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Sanders' Single-Payer Plan May Require Tax Increases

by Countable | 9.15.17

What’s the story?

On Wednesday Sen. Bernie Sander (I-VT) released his latest version of a universal healthcare bill the Medicare for All Act of 2017 with the support of 16 other Senate Democrats. Missing from the legislation was a clear plan on how the expansion of government-run healthcare to all Americans would get paid for, but Sanders’ office did release a list of ideas.

Why does it matter?

According to the Census Bureau, as of July 2016 there were 323,127,513 people in America. Those over 65 years of age, the current enrollment age for Medicare, account for 15.2% of the population, or almost 50 million people. Sanders’ legislation would extend Medicare to the other 274 million Americans, eliminate the need for additional programs, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and reduce the amount of money spent on healthcare administrative costs.

Sanders’ reorganizing of America’s healthcare system most likely will not be cheap, and he has not projected a cost for the program. The Congressional Budget Office will do that. But he has called for a "vigorous debate" on how to fund Medicare for All and he’s offered a laundry list of ideas to get the ball rolling.

They fall under four broad categories: tax increases for individual, average Americans; tax increases for employers; tax increases for wealthy Americans: and tax increases for corporations and large financial institutions.

For many conservatives, any tax increases are a non-starter, and even for some who might support single-payer ‘in theory,’ they may balk if tax increases become a reality.

Despite the number of likely Democratic presidential candidates stepping up to support Sanders’ bill, the specifics, especially the cost, are going to be both important and hotly debated. If you want to participate actively in the conversation, either for or against, it’s time to start getting informed.

What do you think?

Are tax increases and entitlements a non-starter for you in discussing healthcare? Do you like the idea of single-payer, but find the idea of tax increases problematic? Do you support single-payer and the related tax increases? Do you have ideas to pay for the program that Sanders didn’t propose?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: BlueDiamondGallery / Creative Commons)

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(129)
  • Julia
    09/15/2017
    ···

    I support Single Payer Healthcare because healthcare is a HUMAN right. It is a ridiculous notion that ones well being is tied to their employment! A healthy nation is a productive nation and one that advances progress. It is not just a political or economic issue - it an ethical issue and one that defines the very fabric of who our nation is in this moment in history. We must protect our people and not just our profits. We must represent the best of human possibility. #SinglePayerNow

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  • Ken
    09/15/2017
    ···

    To me it seems like a no brainer. The average family pays thousands for health insurance, has high deductibles, ever increasing premiums and can be denied insurance with pre existing conditions. So if you pay the same $$ as you would for your health insurance as income taxes or less and eliminate the middle man ( insurance companies). It's not perfect but what is ?

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  • Mindful
    09/15/2017
    ···

    How else do we PAY for our necessities of life? We eagerly PAY - Tax ourselves to go to War, don't we? And in this process, increase the Debt-no questions asked. Isn't our Health Care essential in our pursuit of 'Life, Liberty & Happiness'. Are we worth it?

    Like (27)
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  • Sentinel2084
    09/15/2017
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    If all other developed countries have universal health care, why not US? Are we a bunch of morons who don't get it. Those that want to cling to private health care, go ahead ... line the pockets of the health insurance companies. As for the rest of US we want the public option!

    Like (19)
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  • Steven
    09/15/2017
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    If you like single payer move to Canada please please just move to Canada. Or other any other socialist country

    Like (16)
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  • Jennifer
    09/15/2017
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    I'm ok with this because my payroll deductions for healthcare will stop. Please stop trying to scare people away from this option with your bullshit headlines about taxes going up. Our healthcare premiums will skyrocket for much less services if you repeal ACA. Pull your heads out of your asses, general public, and do some fucking research before you start crying about socialism.

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  • ProudAmerican
    09/15/2017
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    All supporters of single payer want it to happen...until it happens and they need to wait 3+ months to get a root canal. I want to control my own health insurance and healthcare. Say no to more government control of our lives.

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  • Laynee
    09/15/2017
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    It is not fair to tax paying Americans, many who already have healthcare plans, to be footing the bill for others. Patients from socialized countries come to the U.S. for major procedures because we have the greatest medical centers, so why change our system when it works for many?

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  • Brian
    09/15/2017
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    It WILL raise taxes and the quality of care will suffer especially people with special needs.

    Like (13)
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  • Sean
    09/15/2017
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    Yes taxes will go up, but on average most people will be paying less than they do now for a better insurance plan. Further this is a tax that directly helps every citizen in the country instead of blowing up other people. Further if you say you are pro-life and against the idea of universal healthcare then you are a hypocrite.

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  • WeaverWitch
    09/15/2017
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    Many argue that single payer heath care would result in poor service, delays in treatment, and that the current system works. Whole lotta privilege going on here. Most counties that have National Heath also allow for private insurance. That gives people with money & privilege the option to have access to healthcare feels more elite. And it give the rest of us who can't afford insurance access to healthcare. Waiting 3 months for a root canal is far better than buying a bottle of clove oil to help ease the pain because a root canal or even an extraction is way beyond your ability to pay.

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  • Lance
    09/15/2017
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    You won't pay premiums I'm sure 2.2% tax increase is smaller than you premium it's a no brainer.

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  • Bruce
    09/15/2017
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    This is replacing our health insurance system not our health care system. I hope that people can keep that important distinction in mind when they consider this bill.

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  • Rhiannon
    09/15/2017
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    It is amazing to me that people are not understanding that the tax increase also means that the healthcare premiums would go away. Ultimately this means that every person would paying less for full coverage. I am so sick of the selfish attitude from people that you should move to a socialist country if you are for universal healthcare. Because what you are really saying is that there is no room for cooperation towards the common good in a democracy. Which is false. Healthcare for all our citizens is a positive for our society not a negative. Healthy people equal healthy communities.

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  • Bruce
    09/15/2017
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    No !!! To a Socialist/Communist Healthcare !!!! The Government can't even take care of our Damn Vets !!! Liberals are Destroying America one city at a time !!!

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  • mhalmes
    09/15/2017
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    I like how it says "may" because we all know taxes will skyrocket under this plan. And soon after quality of care will drop & wait times will rise. It's already hard for some to receive care in a timely manner, so I cannot understand why we want to make it worse on Americans. Preexisting conditions will still be relevant, but for things like obesity or mental illness. So many examples of why universal care is bad, but too many are blinded by the idea of "free."

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  • John
    09/15/2017
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    Of the 33 industrial nations of the world, the USA is the only country that does not offer some type of Universal Healthcare (UH) Study the existing UHs and determine what will works best for us. We spend nearly 18% of our GDP on healthcare where many countries spends half of that. I believe if a true and honest audit were done for the Pentagon we could find some money to underwrite Medicare for All. As my young and astute nephew from Canada puts it, " We do healthcare and you do war".

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  • joshuatucker
    09/15/2017
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    The money points moreso to a government public option, not a universal plan. I used to identify as a democratic socialist, but then I grew up and found out how much life costs ONE to be successful.

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  • Michael
    09/16/2017
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    Anything that Senator Sanders Supports is BAD!!!

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  • Gary
    09/15/2017
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    This is another one of those issues that is favored by those with no fiscal understanding but a burning desire to once again Tax the Rich. The country doesn't owe you healthcare. You are supposed to exercise enough personal responsibility to provide for the family you decide to build. If for legitimate reasons or a particularly nasty attack from the flying fickle finger of fate you are unable to do so, charity services and government assistance Should be available, within reasonable limits. Anyone who buys into this nonsense that it would only cost 2.2 percent in taxes to accomplish should refer to the starting cost of other government run programs. The constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal results. It does not guarantee health care for all at government ( read that tax payer ) expense.

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