Billionaires Should Pay for Needed Health Protections

Statements From Public Citizen Experts

Note: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today introduced the Make Billionaires Pay Act, which would tax the wealth gains of billionaires during the COVID-19 health crisis at the rate of 60% and use the funding to cover medicines and out-of-pocket costs for the next year for people who need it.

Our country is facing dual health and economic crises because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, while people are suffering, billionaires continue to add to their already staggering hoards of wealth. Instead of letting this gross inequity continue to fester, this bill redistributes most of these unconscionable pandemic income gains to cover the medical needs of uninsured and underinsured Americans for the next year. Making us not just a safer, but also a fairer nation during this unprecedented pandemic.

  • Susan Harley, Managing Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the cracks in our broken health care system and far too many Americans are falling through them – meaning untreated illness and medical debt or bankruptcy. Congress must ensure that everyone in the U.S. can get the care they need during this historic crisis and the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act does just that. Funding the bill through the Make Billionaires Pay Act means that billionaires’ ill-gotten gains will finally serve the public need instead of just private greed.

  • Eagan Kemp, Health Care Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division