Bernie Sanders introduces ‘Medicare for all’ bill
Bernie Sanders introduces ‘Medicare for all’ bill

US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) [official website] on Wednesday introduced [press release] his “Medicare for all” bill. The Medicare for All Act of 2017 [text, PDF], which is cosponsored by 16 democrats including 2020 front runners Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren [CSPAN video stream] seeks to fundamentally change the American health care system to a single-payer [summary] plan. Under the bill, individuals would be given a benefits card that would allow them to have access to services including dental coverage and mental health treatment. The bill seeks to distinguish between basic, preventative health care needs and expansive coverage by creating plans with differing levels of coverage. The bill would also prevent private insurers from selling duplicate coverage and charging increased rates for similar care. However, there is a possibility of increased out of pocket expenses to offset the cost of care, and the exact cost is unknown.

American healthcare implementation continues to be a contentious issue. Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, sent a letter [JURIST report] to Congress in September proposing a plan to preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to stabilize the healthcare market. A married same-sex couple filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against a former employer in August in the US District Court for the Central District of California that alleges the company discriminated by refusing to provide spousal health insurance. President Donald Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act [JURIST report] also in August that will allocate $2.1 billion in government funds to the Veterans Choice Fund, and an additional $1.8 billion to core VA health programs and medical facility leases.