Bernie Sanders’ Releases New Health Care Plan Before The Debate That Makes A Huge Promise

Playoff football wrapped up for the weekend just in time for the American public to shift their focus from sports to politics. All eyes are on Charleston, South Carolina, as candidates prepare to take the stage for the fourth Democratic debate. Mere hours before arriving to the Gaillard Center, Bernie Sanders released his new health care plan that aims to provide Medicare for all. The comprehensive eight-page PDF was made available on Sunday along with a brief press release summarizing the health care plan.

The Vermont senator has stated that the plan is both an extension of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, allowing for comprehensive coverage as well as the ability for patients to choose their own doctor. For those a bit more on the fiscally conservative side, the plan may not resonate as well. Sanders is seeking to fund the initiative through an increase in taxes for those making between $250,000 and $500,000, pushing that number to 37 percent. Those in the highest earning bracket of $10 million or more would be taxed at a rate of 52 percent. The plan has already met a bit of criticism, namely from a fellow candidate. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton released a statement calling Sanders' marked shift from his previous healthcare plan into question.

Sanders has appeared nonetheless undeterred. In a statement following the release of his plan, he cited influential Democrats throughout the political canon who he believes would have voiced their support for a universal single-payer health care plan such as his. Sanders said:

Universal health care is an idea that has been supported in the United States by Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege.

Unsurprisingly, the plan deeply focuses on its economics. Perhaps the second most highly touted portion of the plan, aside from providing Americans with healthcare without co-pays and deductibles, is the potential for savings in national healthcare costs. Sanders estimates that the country will cumulatively save $6 trillion over the next ten years if the plan is implemented, while business will save around $9,400 per insured employee. In addition to a rise in taxes, Sanders has proposed an employer income tax as well as limiting deductions for those making over $250,000. The plan's release could not have come at a better time for Sanders and will undoubtedly be a major focus as the Iowa Caucus looms even closer.