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Friday, October 20, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Since the demise of Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act, Democrats on Capitol Hill have been gloating about the preservation of Obamacare. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has done them one better, telling Hardwick town hall attendees he will soon introduce a single-payer health care bill in Congress.

Here are five things you should know about Sanders’ plan.

1. Sanders introduced similar legislation in 2009 and 2011.

Sanders’ American Health Security Act of 2009 (S.703) would have provided every U.S. citizen and/or green-card holder with health services. The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance eight years ago this month. Sanders tried again two years later, introducing a Medicare-for-all type single-payer system which was accompanied by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)’s companion bill with 11 co-sponsors.

“The twin measures, both called the American Health Security Act of 2011, would provide federal guidelines and strong minimum standards for states to administer single-payer health care programs,” read the press release.

2. Sanders’ single payer efforts previously failed in his home state.

In 2014, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin nixed the health plan, fearing it would “hurt” the economy. California would soon launch a single-payer health care system, making it the first state to do so.

3. Like Obamacare, the popularity of Sanders’ plan rests largely on its name.

A February 2016 poll revealed that while 36 percent of Americans favored a Medicare-for-all system, support dropped to just 15% when it was referred to as “single payer.”

4. With a Republican majority, Medicare-for-all is doomed.

Along with Sanders and Rep. McDermott, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced a Medicare-for-all bill with one national health insurance plan. Seventy-two Democrats and not a single Republican cosponsored the bill.

5. Medicare-for-all may be only way for Trump to fulfill his heath care promises.

Donald Trump promised “insurance for everybody.” He also vowed not to cut Medicare or Medicaid.  Physicians for a National Health Program says single payer reform is “the only way to fulfill the president’s pledge.’

Watch: Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a town hall meeting in Hardwick, Vermont:

 

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.