Senate to Take up Bernie Sanders Single-Payer Health Plan Wednesday

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CommonDreams.org

Senate to Take up Bernie Sanders Single-Payer Health Plan Wednesday

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WASHINGTON,
December 15 - The Senate on Wednesday will debate for the first time
in
American history a proposal to create a single-payer, Medicare-for-all
health
care system.

"In
my view, the single-payer approach is the only way we will ever have a
cost-effective, comprehensive health care system in this country,"
said
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose amendment will come before the
Senate.

The
Sanders Amendment would provide health care and dental coverage for
every
American, save money, and improve health care results.

"One
of the reasons our current health care system is so expensive, so
wasteful,
so bureaucratic, so inefficient is that it is heavily dominated by
private
health insurance companies whose only goal in life is to make as much
money
as they can," Sanders said.

The
1,300 profit-making private insurance companies administer thousands
of separate
plans and waste about $400 billion a year on administrative costs,
profiteering, high CEO compensation packages, and advertising. Health
care
providers spend another $210 billion on administrative costs, mostly
to deal
with insurance paperwork. 

As
a result, the United States spends $7,129 per person on health care,
almost
double the amount spent by nearly any other industrialized country.
Nevertheless, 46 million Americans lack health insurance, 100 million
Americans cannot access dental care, and 60 million Americans do not
have
access to primary care.

Sanders
acknowledged that his amendment would not pass. "As a result of the
power of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, this amendment
will not
pass or even get very many votes.  Nonetheless, given the view of
millions of
us that a single-payer approach is the only way this country will ever
provide comprehensive, cost-effective health care to all its citizens,
this
is an important step forward. 

"At
the end of the day - not this year, not next year, but sometime in the
future -  this country will come to understand that if we are going to
provide comprehensive quality care to all of our people, the only way
we will
do that is through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system, and I am
glad to
be able to start that debate by offering this amendment."

To
read a summary of the amendment, click here.

To
read the amendment, click here.

Contact:
Michael Briggs cell (202) 557-1935

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