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Bucking For-Profit System–Sanders Aims to ‘Revolutionize’ US Healthcare With Medicare for All

Common Dreams – By Jake Johnson – September 13, 2017

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Photo: US Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Now is the time for Congress to stand with the American people and take on the special interests that dominate healthcare in the United States.”

In a bid to “revolutionize” American healthcare by transitioning away from the for-profit status quo to a Medicare for All system that guarantees insurance to every American as a right, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday will introduce his long-awaited single-payer bill that is now backed by 15 Democratic senators and a wave of grassroots enthusiasm.

“This is where the country has got to go,” Sanders told the Washington Post on Tuesday. “Right now, if we want to move away from a dysfunctional, wasteful, bureaucratic system into a rational healthcare system that guarantees coverage to everyone in a cost-effective way, the only way to do it is Medicare for All.”

Post reporter Dave Weigel got an early look at the legislation—which will be introduced at 2pm at an event in Washington—and summarized it as a total replacement of the current healthcare system with “a public system that would be paid for by higher taxes.”

Weigel continued:

Everything from emergency surgery to prescription drugs, from mental health to eye care, would be covered, with no co-payments. Americans under 18 would immediately obtain “universal Medicare cards,” while Americans not currently eligible for Medicare would be phased into the program over four years. Employer-provided health care would be replaced, with the employers paying higher taxes but no longer on the hook for insurance.

In a video on Wednesday, Sanders contrasted his legislation with the Republicans’ failed plan, which could have stripped health insurance from more than 30 million Americans.

As Common Dreams reported on Monday, Sanders and his allies have emphasized that introduction of the Medicare for All Act of 2017 is only the beginning of a long struggle against “the insurance companies, the drug companies, Wall Street, and all those who make billions in profit” from the current system.

But opponents of Medicare for All “are on the wrong side of history,” Sanders wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times on Wednesday.

“Now is the time for Congress to stand with the American people and take on the special interests that dominate healthcare in the United States,” Sanders concluded. “Now is the time to extend Medicare to everyone.”

Read entire article here

Posted By Teri Perticone

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