UPDATE (4/29/19): The House held the first ever Congressional hearings on Medicare for All on Tuesday, April 30th.
In 2016, healthcare costs constituted nearly 18% of the United States’ gross domestic product. Despite spending far more on healthcare than any of our economic peers, the US has worse health outcomes than similarly wealthy countries. High healthcare costs not only divert resources from sectors like education and infrastructure but also force thousands of people to delay or forgo necessary care.
The Medicare for All Act of 2019 would replace our patchwork system of private and public insurers with a single public payer by expanding Medicare access to all Americans. Medicare would cover all essential healthcare, while private insurers would continue covering elective procedures like plastic surgery. While the bill would require a significant tax hike, primarily among the wealthiest Americans, major reductions in healthcare spending would outweigh tax increases. Individuals would pay dramatically lower premiums and would not pay copays or deductibles at all. Indeed, multiple studies have concluded shifting to a universal healthcare system could save the United States trillions by eliminating administrative costs and giving the government more leverage to negotiate cheaper drug prices. With a universal healthcare system, the US could finally end its shameful exclusion of millions from the healthcare system, eliminate medical bankruptcy, and provide more Americans with access to needed care.