- Shannon Vavra
- Sep 13
How Bernie might pay for "Medicare for All"
Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington unveiling "Medicare for All." Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP
Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced his "Medicare for All" bill Wednesday afternoon, alongside a group of 16 cosponsors that includes some of the party's leading contenders for 2020.
The biggest obstacle facing Sanders' proposal is that it would be a big revenue suck. Sanders suggested that "there needs to be vigorous debate" about how to raise revenue to back it, "unlike the Republican leadership in Congress which held no hearings on their disastrous bill" that didn't pass through Congress.
Here's how he might pay for it:
- A 7.5% income-based premium paid by employers, which his paper claims will raise $3.9 trillion over 10 years. This would exempt certain small businesses.
- 4% income-based premium paid by households, which his paper claims will raise $4.2 trillion over 10 years. This would not affect low-income families.
- Savings from health tax expenditures, which his paper claims will raise $4.2 trillion over 10 years.
- Make the personal income tax and the estate tax more progressive, including limiting deductions for the wealthy. His paper claims this will raise $1.8 trillion and $249 billion over 10 years, respectively.
- "Establish a Wealth Tax on the Top 0.1 percent," which his paper claims will raise $1.3 trillion over 10 years.
- Add a fee on large financial institutions, which his paper claims will raise $117 billion over 10 years.
There are a couple other proposals listed in the paper, which is worth a look over, here.
The main idea behind "Medicare for All": Americans, no matter whether they come from red states or blue states, should have healthcare and shouldn't go broke trying to get it.