Bernie Sanders Calls Big Pharma The Second Most Powerful Political Force In D.C., Suggests Medicare-For-All

Second only to Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry is “the most powerful political force in Washington,” according to Bernie Sanders. This week, Bernie Sanders called out Big Pharma for its political campaign contributions and “huge amounts of money” spent on lobbying. Sanders said, “They always get their way.”

Sanders said that one out of every five Americans under 64-years-old can not afford to buy their prescription medication that they need. Sanders said that America pays the highest prices in the world for these medications. Sanders also said that the pharmaceutical companies will continue to get every legislation and administrative action that they want pushed through unless voters elect new members to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sanders said that by adopting something like his Medicare-for-All proposal, America could address the drug prices that Sanders says is killing Americans.

“Seniors and people with serious or chronic illnesses could afford the medications necessary to keep them healthy without worry of financial ruin,” Sanders wrote about his Medicare-for-All proposal.

Though many of Bernie’s critics claim that Sanders has abandoned his Medicare-for-All proposal in order to fight for Obamacare, that is simply untrue, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal, Sanders’ own website, and other news outlets.

Sanders said that without legislators in Congress willing to stand up against Big Pharma, our drug prices will continue to soar. He said that until the voters choose a Congress willing to stand up to Big Pharma, the drug companies will continue to get everything that they want at the expense of Americans.

Sanders indicated that the way to make drug prices affordable and bring Big Pharma down a notch is, in part, by implementing a Medicare-for-All plan.

“Our job is to guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege,” Bernie Sanders said, according to a report in The Nation.

“We have got to have the guts to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies and move forward to a Medicare for All single-payer program.”

Sanders’ healthcare plan that is highlighted on his website would cost a whopping $1.38 trillion per year, but it includes the details of how it would be paid for. Sanders said that every person in America could be covered under the Medicare-for-All plan, and thereby have access to the medications that they need.

Bernie Sanders fights for Medicare-for-All in most of his appearances.

The first step to paying for the plan is by implementing a flat “6.2 percent income-based health care premium” which would be paid by employers that would replace the costs of health care that employers incur currently. This would significantly help employers save money on their share of their employees’ healthcare costs. The average employer would save over $9,400 each year for each employee.

“The average annual cost to the employer for a worker with a family who makes $50,000 a year would go from $12,591 to just $3,100.”

Additionally, there would be an income-based premium paid by households, which would only be 2.2 percent of income.

“A family of four making $50,000 a year taking the standard deduction would only pay $466 this year.”

Sanders’ plan would tax the estates of the wealthiest 0.3 percent of Americans “who inherit over $3.5 million at progressive rates and close loopholes in the estate tax.”

It would make a more friendly income tax rate for a majority of Americans and include taxing capital gains and dividends. Essentially, Bernie Sanders would make sure that the wealthy are taxed on their non-earned income the same as all of the rest of us are taxed on our earned income. The progressive income tax would be the opposite of those imposed in the failed trickle-down economics experiment. Sanders outlined exactly how much people would be taxed.

“37 percent on income between $250,000 and $500,000.”

“43 percent on income between $500,000 and $2 million.”

“48 percent on income between $2 million and $10 million. (In 2013, only 113,000 households, the top 0.08 percent of taxpayers, had income between $2 million and $10 million.)”

“52 percent on income above $10 million. (In 2013, only 13,000 households, just 0.01 percent of taxpayers, had income exceeding $10 million.)”

Meanwhile, the average working family would save over five grand a year, Bernie Sanders said.

With the latest roll-out of the GOP’s health care plan and problems with Obama’s Affordable Care Act, health experts are reportedly saying that it’s time to switch to a Medicare-for-All system, Democracy Now reported Friday. Bernie Sanders told CNN that he will again introduce Medicare-for-All legislation in the near future.

Bernie Sanders warned that Americans will need to vote for lawmakers that will support such legislation if Americans are going to try to go up against the likes of Big Pharma and fight high drug costs.

[Featured Image by Steven Senne/AP Images]