Resolved: The United States federal government should enact the Medicare-For-All Act of 2019
Medicare for All
Sanders’ Medicare for All Plan Explained
Bill Summary from Bernie Sanders
What is Medicare?
This bill establishes a national health insurance program that is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Among other requirements, the program must (1) cover all U.S. residents; (2) provide for automatic enrollment of individuals upon birth or residency in the United States; and (3) cover items and services that are medically necessary or appropriate to maintain health or to diagnose, treat, or rehabilitate a health condition, including hospital services, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, dental and vision services, and long-term care.
The bill prohibits cost-sharing (e.g., deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) and other charges for covered services. Additionally, private health insurers and employers may only offer coverage that is supplemental to, and not duplicative of, benefits provided under the program.
Health insurance exchanges and specified federal health programs terminate upon program implementation. However, the program does not affect coverage provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Indian Health Service.
The bill also establishes a series of implementing provisions relating to (1) health care provider participation; (2) HHS administration; and (3) payments and costs, including the requirement that HHS negotiate prices for prescription drugs.
Individuals who are age 18 or younger, age 55 or older, or already enrolled in Medicare may enroll in the program starting one year after enactment of this bill; other individuals may buy into the program at this time. The program must be fully implemented two years after enactment.
What is Single Payer?
The Pros and Cons of Single Payer Health Care Plans
Millions of Americans at-risk as Unemployment Soars
The Case for an Improved Medicare for All Act
Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind
Being Uninsured is Deadly
Status Quo Costs
Short-Term Health Plans Leave Consumers on the Hook for Big Costs
Even the Insured Sometimes Can’t Afford Their Medical Bills
American’s challenges with health care costs
Single Payer is Actually a Bargain
Single Payer System Likely to Save Money
The Cost of a National Single Payer Health Care System
Would your wages rise or fall under Medicare for All?
Projected Costs of a Single Payer Health Care System in the US
How to Stop Immoral Drug Price Increases
Medicare for All would Improve Hospital Financing
Officials Seek To Shift Resources Away From Policing To Address Black ‘Public Health Crisis’
Black cancer patients miss out on promising drugs
Medicare for All is a Racial Equality Policy
Racial disparities in COVID-19 and the need for Medicare for All
Canada’s Coronavirus Response Shows Why We Need Medicare for All to Fight This Pandemic
National Health Spending Estimates Under Medicaid for All We estimate that total health expenditures under a Medicare for All plan that provides comprehensive coverage and long-term care benefits would be $3.89 trillion in 2019 (assuming such a plan was in place for all of the year), or a 1.8 percent increase relative to expenditures under current law. This estimate accounts for a variety of factors including increased demand for health services, changes in payment and prices, and lower administrative costs. We also include a supply constraint that results in unmet demand equal to 50 percent of the new demand. If there were no supply constraint, we estimate that total health expenditures would increase by 9.8 percent to $4.20 trillion.
While the 1.8 percent increase is a relatively small change in national spending, the federal government’s health care spending would increase substantially, rising from $1.09 trillion to $3.50 trillion, an increase of 221 percent.
The Sanders Single-Payer Health Care Plan. Our central findings of the effects of the Sanders approach are shown in table 1 and include the following:
All American residents would be automatically enrolled in acute care coverage, increasing insurance coverage by an estimated 28.3 million people in 2017, from an uninsurance rate for nonelderly adults of 10.4 percent under current law in 2017. In 2026, the Sanders plan would decrease the number of nonelderly uninsured by 30.9 million, or 11.0 percent of the population, relative to current law. (The uninsurance rate under current law in 2026 is projected to be larger than the rate in 2017 as a result of demographic changes and a slight decrease in the rate of employer-sponsored insurance.) Although the intent is unspecified in the campaign’s materials, this finding assumes that the plan would cover the undocumented population as well as citizens and other legal residents.
National health expenditures for acute care for the nonelderly would increase by $412.0 billion (22.9 percent) in 2017. Aggregate spending on acute care services for those otherwise enrolled in Medicare would increase by $38.5 billion (3.8 percent) in 2017. Long-term service and support expenditures would increase by $68.4 billion (28.6 percent) in 2017. Together, national health expenditures would increase by a total of $518.9 billion (16.9 percent) in 2017, and by 6.6 trillion (16.6 percent) between 2017 and 2026.
The increase in federal expenditures would be considerably larger than the increase in national health expenditures because substantial spending borne by states, employers, and households under current law would shift to the federal government under the Sanders plan. Federal expenditures in 2017 would increase by $1.9 trillion for acute care for the nonelderly, by $465.9 billion for those otherwise enrolled in Medicare, and by $212.1 billion for long-term services and supports.
In total, federal spending would increase by about $2.5 trillion (257.6 percent) in 2017. Federal expenditures would increase by about $32.0 trillion (232.7 percent) between 2017 and 2026. The increase in federal spending is so large because the federal government would absorb a substantial amount of current spending by state and local governments, employers, and households. In addition, federal spending would be needed for newly covered individuals, expanded benefits and the elimination of cost sharing for those insured under current law, and the new long-term support and services program.
Analysis of Sanders’ Single Payer Plan
How Would Medicare for All Impact the Health System Capacity?
Reforming American’s Health Care System Through Choice and Competition
Chris Jacobs, “Democrats’ New Single Payer Bill Will Destroy Everything Good about Your Health Care,” Federalist, March 1, 2019, h.
Medicare for All Doesn’t Save Lives
Roy A. Beveridge, et al., “Mortality Differences Between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage,” Inquiry, June 2017, .
12 John Z. Ayanian, “Medicare Beneficiaries More Likely to Receive Appropriate Ambulatory Services in HMOs than in Traditional Medicare,” Health Affairs, July 2013,.
Chris Jacobs, “The CBO Report on Single Payer Isn’t the One We Deserve to See,” The Federalist May 3, 2019,
Josh Katz, Kevin Quealy, and Margot Sanger-Katz, “Would ‘Medicare for All’ Save Billions or Cost Billions?” New York Times, April 10, 2019,
Can Taxing the Rich Pay for Sanders Medicare for All Plan?
Tax Hikes on the Wealthy Alone Can’t Pay for ‘Medicare for All’
Sanders’ Single Payer is Almost Twice as Expensive as He Says
The Extremely Bad Economics of Medicare for All
Cost Savings Answers
Sanders says Medicare for All Would Reduce Health Care Spending. Would it?
Collapse of Private Insurance
“Kamala Harris Reveals That Medicare for All Involves Ending All Private Insurance,” The Federalist, January 31, 2019
Medicare for All Would Abolish Private Insurance
Choices for Financing Medicare for All
General Solvency Answers
Medicare for None
Why Vermont’s single-payer effort failed and what Democrats can learn from it
Why Bernie Sanders Plan Won’t Get us More Health Care
Sanders Admits His Plan Would Ration Care
Health Care Stocks
Health Care Stock Route Amidst Political Pressure
Hospitals Stand to Lose Billions Under Medicare for All
The Implications for Medicare for All for US Hospitals
Medicare for All Would Make Looming Doctor Shortages Worse
How Electronic Records Became an Absolute Fiasco
Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong
Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada
Private Costs of Public Cues for Medically Necessary Care