Sen. Sanders Introduces Single-Payer, Medicare-for-All Legislation

May 10, 2011

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced today that he has introduced legislation to provide health care for every American through a Medicare-for-all type single-payer system. The measure, and its companion bill introduced in the House by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), will provide better care for more patients at lower cost by eliminating the middle-man role played by private insurance companies that rake off billions of dollars in profits.

The American Health Security Act of 2011 would establish a national single-payer program that provides federal guidelines and strong minimum standards for states to administer the program at the state level. Last year’s health reform law is projected to cover 32 million more Americans. Despite that important step forward, however, 23 million people living in the United States will remain uninsured by the end of this decade while health care costs continue to skyrocket. And although it will trim a little off the projected growth in healthcare spending, it won’t be nearly enough to actually reduce overall spending while at the same time covering all Americans.

“The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to its people,” Bernie said during a Capitol Hill press conference. “Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care with worse results than others that spend far less. It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage. It is time for the United States to provide a Medicare-for-all single-payer health coverage program.”

While making the case for a single-payer system nationwide, Bernie applauded the Vermont Legislature which earlier this month voted to put the state on the path toward a single-payer system. Vermont, he said, could become a model for the nation.

Related article Single Payer Health Care Rises Again.

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