Bernie Sanders has unveiled Medicare For All, a single-payer healthcare-reform bill, and this time he’s not alone.
The bill, following Sanders’ opinion piece in the New York Times, would provide healthcare to every American citizen, and would pay for it with a series of tax increases, starting with a 2.2% increase on everyone’s income tax. The wealthy would be taxed more heavily. Still, Sanders says that the money saved on healthcare would far outweigh the increase in taxes.
Following Sanders’ lead, 16 more democrats have backed the bill, including Cory Booker, Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren. Kamala Harris was the first to co-sponsor.
This is not to say that every democratic politician is suddenly on board with the idea of making people’s healthcare affordable, that would be crazy. From CNN:
Notable absences, however, included Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the party’s 2016 vice presidential nominee, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. Of the latter three, all up for reelection in 2018, only Brown is expected to face a serious Republican challenge.
Leftists, however, are mostly just happy that the idea is finally picking up steam with legislators. Bernie introduced the same idea to congress back in 2013, and not a single lawmaker co-sponsored it.
CNN quotes RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United: “This is an especially gratifying moment for the tens of thousands of nurses across the US who have dedicated years of effort to transform our health care system from [a] profiteering industry based on greed and suffering to patient need and healing.”