This bill — the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act — would provide individuals residing in the U.S. with healthcare for all “medically necessary care” by increasing or imposing a variety of taxes. Medically necessary care would include primary care, prevention, dietary and nutritional therapies, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care. Patients would choose between participating physicians and institutions for receiving care, and the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) would be required to create a confidential electronic patient record system.
The program would be funded in the following ways, although specifics about increased or new tax rates aren’t included in the bill:
Existing sources of government revenues for healthcare, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
Increasing personal income taxes on the top five percent of income earners (about $210,000 annually for a household);
Imposing a “modest and progressive” excise tax on payroll and self-employment income;
Imposing a “modest tax” on unearned income (like interest from a savings account, stock dividends, bond interest or alimony);
Imposing a “small tax” on stock and bond transactions.
Only public or nonprofit institutions would be allowed to participate. Health insurers would be prohibited from selling insurance that duplicates the benefits provided under this bill, but could sell benefits that aren’t medically necessary such as cosmetic surgery.
The Indian Health Service would be integrated into the new Medicare program after five years, while Congress would evaluate the continued independence of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs health programs.
The program would also provide employment transition benefits and prioritize the retraining and job placement of individuals whose jobs are eliminated due to reduced clerical and administrative work under this bill.