During a town hall on CNN on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated that under a Medicare for all system, people will not be able to keep the private health insurance plans they have through their employers, but will be able to go to any doctor or hospital they want. He further stated that if people want additional private insurance for things like cosmetic surgery, they can buy additional private insurance.
Moderator Wolf Blitzer asked, “Will these people [people who like the private insurance plans they get through their employers] be able to keep their health insurance plans, their private plans through their employers, if there is a Medicare for all program that you endorse?”
Sanders answered, “No.”
Sanders continued, “What they will — what will change in their plans is the color of their card. So, instead of having a Blue Cross Blue Shield card, instead of having a United health insurance card, they’re going to have a Medicare card. That Medicare card will allow them, Wolf, to go to any doctor that they want, if they’re going to the doctor, they’re happy, any hospital they want. But you know what else? They’re not going to be paying any private insurance premiums. If they are seniors, we are going to expand Medicare benefits to cover dental care, which is not covered for seniors, hearing aids, and eyeglasses. There will be comprehensive health care. People can go to any doctor, dentist, or hospital they want.”
Blitzer followed up, “So, if they like their health insurance plan, they won’t be able to keep their health insurance plan?”
Sanders responded, “Wolf, nobody — this business of liking your health insurance plan, which, by the way, employers change every single year, people like their doctors. They like the hospitals. They like the care they’re getting. Our bill — in fact, right now, if you are in a particular program, you may not be able to go to the doctor that you want. Our program will allow you freedom of choice.”
Blitzer then asked if people will be allowed to buy additional private health insurance in addition to Medicare for all.
Sanders stated, “If they want — our bill covers all healthcare needs, all. If people want cosmetic surgery, for example, yes, of course, they can get private insurance, but our bill covers all comprehensive healthcare needs.”
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