WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today reintroduced Medicare for All legislation in the U.S. Senate. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“It is unrealistic for the United States to continue with for-profit insurance.
“The privatized, balkanized, and bureaucratized for-profit insurance model has given us the worst of all worlds: We pay the most and get the least. We have the most health care rationing of any rich country, by far. We have huge racial disparities in access to quality health care. And while private insurers are rolling in profits, medical bankruptcies are soaring and hundreds of thousands of patients are resorting to GoFundMe campaigns in a desperate effort to raise funds to get care they need.
“It is unrealistic to believe this system can be tinkered with and deliver health care to all. The problems that characterize our current system are the natural outgrowth of the system’s design.
“Medicare for All is the realistic alternative to our current, failed system. Medicare for All would build on the most popular and efficient part of our health care system – Medicare. It would improve Medicare by eliminating out-of-pocket costs and expanding available services, including to provide dental and hearing care. And it would expand Medicare to cover all Americans.
“With the realistic proposal of Medicare for All, everyone would be insured. Health care decisions would be made by patients and doctors – not for-profit insurance companies focused on their bottom lines. Coverage would not depend on where you work or whether you’re employed. And there would never be another medical bankruptcy.
“Medicare for All is not just realistic policy; it’s realistic politics. It’s not just that strong majorities consistently support Medicare for All in polling. We’re seeing a growing grassroots movement with new intensity: Nearly 100 resolutions from cities and towns all across the country have called for Medicare for All. And we see it in the strong co-sponsorship of Medicare for All in the U.S. House of Representatives and now the Senate – despite aggressive lobbying by the health care industries.
“We can either continue down the path of corporate greed and human suffering, or we can do what every other rich nation has done and guarantee universal coverage. Medicare for All is the realistic, humane and just choice.”