Bernie Sanders Promises to Erase Medical Debt

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gives his Medicare for All address at the George Washington University July 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Sanders renewed his campaign promise from 2016 for providing a single payer system of healthcare for all Americans. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) revealed another piece of his plan to overhaul the health care system in America on Saturday, teasing his proposal to cancel $81 billion in past medical debt.

“In the United States of America, your financial life and future should not be destroyed because you or a member of your family gets sick,” Sanders said in a statement, calling it “unacceptable.”

“I am sick and tired of seeing over 500,000 Americans declare bankruptcy each year because they cannot pay off the outrageous cost of a medical emergency or a hospital stay,” he continued.

“In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, 42 percent of Americans should not be losing their entire life savings two years after being diagnosed with cancer,” he added.

That is why, Sanders said, his administration will erase $81 billion in existing medical debt across the board.

Via The Hill:

Sanders’s plan would cancel $81 billion in existing past-due medical debt, repeal parts of the 2005 Bankruptcy reform bill and ensure that unpaid medical bills do not impact one’s credit score. Sanders has hit the 2005 bill for eliminating “fundamental consumer protections,” accusing the bill of making it difficult for Americans to pay back medical debt by imposing stringent means tests.

“It is nothing less than barbaric that the leading cause of bankruptcy in America is medical debt,” Sanders echoed in a tweet.

“These people didn’t spend all their money on luxury items. Their crime was that they got sick. We are going to cancel all $81 billion in existing past-due medical debt,” he promised.

This is not the first time Sanders has promised to erase debt across the board. He also proposed to cancel $1.6 trillion in student debt via the College For All Act, which would cost roughly $2 trillion. That is in addition to his $16 trillion Green New Deal proposal and his plans to implement Medicare for All, which could cost  the U.S. anywhere from $32 trillion to $60 trillion over the next decade alone.

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