as he thought, he would have won last year’s Democratic primary and been elected president.

Sanders has seen support for his proposal grow. In 2013, a similar bill garnered no co-sponsors. Sanders already has 16 fellow senators on his bill this time, though centrists and party leaders have shied away from direct endorsements.

The bill would expand Medicare into a national health insurance program, extending comprehensive health insurance to every U.S. resident. Many services would have no co-payments under the Sanders approach.

The program would be rolled out over a four-year period, with the eligibility age dropping every year until every U.S. resident is covered.

Those aged 18 and under would automatically be eligible in the first year.

The program, which would essentially separate health insurance from employment, would cover a full range of benefits, including inpatient and outpatient hospital care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment and maternity care.

Sanders also released options to finance his single-player plan, which caught heat during his presidential bid for its high cost.

This includes a 7.5 percent income-based premium to be paid by employers, a 4 percent income-based premium to be paid by households, changes to the estate tax and a new tax on the top 0.1 percent of Americans based on income.

Already, about 30 national liberal organizations and unions have endorsed the bill, including MoveOn.org, Food and Water Watch and National Nurses United.

The trade group for insurance companies immediately announced its opposition.

The plan was announced the same day Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP senators make last-ditch bid to repeal ObamaCareOvernight Health Care: Dem leaders keep distance from Sanders single-payer bill | Last-ditch ObamaCare repeal effort struggles for votes | Dems press Trump on ObamaCare outreach fundsMcConnell on last ditch ObamaCare repeal: Find the votesMORE (R-La.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators make last-ditch bid to repeal ObamaCareOvernight Health Care: Dem leaders keep distance from Sanders single-payer bill | Last-ditch ObamaCare repeal effort struggles for votes | Dems press Trump on ObamaCare outreach fundsGutiérrez defends attacks on Kelly, calls top Trump aide ‘mean’MORE (R-S.C.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerGOP senators make last-ditch bid to repeal ObamaCareGOP braces for Bannon primary attacksOvernight Health Care: Dem leaders keep distance from Sanders single-payer bill | Last-ditch ObamaCare repeal effort struggles for votes | Dems press Trump on ObamaCare outreach fundsMORE (R-Nev.) unveiled their plan to repeal ObamaCare in a last-ditch effort to gut former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill’s 12:30 ReportObama to host global summit in ChicagoClinton ‘dumbfounded’ by Comey letter days before electionMORE’s signature legislation. Many view it as unlikely to pass, and the GOP only has until the end of the month to repeal ObamaCare and avoid a Democratic filibuster.

The Sanders plan has no real chance of becoming law with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House but is likely to be a touchstone in the years to come.

As Sanders and Democrats Unveil Medicare For All, Trump Makes Final Push To Kill Healthcare

As Sanders and Democrats Unveil Medicare For All, Trump Makes Final Push To Kill Healthcare

As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and 17 Democratic co-sponsors introduced Medicare For All, Donald Trump and Republicans are making one final push to take health care coverage away from millions of Americans.

As Sanders and Democrats Unveil Medicare For All, Trump Makes Final Push To Kill Healthcare

As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and 17 Democratic co-sponsors introduced Medicare For All, Donald Trump and Republicans are making one final push to take health care coverage away from millions of Americans.

In a statement introducing Medicare For All, Sanders said, “Today, we begin the long and difficult struggle to end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all its people. At a time when millions of Americans do not have access to affordable health care, the Republicans, funded by the Koch brothers, are trying to take away health care from up to 32 million more. We have a better idea: guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care program.”

Meanwhile, Trump and Senate Republicans are trying to rush through a last ditch health care bill that would gut Obamacare and cost millions their health insurance by turning it into a block grant program to the states. Cassidy-Graham would cause millions of people to lose their insurance because it would slash funding for the ACA to the states by hundreds of billions of dollars.

Politico reported that Trump is pushing to take health care away from people by the end of September, “President Donald Trump and some Senate Republicans are refusing to give up on Obamacare repeal, even after this summer’s spectacular failure and with less than a month before a key deadline.”

The reconciliation instructions that allow Republicans to avoid a Democratic filibuster on health care expire at the end of September. If Republicans don’t get a bill passed by then, they will not have enough votes to break a Democratic filibuster.

The contrasting visions for health care in this country have never been more clear. Democrats believe that health care is a right and that the country must move toward universal coverage. Republicans see health care as something that should only be available based on the ability to pay.

The Democrats and Bernie Sanders have the right idea. Health care is a right, and Republicans who believe otherwise are going to get swept away by a building wave of progress.

Republicans Are Already Attacking Senators Who Support Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All Bill

Republicans Are Already Attacking Senators Who Support Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All Bill

Republicans are already launching attacks on the Democratic Senators who are supporting Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All bill.

Republicans Are Already Attacking Senators Who Support Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All Bill

Republicans are already launching attacks on the Democratic Senators who are supporting Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All bill.

According to Vox, 11 Democratic Senators are co-sponsoring the Medicare For All bill that Sen. Sanders will unveil on Wednesday.

Here is the list of Democratic supporters:

Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Three of the 11 names on this list (Booker, Warren, and Harris) have something in common. They are all rumored to be interested in running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Sen. Baldwin is up for reelection in 2018, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee released a statement previewing how they are going to attack Democrats who support single payer:
Baldwin went out of her way to endorse this plan, which is bad for Wisconsin, 24 hours before it’s set to be released.

Despite representing a state President Trump won, Tammy Baldwin continues to side with radical liberals and support a single-payer health care system that would decimate Wisconsin families and businesses. Baldwin’s support for a socialist health care system would force folks in Wisconsin to pay exorbitant costs for an unworkable health care solution. The Urban Institute released a study last year showing that Sanders’ extreme health care plan would cost $32 trillion over a ten-year period.

The Republican argument is why it is going to be so difficult for Democrats to pass and enact a single payer health care bill in one swoop. Republicans will automatically label the plan socialism then point to the cost, and scare people about losing their current insurance.

There are numerous logical arguments in favor of a single payer system, but there is a reason why it took until Trump and the GOP tried to repeal the ACA for it to become popular. The scare tactics work. Just as it made no sense to repeal Obamacare and damage one sixth of the economy in one pass, it also makes little sense to implement a single payer plan in one bill.

The Affordable Care Act was the first step toward universal coverage. The next step that Democrats gain if they save the ACA will be an expanded Medicare buy in.

The fact that Republicans are already attacking a Senator who supports Medicare For All shows what a tough sell the plan is going to be to the rest of the country.

Potential 2020 Democratic Nominees Are Lining Up Behind New Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Potential 2020 Democratic Nominees Are Lining Up Behind New Single-Payer Health Care Bill

The move by top Democrats sets up a stark contrast between themselves and Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 election.

Potential 2020 Democratic Nominees Are Lining Up Behind New Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Recognizing that the politics of health care are rapidly changing in the United States, a growing list of potential 2020 Democratic nominees are lining up in support of a new single-payer health care plan.

The bill, set to be officially proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, is quickly winning the support of key Democrats – mostly notably those considering challenging Donald Trump in the next presidential election.

According to a new report from The Hill, citing Mic, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest possible 2020 candidate to throw her support behind the measure. She is reportedly expected to announce her support of the plan soon.

The report also highlighted more key Democratic figures supporting the proposal: “Gillibrand joins other possible 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls in supporting the bill, including Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).”

“Health care should be a right, it should never be a privilege. We should have Medicare for all in this country,” the New York senator said, according to CNN.

The Democratic push for a health care system that covers all Americans comes as Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are moving in the opposite direction, trying but so far failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

A slew of CBO estimates this year found that GOP plans would result in more than 20 million Americans losing their health coverage.

Trump’s efforts have energized health care activists to push for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system to build on the successes of Obamacare and expand coverage even further.

Public opinion is on the Democrats’ side, too, with a summer Pew poll showing that a majority of the country – 60 percent – believe the federal government should guarantee coverage to all Americans.

The move by a growing number of Democrats to embrace single-payer sets up a stark contrast between themselves and Donald Trump.

Do the American people want a president who works tirelessly to take health insurance away from millions of Americans as Donald Trump has, or do they want leaders who believe that health care in the United States is a right for all, not a privilege for the few?

The American people increasingly believe the latter.

Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ be releasing single-payer legislation

Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ be releasing single-payer legislation

Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ be releasing single-payer legislation

July 30, 2017

Aidan Quigley
Posted with permission from Newsweek

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders said Sunday he would “absolutely” introduce a single-payer healthcare bill following failed Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

“Absolutely, of course we are,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. “We’re just tweaking the final points of the bill and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together.”

“We are the only major country on earth, the only one, not to guarantee healthcare to all people,” he said. “The result is 28 million people who are uninsured, millions of people who are paying deductibles and copayments that are far too high.”

The GOP’s push to repeal Obamacare was stymied in the Senate when three health care proposals were voted down. The Senate had voted to proceed to debate on a 50-50 vote with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence, but were only able to secure 49 votes on the “skinny” repeal bill, the closest to being passed.

“And if the Republicans had gotten their way, there would have been another 30 or 32 million people thrown off health insurance,” he said. “That is crazy. What we should do is move in the direction of every other major country and guarantee health care as a right, not a privilege.”

A single-payer healthcare system has been picking up support among Democrats in recent years, with a single-payer bill in the House receiving 115 co-sponsors, almost double the amount similar efforts had last session.

In a political move, Republican Senator Steve Daines had tried to force Senate Democrats to vote for-or-against single payer last week during the most recent round of health care votes. But Democrats rejected the efforts, with none voting for it and most voting “present.” Four Democrats voted no: North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and Montana’s Jon Tester. Liberal-leaning Maine Independent Angus King also voted no.

“I suspect that what Sen. Daines is doing is nothing more than an old political trick, trying to embarrass Democrats,” Sanders said before the vote. “I suspect it’s just a political game.”

Sanders previously introduced a single-payer, Medicare-for-all bill in 2013, that didn’t attract a single co-sponsor. But more Senate Democrats have spoken positively about single payer this year, with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California Senator Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren all saying they support single-payer.

The Senate voted down a single-payer healthcare system — and there’s a specific reason Bernie Sanders opposed it

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/senate-vote-single-payer-healthcare-155038101.html

The Senate voted down a single-payer healthcare system — and there’s a specific reason Bernie Sanders opposed it

Lydia Ramsey
Business Insider
steve daines
steve daines

(Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana.AP)

In a twist that exemplifies just how wild the healthcare debate has been, on Thursday the Senate voted on a single-payer healthcare plan. Introduced by a Republican. Who doesn’t support it.

The plan, proposed as an amendment to the House bill by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, was called the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act.

It was overwhelmingly voted down, with the 57 voting “no” and many Democrats choosing to vote “present.” There wasn’t a single “yes” vote.

The amendment was the third healthcare plan to face a key vote during the 20-hour Senate debate period. Votes on both a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and a plan to repeal the ACA without a finalized replacement have also been unsuccessful.

The amendment would have set up a virtual universal healthcare system in which all Americans would be covered through Medicare, the federal government’s health program that today covers only those who are at least 65 years old.

The intent was to try to expose which senators would vote in favor of a single-payer system.

“I do not support a single-payer system, but I believe Americans deserve to see us debate different ideas, which is why I am bringing forward this amendment,” Daines said in a statement emailed to Business Insider ahead of the vote. “It’s time for every Senator to go on the record on whether or not they support a single-payer healthcare system.”

A representative for Sen. Bernie Sanders — who has been a proponent of “Medicare for All” — called the Republican plan a “sham” and said the Democratic caucus wouldn’t be considering amendments until the final bill is out. Democrats also won’t be introducing amendments until the debate period is over.

He said in a statement:

“The process Republicans have used to try to take health insurance away from millions is a sham. The Democratic caucus will not consider amendments until we see Republicans’ final legislation and know what bill we are amending. Once Republicans show us their final bill, Sen. Sanders looks forward to getting a vote on his amendment that makes clear the Senate believes the United States must join every major country and guarantee healthcare as a right, not a privilege.”

During the debate on Thursday, Sanders called the amendment an “old political trick.”

“I hope that this is really a breakthrough,” Sanders said of the bill.

“I think this is not a time for political games,” he added.

Sanders: Senate healthcare fight ‘totally bananas’

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344246-sanders-senate-healthcare-fight-totally-bananas

Sanders: Senate healthcare fight ‘totally bananas’

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from ObamaCare repeal’s collapseLive Coverage: Senate votes down ‘skinny’ ObamaCare repealSanders: Senate healthcare fight ‘totally bananas’MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday ripped the Senate’s current healthcare battle as “totally bananas,” accusing Republicans of upending the “regular order” of the chamber’s business.

“There has not been one public hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of the American economy and every single American,” Sanders said during an appearance on CNN.

“You have a process in which the bills being brought forth are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the AARP — every major healthcare organization in America — and they’re trying to push this thing through.”

Senate Republicans voted on Tuesday to open debate on efforts to overhaul the country’s healthcare system, setting off a series of back-to-back votes on amendments.

Democrats, however, have refused to offer any amendments until a final bill is unveiled.

Senate Republicans hit another snag on Thursday, when three GOP senators said they would not vote for a so-called “skinny” repeal of the Affordable Care Act, unless the House guaranteed that a more comprehensive healthcare bill would be hammered out in conference.

The “skinny” bill repeals certain provisions of ObamaCare, such as the individual and employer insurance mandates, while leaving intact other pieces of the law, like the Medicaid expansion.