Just hours before the final Democratic primary debate, Bernie Sanders has finally released his full healthcare plan.
On his campaign site, Sanders lays out how important the Affordable Care Act has been. He notes that he, himself, helped contribute to the huge piece of legislation that helped to provide 17 million people with health insurance.
But Sanders believes that it is time to move forward with a national healthcare system that provides coverage to all. He writes on his site:
“All Americans can benefit from increased protections against lifetime coverage limits and exclusion from coverage because of pre-existing conditions, Sanders says.”
“But as we move forward, we must build upon the success of the ACA to achieve the goal of universal health care. Twenty-nine million Americans today still do not have health insurance and millions more are underinsured and cannot afford the high copayments and deductibles charged by private health insurance companies that put profits before people.”
There has been some controversy between Democrats this week relating to the issue of Sanders’ proposal to implement a universal healthcare system in the United States. Concerns over how this program would be funded have been of particular interest to the public. Sanders lays that out in plain detail for all to read.
Most of the health care plan receives its funding from new progressive taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Some people in the middle class might pay a tiny bit more in taxes. According to the campaign website, “A family of four making $50,000 a year taking the standard deduction would only pay $466 this year.” That small increase in taxes isn’t anything to what a similar family would save under Sanders’ plan. They would save around $5,000 dollars a year.
“Last year, the average working family paid $4,955 in premiums and $1,318 in deductibles to private health insurance companies. Under this plan, a family of four earning $50,000 would pay just $466 per year to the single-payer program, amounting to a savings of over $5,800 for that family each year,” the site reads.
It long past time that the United States join every other industrialized nation in the world and implement a national single-payer healthcare system. That’s what the ACA was presented as a stepping stone towards. Regardless of who is the eventual Democratic nominee, the fight for healthcare as a right need to be at the top of the Democratic platform. Democrats should not have to apologize for wanting to live in a nation where every person can get the healthcare they need.
Should a better proposal than Sanders’ be presented, it should be adopted. There may be some strategic advantages to wanted to expand the ACA very gradually, but we are talking about people’s lives. But there are some big cracks in the ACA. Cracks that 29 million people have fallen through. It is time that we come together and demand that, no person deserves to be left behind.
You can read a full break down of the plan here.
Featured Image Credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr