News Release

Will Sanders Introduce Medicare for All, or Just for Some?

sandersRUSSELL MOKHIBER, @corpcrimereport

Founder of Single Payer Action, Mokhiber just wrote the piece: “Single Payer Bernie Sanders Morphs Into Public Option Howard Dean,” which states: “During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Sanders took off like a rocket, fueled by the promise of a single payer, Medicare for All single payer system.

“His single payer plan paralleled HR 676, the single payer bill in the House of Representatives that now has 72 co-sponsors. HR 676 is the gold standard of single payer bills.

“It would deliver one public payer, no deductibles, no co-pays, lower costs, everyone in, nobody out, no more medical bankruptcies, no more deaths from lack of health insurance and free choice of doctors and hospitals.

“That was the promise of Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign. … And this weekend, Sanders has been telling people he will introduce health care reform legislation in the Senate within a couple of weeks.

“But it’s not going to be a companion bill to HR 676.

“Instead, Sanders is telling reporters he wants to ‘move toward Medicare for all.’

“‘Right now we need to improve the Affordable Care Act and that means a public option,’ Sanders tweeted [Saturday].

“The public option?

“That would be the plan put forth by the Democratic corporatist Howard Dean, currently a member of the public policy and regulation practice of Denton’s, the multinational corporate law firm. …

“PNHP [Physicians for a National Health Program], in a paper titled ‘The Public Plan Option: Myths and Facts,’ says that ‘the current Medicare experience combined with experience in many different states that have tried this type of reform shows that public plans are left with the sickest patients and fail due to rising costs while the private insurers continue to collect premiums from the healthiest patients and maintain their high profits.’

“Sanders also told reporters this weekend that he would consider legislation that would drop the Medicare age from 65 to 55.

“David Himmelstein, a PNHP founder, said that while the public option would be a ‘modest improvement’ and dropping the Medicare age to 55 would be a ‘good step,’ ‘neither could realize most of the vast savings on administration available under single payer, nor would they achieve universal coverage or address the problems of the tens of millions who are currently underinsured.’

“‘Introducing a public option will divide and confuse supporters of Medicare for all,’ said Margaret Flowers, MD a pediatrician who co-directs Health Over Profit for Everyone, www.HealthOverProfit.org. Flowers is also a member of PNHP. ‘Senators who should co-sponsor Medicare for all will be divided. Sanders seems to be urging a public option to please the Democratic Party, but Sanders cannot serve two masters — Wall Street’s Chuck Schumer and the people. Sanders must decide whom he is working for.'”