Just before the Democratic debate this weekend, Bernie Sanders released a plan for universal healthcare and revealed how he would pay for his $1.4 trillion a year Medicare for All proposal. Bernie Sanders was immediately criticized for proposing to raise taxes, even though he reportedly said he had no plans to raise taxes for middle class Americans. A CNN report says “his plan calls for the largest proposed tax increase in modern history.” During the debate, Bernie Sanders tried to explain that even though taxes may go up for many working-class families in America with his new healthcare plan, most Americans will actually end up saving quite a bit of money annually with his universal healthcare plan.
Some people had trouble understanding what he meant, but now there is an online calculator that would show what Bernie Sanders meant. Taxes might go up for about three in four households, but expenses into insurance payments, co-pays, and deductibles should plummet for the average American and their employers, which some say might mean employers would finally be able to put employees back to work full time!
The plan can be found online, and Bernie Sanders’ team boasts that the plan will cost Americans $6 trillion less than our current system over the course of a decade by cutting out what he refers to as the inefficient insurance companies, eliminating tax breaks that subsidize healthcare, and doing away with a special tax break for capital gains and dividends on household income above $250,000.
“It has been the goal of Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a universal health care system guaranteeing health care to all people. Every other major industrialized nation has done so. It is time for this country to join them and fulfill the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and other great Democrats.”
As the New York Times points out, contrary to what Hillary Clinton has indicated in the past, $250,000 is not the income level of the middle class by a long shot.
— CNN (@CNN) January 18, 2016
The average American family does not make $250,000. The most recent Census Bureau data showed that median household income is $53,657. Americans who earn $206,568 or more are actually in the highest five percent of the income distribution in the nation. CNN explained that the “much higher taxes” that are being threatened by Bernie Sanders opponents would primarily apply to only the richest households in America.
The Sanders campaign asserts that the other 95 percent of Americans will actually end up keeping more of the money they make than they do today, even though Sanders’ opponents are trying to scare Americans with the tax increase. Americans will no longer pay premiums, deductibles, or co-payments under the Medicare for All proposal, and they also would be able to keep the doctors they choose. Exhausting battles to get services covered by health insurance companies would no longer exist.
— GOP (@GOP) January 18, 2016
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) January 18, 2016
According to CNN, Sanders would charge a 2.2 percent premium based on taxable income and “the 10% bottom rate becomes 12.2%; 15% become 17.2%, 25% becomes 27.2%.” Still, just over a quarter of all households won’t have to pay the extra 2.2 percent premium, because their standard deduction and personal exemptions will exceed their total yearly income. Any family making less than $28,800 would be exempt from paying the extra tax, but households in that top five percent would be taxed at a higher rate on top of their earnings. Sanders would also tax investment income at ordinary income tax rates for anyone who has an annual taxable income over $250,000.
Additionally, much to the delight of many in the working class, Bernie Sanders would limit itemized deductions for high-income filers, potentially stifling the ability to write off lavish business trips that to the average American more readily resemble vacations! While many who oppose Bernie Sanders’ proposal saying that universal healthcare will just mean more people going to the doctor, supporters are quick to point out that preventative care is cheaper and if people are seen early, their treatments will be less costly in the long run.
— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) January 14, 2016
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s put this to the test. The Bernie Sanders’ Healthcare Calculator is already making rounds on Reddit — plug your own details in and leave us a comment before to let us know if Bernie Sanders’ proposal would be financially beneficial or more costly for your household.