WASHINGTON, D.C. – Should the U.S. follow a single payer health care system? That’s the question getting tossed around in a congressional Senate hearing. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is once again reviving his Medicare For All proposal, but the idea is not sitting well with everyone.
“What this debate has everything to do with is the unconscionable greed of the healthcare industry and their desire to maintain a system which fails the average American but makes the industry huge profits year after year after year,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I- VT).
Sanders is reviving his Medicare For All plan, which he says would provide comprehensive health care to everyone without out-of-pocket expenses and allow freedom of choice regarding health care providers.
“No more insurance premiums, no more deductibles, no co payments,” said Sen. Sanders. “And comprehensive means the coverage of dental care, vision, hearing aids, prescription drugs and home and community based care.”
Sanders, who chairs the powerful Senate Budget Committee, said 112 million Americans are struggling to pay for the medical care they need and believes moving to a single payer health care system could help this issue. However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan analysis office, said this move could be pricey.
“CBO found the following effects relative to what would occur under current law, the federal subsidies for healthcare in 2030 will be significantly larger with increases in subsidies from 1.5 trillion to three trillion,” said Phillip Swagel, PHD, director of the CBO.
Republicans are rejecting this proposal.
“The system outside of Medicare, which is a lot of money, let’s get it down to the state level,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham (R- SC). “Let’s come up with ideas that would lower costs and increase quality. Let’s create competition in the healthcare sector where innovation is rewarded not punished and I think that is a better way. “
Sanders argues moving to a single payer healthcare system would save about 650-billion dollars. The CBO warns that moving to that could mean longer wait time, a shortage of providers and even changes in quality.