Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently made headlines during the second Democratic presidential debate in Miami for admitting he would have to raise taxes on middle-class Americans in order to pay for his Medicare-for-all plan – now he’s detailing how much it would cost families.
During a podcast interview with NPR on Monday, Sanders said taxes could rise by $10,000 for American families.
“Of course some people are going to pay more in taxes,” Sanders said.
He added that a family currently paying $20,000 for private insurance – in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses – would see that obligation eliminated. Instead, taxes would increase by $10,000.
“Is that a good deal? I think it’s a pretty good deal,” he said.
The 2020 presidential hopeful also clarified that, under his Medicare-for-all proposal, people would lose their private insurance.
Sanders unveiled his updated Medicare-for-all bill in April, which would expand coverage of the government-run program to all Americans, not just those over the age of 65. He pushed a similar proposal in 2017.
According to one estimate, which was disputed by Sanders’ campaign, Medicare-for-all could cost more than $32 trillion over the course of a decade.
Sanders’ revised bill includes long-term care coverage. It would also cover dental, vision and hearing. The legislation allows for a four-year phase-in period. More than a dozen other senators have signed onto the bill as co-sponsors.
Medicare-for-all has become a divisive issue within the Democratic party – as lawmakers and 2020 contenders squabble over the best way to expand coverage to more people. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is for the proposal, but others – including Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised reservations about Sanders’ plan, and instead supports legislation that would allow people to keep their employer-based plan if they wished to do so. Others, like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, do not think Medicare-for-all is the best option.
In addition to Medicare-for-all, Sanders has proposed the elimination of about $1.6 trillion worth of student debt. That plan would also jettison tuition at public colleges and universities. He expects to pay for that proposal through a tax on trades of bonds, stocks and derivatives -- a direct aim at Wall Street.
Sanders has also proposed an expansion of the estate tax.