Challenged by Clinton, Sanders unveils health care proposal

Responding to days of sharp attacks from Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton demanding Sanders reveal a financing proposal for his universal health care plan, the Vermont senator uncovered specifics on Sunday afternoon, prior to that evening’s debate.

Sanders’ plan involves a dramatic expansion of Medicare.

In contrast to ObamaCare, which Clinton supports and has stated she would broaden, Sanders plan includes: (a) 2.2 percent individual “premium” tax; (b) 6.2 percent payroll-tax increase for employers; (c) 37 percent income-tax rate for income earners making above $250,000; (d) 52 percent income-tax rate for those earning more than $10 million annually; and an increase on capital-gains tax, inheritance tax and ending various tax exemptions.

Sanders’ campaign stated his plan of expanding Medicare would save $6 trillion over the next ten years.

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sanders declared:

“I believe healthcare is a right for all people; it will be politically difficult to achieve, but I will maintain that vision and fight for it.”  

Countering Sanders motion, Clinton, appearing separately on State of the Union, said:

“It would be a mistake to really thrust our country into another contentious national debate about how we’re going to provide quality, affordable health care to everybody.”

Analysis

The word “premium” is Mr. Sanders’ shorthand for massive tax increases.

Sanders’ plan to expand the federally-run Medicare program to create a nationwide single-payer health care plan does not rely on modest tax increases.

The trouble with such proposals is they tend to be uncovered in direct response to opposing candidates’ demands which are aimed at kneecapping primary or general-election foes.

Ill-conceived and released prematurely with little consideration of specifics for public consideration, Sanders fell for a classic Clinton trap:  By caving in to the Clinton campaign’s ultimatum, Hillary Clinton will have a field day assailing Sanders’ plan as a massive tax increase, offering lower-quality care, all the while posturing herself as an arbiter of fact, a steward of balance and a tax-cutting warrior for the middle class.

 

[Reuters] [Masscare.org]