No consensus on government-paid health care

Merkley announces he will co-sponsor 'Medicare-for-all' bill

Victoria Sarno Jordan

Watch a livestream of Sen.

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced his long-awaited Medicare-for-all legislation Wednesday, touting the support of 16 Democratic senators who signed on as co-sponsors, but plenty of crucial questions remain unanswered, including the cost.

Lawmakers, for their part, issued ringing endorsements of Sanders' legislation, which comes as Medicare for All is experiencing a "groundbreaking" surge in support at the grassroots and within the Democratic Party. At a recent confernce, he said he's afraid people will get fed up with the current healthcare system and embrace the single-payer option proposed by Sanders.

Meanwhile, Republicans have begun crafting their own answer to the high price of health insurance. Even Joe Manchin, widely considered the Senate's most conservative Democrat, said that while he was "skeptical" of single-payer, he thought Congress should "carefully consider all of the options". America has arguably the best quality of health-care services available in the world, but many Americans across the political spectrum are rightly frustrated with our convoluted health-care payment structure today.

He said moving to a single-payer program would "simplify health care and lower patients' costs". Most services, such as emergency care and prescription drugs, would be covered. Americans younger than 18 would immediately obtain "universal Medicare cards", while Americans not now eligible for Medicare would be phased into the program over four years.

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The bill calls for elimination of premiums for private health insurance, deductibles and co-pays.

The health care issue is now too popular to avoid on the left. Instead, most Americans would receive a "Universal Medicare Card" that would allow them to receive care from medical facilities for every aspect of routine care, from hospital stays to dental work. Or is it just the privilege of wealth?

"I'm pretty sure that not only does the president not support it, America does not support it or Bernie Sanders would be sitting in the Oval Office right now", she added.

Canada has had universal health care since 1968.

Thirdly, why are we paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, so that one out of five Americans under 64 can not afford the medicine that they need? "Doctors are spending an enormous amount of time arguing with insurers'". Most people would say yes. You've got think tanks, in many cases funded by the drug companies and the insurance companies, telling us how terribly expensive it's going to be.

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Earlier this year, President Trump chose to withdraw the United States from a global climate change agreement. And we have a responsibility - all of us. "Then let the person decide, and history will judge the decisions".

"Most importantly, when my patients are sick, I do not need to ask if they have insurance or if they can afford to pay for my services", she said.

[Y] es, your taxes are going up.

Yet that support is vulnerable to attack, with messaging about cost and how much the plan would increase taxes particularly effective in knocking down that support level. That's what our pledge is. Imagine a hypothetical match-up between a post-Trump right-wing populist Republican Party, a socialist Democratic Party of the left, and a start-up New Center party situated between them. They will forget that 30 seconds [in an ad that] I have to tell you you're no longer paying private insurance if you're a small business. Grass-roots activist organizations such as Our Revolution, National Nurses United, Working Families party and People's Action, among others, also deserve a great deal of credit for sustaining the movement energy across the country and applying consistent pressure on Democratic leaders. That remains the biggest unresolved issue both in this discussion, and historically, in any debate over implementing a universal health care system in the U.S. California - which, of the four states now considering single-payer, has come the closest to passing it - hasn't yet figured out how it would finance its system.

Interestingly, Sanders - who just> a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" *a few months ago suggested that Democrats didn't necessarily have to be pro-choice, spurring a round of similar statements from Democratic leadership - hasn't discussed the topic of abortion as it applies to his bill.

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