Sanders' new 'Medicare for All' legislation: 5 things to know

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., unveiled his new "Medicare for All" Act April 10 to "guarantee healthcare to every American as a right, not a privilege."

Five things to know:

1. Fourteen Democratic senators signed on to his Medicare for All Act, which vows to replace all other insurers — including commercial payers, employer-sponsored payers and Medicaid — with a single government-sponsored plan.

2. The legislation would wipe out all out-of-pocket expenses for Americans, including insurance premiums, deductibles and copayments. Coverage would also include dental, hearing, vision, and home- and community-based long-term care services.

3. In addition, the act aims to lower drug prices by allowing the federal government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies.

4. The Medicare for All Act does not provide an estimated price tag. It also doesn't specify what tax increases would be required to cover the projected $30 trillion such a program could cost over 10 years, according to Politico.

5. The Federation of American Hospitals, which represents more than 1,000 hospitals, strongly opposed to the bill: "Medicare for All means that Americans would lose the coverage they trust. Medicare for All repeals the ACA, it repeals the employer-based coverage 180 million people depend upon, it repeals Medicare, it repeals Medicaid and throws millions of kids off the insurance they have today. It will force patients into an untested system that will disrupt care for every American," the group's CEO, Chip Kahn, said in a prepared statement.

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