U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and House Democrats unveiled new ‘Medicare for All’ legislation to guarantee health care coverage to all U.S. residents through a government-run single payer system, reports POLITICO.
According to NBC News, Rep. Jayapal, who is the lead author of the new bill and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said to reporters that this legislation would require a complete transformation of the current U.S. health system.
“”I think this ‘Medicare for all’ bill really makes it clear what we mean by ‘Medicare for all,'” Rep. Jayapal said. “We mean a complete transformation of our health care system, we mean a system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core comprehensive benefits that will be covered through the government.”
This bill is seen as more ambitious than previous legislative initiatives, including the Medicare for All Bill proposed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate. Both proposals require the eradication of private insurance and argues the tangibility of costs for pursuit in this universal system, reports POLITICO.
What differs in the Jayapal’s plan is the expedited transition of two years, instead of the four years proposed by Sanders. Additionally, the government would not only cover all U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants, but the government would also pay for dental and vision, co-pays, premiums, and deductibles.
Vox also explains that the legislation – also known as the Medicare for All Act for 2019 – entails a benefits package more generous than other countries, like England or Canada, with established single-payer systems.
While the bill has 106 co-sponsors in the Democrat-controlled House, the bill is expected to face major challenges in a GOP-run Senate, reports The Washington Post.
Critics also pointed out that Jayapal has not detailed how the government will pay for a plan that is projected to cost at least 30 trillion dollars. However, she is not concerned because the price tag will be addressed in the future. Her priority is to address the question on the will to ensure health care for all Americans, reports Vox.
“Most bills don’t have that when they’re introduced, that comes later in the process,” Jayapal said. “I actually think the question is not about how we pay for it, the question is where is the will to make sure every American has the health care they deserve and have a right.”
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