College Students Rejoice! Bernie Sanders Introduces Long-Awaited "Medicare For All" Bill

Tyler Durden's picture

After successfully leveraging promises for far-left policy reforms into a competitive challenge against frontrunner Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primary (forcing Debbie Wasserman Schultz to intervene on her longtime friend's behalf), Senator Bernie Sanders has finally introduced a long-anticipated piece of legislation: His bill to create a single-payer health-care system, or, as his supporters know it best, “Medicare for all.”

As expected, the proposal would offer the same suite of medical benefits required for some insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and eliminate most out-of-pocket costs. Mr. Sanders argues that although taxes would likely rise to support the new system, families would save money by no longer needing to purchase health coverage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Unsurprisingly given Sanders’s well-known views on government spending, the 96-page bill offers no mechanisms to pay for the plan, which is expected to cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars a year. A Bernie spokesman said his office plans to release a separate white paper focusing on payment strategies, but as of now, no such plan exists.

While the bill’s chances of passing are infinitesimal (Republicans remain vehemently opposed), as the WSJ explains, the symbolism surrounding its introduction is actually quite potent.

As the Democratic party shifts further to the left, socialized medicine (Like they have in Canada!) is becoming a rallying cry for the party. Already, four of the top-polling contenders for the 2020 presidential nod have signed on to the plan.

“A health-care system as Mr. Sanders envisions it remains unlikely with Republicans in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. But the idea has caught on with many Democrats since Mr. Sanders touted it on the 2016 presidential campaign trail; when he debuted a similar plan in 2013, none of his Democratic colleagues signed on.


Single-payer health care is becoming a rallying cry for many Democrats much as the seven-year promise to “repeal and replace” the ACA brought together Republicans.


At least four potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, have all signed onto the plan.”

In a timeline chronicling the Democratic Party’s flirtations with single payer, the International Business Times explains how the idea of universal health-care coverage was first proposed by former President Harry Truman in 1945. After Democrats successfully created the Medicare and Medicaid programs during the 1960s, some progressive hoped to follow by extending coverage to all citizens. The idea slowly lost favor during the 1970s and 1980s, as Ronald Reagan criticized what he saw as “socialized medicine.”

But it was revived in 1992 when California’s once-and-future governor Jerry Brown campaigned on it during the Democratic primary. He was defeated by Bill Clinton who decided to institute reforms that preserved the existing private-insurance system after failing to muster support for “Hillarycare” – the Clintonian plan for a single-payer system.

Moving ahead to the Obama era, the former president famously flip-flopped on the issue, saying he “never supported single payer” even though there were records of him speaking favorably about the policy dating back to 2003, when he was a state senator in Illinois.

During the formulation of what would become Obamacare, some Democrats pushed to include a so-called “public option” in the bill – a measure for which the president's support wavered. It was eventually killed by then-Democratic Sen. (and former vice presidential candidate) Joe Lieberman.

Which brings us back to today.  

If enacted, Sanders’s bill would begin extending Medicare-like coverage to people over a four-year transition period, with the eligibility age for the program—currently 65 and older—slowly lowered over time until it covers the entire population, according to WSJ. And while private insurers wouldn’t be permitted to compete with the government’s plan for basic coverage, consumers could purchase supplemental health policies.

The plan would also authorize the universal government health system to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, an idea that conservative have said is tantamount to price fixing. The Sanders plan would also require abortion to be covered – an idea that will outrage evangelicals. Federal funds are presently prohibited from paying for abortions.

While hundreds of thousands of college students would probably rejoice at its passage (having free health-care coverage for life would certainly ease the psychic burden of not working), as author and former trader Nassim Taleb notes, “America is not Canada.”

As of Wednesday, 15 Democratic senators have signed on to support the bill. They are:

Tammy Baldwin (WI)

Richard Blumenthal (CT)

Cory Booker (NJ)

Al Franken (WI)

Kamala Harris (CA)

Mazie Hirono (HI)

Martin Heinrich (NM)

Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

Ed Markey (MA)

Jeff Merkley (OR)

Brian Schatz (HI)

Tom Udall (NM)

Elizabeth Warren (MA)

Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

Speculation about how Sanders will propose payment for the bill, which will likely be used as a template by Democrats in legislative battles for years to come, is already mounting. Here are a few ideas, courtesy of Axios.

  • A 7.5% income-based premium paid by employers, which his paper claims will raise $3.9 trillion over 10 years. This would exempt certain small businesses.
  • 4% income-based premium paid by households, which his paper claims will raise $4.2 trillion over 10 years. This would not affect low-income families.
  • Savings from health tax expenditures, which his paper claims will raise $4.2 trillion over 10 years.
  • Make the personal income tax and the estate tax more progressive, including limiting deductions for the wealthy. His paper claims this will raise $1.8 trillion and $249 billion over 10 years, respectively.
  • "Establish a Wealth Tax on the Top 0.1 percent," which his paper claims will raise $1.3 trillion over 10 years.
  • Add a fee on large financial institutions, which his paper claims will raise $117 billion over 10 years.

Of course, not all Democrats are so fond of Sanders’s plan. Shockingly, it’s least popular among the party’s leadership. Nancy Pelosi has said she wouldn’t endorse the bill because she’s focused on protecting Obamacare. Schultz’s successor, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, said something similar. In summary, single-payer has gained enough political momentum within the party to force its opponents to at least couch their position in an excuse.

Because if the 2016 election cycle taught the Democrats anything, it’s that they oppose populist movements at their own peril. 

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Yen Cross's picture


  Respectfully, It was fun during the primaries.  I think it pertinent, that you focus on your COPD [smoking habit] and your wife's indictments.

toady's picture

Anything is better than obamacare!

NukeChinaNow's picture

obamacare HAD NOTHING TO DO with 'health care'.

It was simply the easiest way to steal wealth from TAX PAYING AMERICANS to FUND the the federal gov't to avoid a collapse.


But hey, what do I know? Don't ask what they have on Roberts.

TeamDepends's picture

Here's an idea:  Weekend At Bernies' Lake House Community College absolutely FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NukeChinaNow's picture

WOO HOO~! My hip's been acting up ( as is the wont of us ol' bastard's bodies ) but I'M IN!

Got to be some youngin' with pain killers! WOOT! lol


Manthong's picture


I started paying for Medicare with the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1983…..

When are the “Medicare for All” kids and illegals going to pay me back?

Ha  ha  ha  

mkkby's picture

Stupid hedgers are freaking out about this. But retirees ARE NOT complaining about medicare. They aren't waiting in long lines for service. They aren't being forced to take vaccinations. None of the bullshit scare tactics are actually real.

Doctors and hospitals love the current system, because they can charge outrageous prices with no competition. Force them to publish prices so you can shop around, just like you do for every other product/service in the economy. If you won't do that, then we have to have single payer which forces low prices down their greedy throats.

Either we have to have total price discovery or we have to have single payer. I'd rather have the price discovery but single payer is the 2nd best option.

jcaz's picture

Hey Bern, here's a thought- why not "introduce" us to the plan that YOU have?  

mtl4's picture

Is there a reason why the public needs to endure a endless stream of obnoxious lawyers turned career politicians?

This is as clear a sign as any of the need for term limits if I ever saw one.

Kozakman's picture

LOL. What planet do you live on?

Where I live NO primary care docs are taking new Medicare patients.  Not worth it to deal with the reimbursement and paperwork.


fockewulf190's picture

Single payer healthcare. You have got to be kidding me.

We really are living in the fucking Twilight Zone. The national debt just past 20 trillion. The unfunded liabilities are at least three or more times that amount. Social Security is a disaster. Pension funds nationwide are all hopelessly underfunded. State and municipal debt levels are sky high. Consumer debt, education debt, credit card debt, and auto loans are at insane levels.

Two states just got smashed from hurricanes, tacking on another 150 billion plus to the debt pile. California, broke as all hell, still has the San Andreas earthquake disaster on the way. On top of all that, we are going to be hit with millions of more cases of Alzheimer's disease and dementia which alone will bankrupt any existing healthcare system, unless a cure is found quickly, or Soylent Green euthanasia laws are passed in all 50 states.

Delusions of Grandeur. Seriously.

Dr. Engali's picture

Whoa, whoa, whoa right there pal. We all know it's socialism for the poor and capitalism for the rich. You have to pay for that weekend at Bernie's Mr. Now fork over one month's salary.

detached.amusement's picture

its such a disappointment how shitted up Lake Champlain has become.  blew my mind as a kid when one year you all of a sudden couldnt just drink the lake water straight up any longer.  but that was a LONG ass time ago.  used to be able to walk across the street and dip the coffee pot in the lake it was so pristine.  now?'d be just as well off drinking the water from a mangrove swamp.

Yen Cross's picture

   That's  100.00% correct.  What really facinates me, is the fact that Obungacare is factored into the GDP.

 Even more perplexing--- that traders looked the other way, fully knowing the graft and fraud that was/is happening.

  How many people are addicted to opiates?

TeamDepends's picture

Single Payer = Commie Care.  Do you want the government to be in charge of your health, or worse, responsible for putting you back together again after an accident?  What if the gov doesn't like you, or you them?  Alinsky's Rule number one was control healthcare, because then you control people.

Utopia Planitia's picture

It is fascinating that so many people who would not let their spouse (or parents) choose their ass wipe are more than willing to have The Bern dictate what health care they get!  Bizarre does not begin to describe...

There is a very simple solution - let those who want NO SAY in their healthcare create a foundation that makes all their medical care decisions for them.  Put Bern and Nancy Pelosi in charge.  Once you join there is no leaving. (once Bern's plan is implemented there will be no leaving.) The fools can have what they want and the rest of us will do what we want.  This can be done today, with no waiting or legislation.  There is NOTHING preventing the regressives from doing just that today.  But they won't. They want to destroy YOUR life come hell or high water!

Manthong's picture



“How many people are addicted to opiates?”

Well the good news is that as an older guy with plenty of body aches….I can get all the hydrocodone I want.

So if I phase out, you will know why.



Yen Cross's picture

 Manthong, do you remember Ying Yang?  That Man turned me on to Zorin- Linux.

 He taught me basic terminal code, 

 You're going to be around for a very long time !

Secret Weapon's picture

Wait until the progressives weaponize health care the way they did with the IRS. Sorry, you don't believe in climate change?  Guess your daughters kidney transplant will have to await further review. 

what happened's picture


More and more robots are involved in medicine, from surgery to the algorithms physicians follow in your care by computer.  Most westernized governments have single payer with better outcomes and controlled costs.  There is mega corruption in the current system.  Health care is the one advancement that will actually eliminate corruption in other places.


NukeChinaNow's picture

Remember the opiate addiction in China in the 1800's?

"The Good Earth"? P. Buck.

How did that play out?

So now they've imported THAT AND dope smoking into the US...*sigh*. Damn it!

Yen Cross's picture

   The West coast of the United States, has a rich history.   [all those Chinese railroad workers]

    Drugging the populace,  has been proven wrong, many times.

  Just ask Batman

any_mouse's picture

Scratch the surface and you'll find British Intelligence aka East India Company involved in opium trafficking.

Oh yeah, that great hero Smedley Darlington Butler was there working with the Brits in the Boxer Rebellion take over of China. Good thing he got religion only after he retired.

Before Oil, there was Opium. [Fairly certain the Soviet invasion into Afghanistan had something to do with opium. Most everything else did.]

Both Mao and Chiang Kai-shek were from wealthy families. The wealthy elite would win either way it goes down.

Don't blame the coolies.

Yen Cross's picture

    Well done.

   The scrawny pissants, that have old accounts, that just monitor Z/H?  [not so much]

what happened's picture


Let's not forget our own government and our history in Afganistan.  Drugs make for a dysfunctional society and you can profit in many ways from that dysfunction.

HardAssets's picture

Just check out Dr Dave Janda at

Search the term 'healthcare costs' using the button at the top right. We are being ripped off by government, the insurance companies, big pharma, and the AMA. Healthcare costs could be reduced by 90% while improving its quality & accessibility, and your freedom of choice. This could be enacted next week using existing programs that are working now. 90% of your healthcare dollars go to middlemen who add zero to your health.

Another rip off of We The People.

What a surprise/ massive sarc

Commie Bernie can kiss off

GreatUncle's picture

And why any legislation crafted will not be to put the taxes back in your pocket.

So that tells us this legislation will be the same.

Now the UK does not have the insurance style program but we have everybody has a tax taken to pay for it so all can get this healthcare for free. The problem is that type of healthcare runs out of money so the tax keeps rising to pay for it.

All for this concept now though because it really comes down to it with all the fraudulent money creation, just print the fucker okay $80B MOM should cover it and pay hospitals not insurance companies so the money gets paid to doctors, nurses even the janitors.

Then they can spend it in the real economy to keep it all turning over.


Ain't no need no more to pay taxes when the size of the real economy is so small to support the debt, drop all taxes away and just CTRL-P to support the debt.

We are getting there slowly globally, because if it is not free nobody can afford it in everything.

XWeatherman's picture

Bernie and the Corporate-Owned Democrats (and Republicans) sold our bodies to their Wall Street Insurance Company owners.

ebworthen's picture

No such thing as "money" anymore, or "debt", just for us Serfs.

Why not make everything free?  After all, $11+ Trillion for Wall Street with no strings or jail time was good enough, right?

Why should I work and pay my bills?  No reason.  Why should my kids take out a loan for college?  No reason. 

If there is plenty of free stuff for Wall Street and the Po' Folk there is plenty for Main Street.

All this "responsibility" talk is tiring when the rule-of-law and sound money are dead.

GreatUncle's picture

The economy is a joke either back the economy with a "material standard nobody can break, gold will do" or "let everybody CTRL-P for themselves" and not just those entitled ones who print to keep themselves top of the pile.

TBH when the west hits Japans level of debt to GDP might as well just make everything free because the economy is never going to be able to pay even the interest on the debt.


philipat's picture

Meanwhile, enjoy the new house Bernie.

Oh, and by the way, it is definitely The Russians behind this......

Iskiab's picture

Bernie's plan is essentially a copy of the Canadian system:
- higher life expectancy (the only impartial way to compare systems)
- lower child mortality rates
- more efficient system because there are less people profiting from it
- lower costs, GDP per capita spending on healthcare is about 5 percent or more higher in the US than anywhere else in the world with worse results (yes, that does mean an extra dollar out of every 20 earned in the country goes to healthcare)
- hugely popular in the country, 96 percent approval rate. Canadians compare themselves to Americans and see the benefits

With that being said, there isn't a chance in hell of it passing. Both democrat and republican leadership get a shit ton of campaign money from health insurers, and Canada's system is cheaper because it cuts them out of the equation.

The health insurers will fight it tooth and nail to hang onto the profitable outdated system (only third world countries have similar systems) and politicians will help them because, in case anyone's missed it, US politicians don't really care about voters and care more about funding dollars and post-office lobbying jobs.

I can see the political leadership speech now, 'US has the best healthcare system in the world!'. Translation: keep sticking your head up your ass and don't look at what works in other countries to see all the ways you're getting ripped off.

HardAssets's picture

Search 'healthcare costs' at

Dr Janda actually worked in the Canadian healthcare system and saw how it worked close up. If you have something serious that needs immediate attention - good luck. You'll have a very long wait, if you survive. That's why many Canadians in such circumstances came to the U.S. for care, (A Candian aunt of mine bragged about their 'free health system'. She got seriously ill and her son flew her down to the states since she would have died if she waited for Canadian care.)

Bernie is a dope.

what happened's picture


Canada is a poor example as it lags behind other countries who provide universal care with wait times.  Personally if I needed surgical care, and had to pay out of pocket, Thailand or India are a fraction of the cost here in the United States.

Utopia Planitia's picture

Your analysis is what one would expect from somebody who does no thinking.

-> Higher life expectancy is NOT an impartial (nor intelligent) way to compare systems.  Where did you come up with such a flimsy basis?  This statistic is utterly meaningless unless you have factored in the characteristics of the populations the statistics derive from.  A disinterested 8th grader would not fall for this statement.

-> Lower childhood mortality rates.  Same problem as #1.

-> More efficiency because less profit.  Here we are again right back to less than 8th grade thinking skills.

-> Lower costs per GDP/per capita.  Right back to less than 8th grade thinking.  If "cost" is your only concern then don't even get health care.  Intelligent people who take advantage of health care have an objective other than "cost control".  If you wish to make "cost control" your only criteria then go right ahead and do so!  Nobody is stopping you.  The rest of us (who THINK) have other objectives.

Health care is NOT something that is done on a national basis.  Health care is individual.  Everybody does not need the same health care.  It is not something that the nation does "together" any more than the entire nation mounts the toilet as one.

You clearly are an ignorant progressive.  Go above and read my solution for your emotional dilemma.  You can put it into effect TODAY.  It requires no legislation and very minimal effort on your part.  Then you can cross one thing to complain about off your list.

Dr. Engali's picture

Trump signs the bill in 3...., 2....,1.... Don't worry loyal shlub Trump supporters . Mexico is going to pay for this and the imaginary wall too.

Blue Steel 309's picture

Sold out? Him and his jew family were never with us. They are going to keep finding ways to kick the can until they cant. Trump was can kicking.

LetThemEatRand's picture
How about spending our military or bank bailout budget on hardenening our electtric infrasacture.   Nevermind, that would help the average guy.
GreatUncle's picture

Lol $80B MOM for how long would have replaced the entire electric infrastructure let alone all the money creation even now being done behind closed doors.

That fraudulent money is to support them and the debt and not for the benefit of society, it just sits on the profit and loss ledger as an asset.

Ignatius's picture

"Yes, we'd like to help you with your health problem, but unfortunately we see that you 36 shots behind on your vaccine schedule.  Once we catch up on that then we'll look at that problem with your toe."

Golden Showers's picture

I'd like to opt out. Save you some jew duckets. You know, to pay off my share of the 20 trillion national debt.

Fuck you Bernie you commie fuck. Just stay at home in your fancy house and fuck off.

Stupid old piece of shit. We don't need you or your "help" you geezer socialist bitch. Fuck off. That's the American Way.

Fuck the fuck off.

Count me out.

HardAssets's picture

Bernie has lived off the government tit for most of his adult life.

He's just an old Commie fool. If American 'schools' and universities weren't so bad and filled with propagandists, the young people would never have been taken in by this guy.

ET's picture

Sen. Kamala Harris as a presidential candidate?

Another step closer to Idiocracy.


It is so sad that California is stuck with this mental lightweight for six years. Out of more than 39 million Californians they elect her to represent them? Wow.

TeamDepends's picture

Um Waters, Pelosi, Brown, Feinstein, Terminator......

philipat's picture

It's jsut a Ca thing. They seem particularly good at finding Libtard progressive (alleged) women to elect. Is HArris any worse than Pelosii, Boxer, Fineswein, Waters etc? I rest my case...

NukeChinaNow's picture

Yeah! THAT'S how to make life great! Two nigger half-breeds and a couple other ignorant split-tails to top it off!

OH YEAH! I can see the heavens open to this genius!

tragus's picture

We are raising the age of retirement to keep Medicare funded for longer ....
And Bernie wants to drop the age to zero.

Green2Delta's picture

Ol' Bernie was recently in Indianapolis for some rally held on the Circle. I have no idea what is was or, but the way two different local news stations reported it was rather funny. One only used tight footage leading idiots to believe hundreds to thousands of people were there. Another channel used a wide angle which clearly showed less than 4 dozen people were there.