Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton clashed over healthcare policy on last night’s nationally televised Democrat debate from Charleston, South Carolina.
A few hours before the event, the Vermont senator released his Medicare-for-all plan, a.k.a. Berniecare. Sanders, a socialist who is running for president as a Democrat, has proposed a universal or single-payer plan, which is a completely government-run and controlled healthcare system similar to what prevails in Europe. Sanders, 74, claims that his plan would actually be far more cost effective that what we have now.
Medicare is a government program that kicks in when a consumer turns age 65.
“The plan comes with a hefty price tag: $1.38 trillion per year, according to calculations released by the Sanders campaign. It would provide comprehensive care to all Americans, covering doctors’ visits, hospital stays, long-term and hospice care, vision, dental, mental health and prescription drugs,” CNN explained about Sanders’ proposal that purports to eliminate co-pays and deductibles.
In addition to a levy on rich people through higher tax rates, the middle class would also be hit with a tax increase under Sanders’ plan.
“A shift to Sanders’s ‘Medicare for all’ program also would mean that Americans would pay a 2.2 percent health-care premium, calculated based on their federal income taxes. And employers would pay a new 6.2 percent payroll tax. Economists say payroll taxes are usually passed along to workers,” the Washington Post reported.
Any American who owns stock would also likely have to pay higher taxes on long-term capital gains and dividends under Berniecare.
Senator Sanders, who leads Clinton in New Hampshire in the run-up to the February 9 presidential primary there according to polling data, considers healthcare for everyone a “right.” Berniecare would also cover million of illegal aliens, Politico confirmed.
During last night’s encounter, his debate adversary, Hillary Clinton, was feeling the Bern and, as such, sharply disagreed with the Medicare-for-all plan, declaring that it is a bad idea to upset the Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) apple cart, given how difficult it was to get it passed by Congress.
“The Democratic Party and the United States worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care Act passed. We finally have a path to universal health care. We’ve accomplished so much already. I do not want to see the Republicans repeal it, and I don’t want to see us start over again with a contentious debate. I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it.”
Later in the debate, she added, “And even when the Democrats were in charge of the Congress, we couldn’t get the votes for that,” referring to single payer or what was then termed the public option.
Sanders, who voted for Obamacare, claimed that he improved upon it while it was working its way through Congress (and ultimately passed on a straight party-line vote), but that he has long been a supporter of universal healthcare, which FDR and Truman also favored. He acknowledged that even with Obamacare, 29 million Americans still lack healthcare and that medical costs are still through the roof.
“My proposal [would] provide healthcare to all people, get private insurance out of health insurance, lower the cost of healthcare for middle-class families by five thousand bucks—that’s the vision we need to take,” Sanders declared.
He also conceded that even with Obamacare, consumers are paying much higher co-pays and deductibles.
In addition to “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” broken promise, Obamacare was supposed to result in a typical family saving about $2,500 a year in health insurance premiums. Instead, most consumers has seen their premiums become more expensive.
“The typical family earning $50,000 a year would save nearly $6,000 annually in health care costs,” under the Sanders plan, an economist cited in the Sanders Medicare-for-all press release claimed.
According to an analysis by liberal website Vox, “Behind Sanders’s calculations, both for how much his plan will cost and how much Americans will benefit, lurk extremely optimistic promises about how much money single-payer will save. And those promises can only come true if the government starts saying no quite a lot — in ways that will make people very, very angry.”
“Along with other proposals—including free college tuition at public schools and a large infrastructure plan—Mr. Sanders would increase federal spending by nearly $17 trillion over 10 years,” the Wall Street Journal observed.
“Sanders had previously pledged that his plan to provide 12 weeks of paid family leave would be the only campaign platform that would raise taxes on the middle class,” CNN noted about the Bernie Sanders Medicare-for-all healthcare plan, which prompted accusations of flip-flopping from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
[Photo by Mic Smith/AP]