In an interview released Sunday with CBS affiliate network in Iowa, 2020 White House contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pledged to eliminate private insurance and raises taxes to help fund his “Medicare for All” plan if elected president.
A partial transcript is as follows:
CYNTHIA FODOR: You’re talking about “Medicare for All.” You’re in the second-largest insurance capital here in Des Moines. There are people who would like to keep their private insurance. Is that possible under that plan?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: No. I think right now what we should appreciate is that every year many, many millions of people lose their health insurance because they leave their jobs or because the employer changes their insurance policies. I think what most Americans feel is that Medicare currently, which applies to people 65 years of age or older, is a very strong program. It is a popular program. There is no reason why we should continue to pay twice as much per capita for health care than the people of any other nation and yet have some many people uninsured or underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. So, I believe that if we want to cover, provide health care to all, in a cost-effective way, if we want to lower the outrageous price of prescription drugs in this country, the way to go is “Medicare for All.”
FODOR: And what you hear people asking is, “how do we pay for that?”
SEN. SANDERS: Well, we’re paying for it right now. We’re spending twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other country. And, in many ways, our health care outcomes are not as good. So, we’re paying for it. What our bill does, and sometimes we’re up against the insurance companies and the drug companies who are going to spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat us, but what people should understand is that what “Medicare for All” does is it eliminates your private health insurance premiums. You’re not going to be paying that. You’re not going to be paying co-payments, you’re not going to paying deductibles. You’re going to be seeing your prescription drugs’ cost, in my view, come down by 50 percent. Will you be paying more in taxes? Yes, you will.