Political Focus: Bernie Sanders introduces “Medicare for All”


John Bozick, Web Editor

As the Nation began its slow descent into chaos following the election of President Donald Trump, everyone’s favorite grandpa, Senator Bernie Sanders, has slowly been plotting his “Medicare for All” plan, otherwise known as single payer healthcare.

Sanders’ bill, which he revealed on Wednesday, Sept. 13, was co-sponsored by many democratic members of Congress that are potential front runners in 2020 such as, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Kamala Harris among a few others.

Single payer health care, a term that strikes fear in the “taxation is theft” folks, is something that America has yet to really experiment with compared to many industrialized nations. While the Affordable Care Act scratched the surface of social welfare in America, Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill would work to provide healthcare for all Americans.

This plan, according to Sanders in his New York Times opinion piece, would follow a strict 4-year process of making sure all U.S. citizens are covered by the bill. Year one of the program would see care for the elderly expand, children under the age of 18 would be eligible for coverage and the age for Medicare enrollment would be lowered to 55.

The second year of the program would see the eligibility age lowered to 45, followed by 35 in the third year. By the 4th year, every citizen of the U.S. would be eligible and covered under Medicare for All. While an ambitious step, universal healthcare has long been a goal of Sanders’ who expressed eagerness to change American health care in his New York Times op-ed mentioned earlier.

Sanders stated, “”We remain the only major country on earth that allows chief executives and stockholders in the healthcare industry to get incredibly rich, while tens of millions of people suffer because they can’t get the health care they need. This is not what the United States should be about.”

Trump, whose recent deal with the democrats brought him a little praise for once, was firmly against Sanders’ bill, tweeting, “Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for a single payer healthcare plan – a curse on the U.S. & its people…”

While Sanders’ bill will most certainly not pass the current Congress, 2018 could be different for the Democratic Party if they rally behind this issue. If the Trump administration continues its relentless assault on the Affordable Care Act and if the democrats can miraculously take back the house and the senate in 2018, then Sanders’ bill may finally get its time to shine.

Until then, however, Sanders bill should be used as a tool to unify the fractured Democratic Party behind one of America’s most popular politicians, be him a democrat or not. This bill, if Congress works together, could show Americans that Congress still fights for well-being of America’s working class.