Just hours before the last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucuses, 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders rolled out his Medicare-for-all plan Sunday.
The federally administered, single-payer health-care program, which is designed to mirror the system already in place for seniors, is slated to cost a whopping $1.38 trillion a year according to the campaign.
The Vermont senator plans to pay for the plan with a 6.2 percent income based premium paid for by employers, which he says would generate $630 billon per year in revenue, and a 2.2 percent income-based premium which would raise an estimated $210 billion annually.
“Universal single-payer health care means comprehensive coverage for all Americans,” it reads. “Bernie’s plan will cover the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments.”
The campaign claims the plan would eliminate all co-pays and deductibles in the country.
“Most importantly, health care provided by employers is compensation that is not subject to payroll taxes or income taxes under current law,” he said in the plan. “This is a significant tax break that would effectively disappear under this plan because all Americans would receive health care through the new single-payer program instead of employer-based health care.”
The self-described socialist also laid out his progressive income tax rates – which strongly differ from the plans laid out by Republican candidates – with income between $250,000 and $500,000 being taxed at 37 percent, income between $500,000 and $2 million at 43 percent, 48 percent on income between $2 million and $10 million and a 52 percent on income above $10 million.
Sanders said he would tax capital gains and dividends as income, increase the estate tax for the wealthiest Americans by .3 percent.
The plan also says it would prevent anyone making over $250,000 a year from getting more than 28 cents to the dollar in deductions.
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Photo by Gage Skidmore