Bernie Sanders pledges to introduce single-payer healthcare system in coming weeks

One day after House Republicans scrapped a bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told crowds at a Vermont town hall meeting on Saturday of his intent to introduce legislation that creates a single-payer healthcare system in the near future.

“It is a common sense proposal, and I think once the American people understand it, we can go forward with it,” Sanders told reporters following his town hall in Hardwick, Vt.

One day later, when appearing on CNN with host Dana Bash, Sanders repeated his pledge to offer a single-payer bill and followed with an appeal to President Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans.

“President Trump, come on board. Let’s work together,” he said. “Let’s end the absurdity of Americans paying by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.”

A single-payer national health insurance program is a system in which a sole government agency organizes all financing for healthcare, but leaves delivery of care largely in the hands of private entities.

Under a single-payer system, commonly referred to as “Medicare for all,” insurers are eliminated, with all health services fully covered, funded by federal taxpayer dollars.

Long an advocate for a single-payer system, Sanders has promoted the concept based on single-payer formats adopted by Canada and Taiwan.

Sanders has claimed the single-payer system he strongly supports would streamline a tortuous system. Touting the plan as free of insurance premiums to the benefit of household savings, Sanders says his plan will free citizens of co-payments and deductibles.

Similarly, Sanders says patients would regain their choice of physicians and healthcare professionals will reclaim independence from insurance companies in patient treatment.

Mr. Sanders did not set an exact timetable for when he would formally propose the legislation.


[Vermont Public Radio] [Politico] [Photo courtesy Reuters/Jim Urquhart via Salon]