News & Politics

Sanders Says 'Average People' Will Pay More in Taxes to Fund Medicare for All

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic presidential candidate, said that “average people” would be paying more in taxes to pay for his Medicare for all plan but predicted that it would amount to less than they are currently paying in health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

“See, that’s like a Republican talking point. ‘Are you going to raise taxes?'” Sanders said after the Democratic presidential debate on Thursday evening. “Yeah, it’s a fair question but here’s the other point. We’re going to do away with all premiums. If you pay $1,000 a month, what do you call that? Is that a tax for the insurance companies? What would you call it? I would call it a tax — that’s gone. How much are you paying out-of-pocket? That’s gone.”

Sanders said Medicare for all, like military spending, would be funded out of the “general tax base.”

“It will be funded progressively — upper-income people will pay the bulk. I’m not going to argue that average people will not pay more but they will not be paying premiums, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses,” Sanders said.

“They will be spending less on health care than they currently do, so I get a little bit upset, you know, this is Trumpism, you know, ‘Oh my God, somebody is going to be paying more in taxes.’ Yeah, no more premiums, no more co-payments, no more deductibles, spending less on health care than you currently do,” he added.

During the presidential debate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), called Medicare for all a “bad idea” since it would eliminate private health insurance for millions of Americans.

“It says that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it and that means that 149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their current insurance — that’s in four years,” she said. “I don’t think that’s a bold idea, I think it’s a bad idea.”