Bernie Sanders to introduce universal healthcare legislation

UPDATE — 8/16, 9:08 a.m. EDT: Speaking at a senior community center in Vermont on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders said he plans to introduce a universal healthcare bill in Congress’ upper chamber in September.

“If we pass this (‘Medicare for all’ bill), it’s not going to be tomorrow, it would be the most significant step forward legislatively since I suspect the creation of Social Security in the 1930s. It’s a big deal,” he said.

Watch highlights of Bernie Sanders comments from the Franklin County Senior Center in St. Albans, Vt., below:

 

Bernie Sanders has big plans in store for his “Medicare for All” campaign. The Vermont senator is conjuring up support for a single-payer healthcare bill by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on digital ads to promote future legislation.

There’s been a long delay since Sanders promised the legislation in March, which resulted in the GOP’s American Health Care Act that preempted the single-payer bill.

Sen. Sanders has not announced a date yet for when he will introduce the legislation, as there are only two weeks remaining before the Senate’s August recess.

“You’re building on (Medicare) which is already popular and already working quite well,” Sanders told NPR. “I think we can learn from other countries around the world on how to create an even better and more cost-effective system than many of those do.”

Republicans point to an Urban Institute analysis of Rep. John Conyers’ (D-Mich.) universal healthcare bill which found that transitioning from the Affordable Care Act to single-payer Medicare would cost $32 trillion. Conyers’ legislation currently has 116 co-sponsors in the House.

Sanders has challenged the Urban Institute’s estimate — arguing single-payer would not cost as much and reduce overall health expenses which currently total nearly $10,000 per person every year.

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, one-third of American adults and 52 percent of Democrats support a single-payer health insurance system similar to what Sanders is proposing.

 

[Washington Post] [The Guardian] [The Hill] [AP via U.S. News & World Report] [YouTube/VTDigger]