Sen. Bernie Sanders announced changes to his Medicare-for-all plan on Wednesday.
What We Know:
- Medicare-for-all has been a primary talking point for Sanders. This plan makes the government primarily responsible for paying for healthcare providers instead of private insurance companies. Sanders wrote the bill which was co-sponsored by Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand.
- The initial single-payer plan would create universal healthcare for all U.S. residents. Employers would not be allowed to offer separate plans to workers.
- Many people have voiced concerns that the universal coverage does not offer some of the benefits their private plans do. In some cases, people accept more benefits over higher salaries. The new plan would not be useful for these people who already have sufficient coverage at reasonable prices.
- Sanders announced changes to the Medicare-for-all plan that would allow union members more freedom in choosing coverage. “Unions will still be able to negotiate for and provide wrap-around services and other coverage not duplicative of the benefits established under Medicare-for-all,” the change states.
- In the past, Sanders has been a strong opponent of private insurance plans. “We should essentially eliminate private health insurance. Private insurance as it exists today is nothing more than a confusing morass designed to make people jump through hoops before they can actually get the care they need,” he told The Washington Post.
He has faced some criticism for the change after taking such a strong stance against private insurance.
Sanders heard the unions’ concerns and made the changes accordingly.