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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted on Saturday about plans to cancel "all $81 billion in existing past-due medical debt."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
"In the United States of America, your financial life and future should not be destroyed because you or a member of your family gets sick. That is unacceptable. I am sick and tired of seeing over 500,000 Americans declare bankruptcy each year because they cannot pay off the outrageous cost of a medical emergency or a hospital stay."
— Sen. Bernie Sanders statement

The big picture: Sanders' plan is designed to address debt under the current system and the policy is still in the works, but it will be separate from Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan, CNN notes.

  • Sanders has yet to reveal details of how the proposal would be financed, but he said the federal government would negotiate and pay off past-due medical debt that's been reported to credit agencies.
  • He plans to repeal some elements of the 2005 bankruptcy reform bill and allow other existing and future medical debt to be discharged, per the New York Times.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The rise of vaccine passports

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Vaccine passports were touted early in the pandemic as an important piece of the plan to get people back to normal life. Now they’re becoming a reality.

Driving the news: CLEAR, the secure digital identity app that you see in airports around the world, and CommonPass, a health app that lets users securely access vaccination records and COVID test results, have joined forces.

"Vaccine tourism" stretches states' supplies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans who are highly motivated to get vaccinated are traveling across state lines after hearing about larger vaccine supplies or loopholes in sign-up systems.

Why it matters: "Vaccine tourism" raises ethical and legal questions, and could worsen the racial socioeconomic and racial inequalities of the pandemic.