AP NEWS

The Latest: Sanders reintroduces ‘Medicare for All’ proposal

April 10, 2019
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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduces the Medicare for All Act of 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on “Medicare for All” legislation from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. (all times local):

1 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has come out with a new version of his “Medicare for All” plan.

He says it’s “not a radical idea to say that in the United States, every American who goes to a doctor should be able to afford the prescription drug he or she needs.”

The Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate says “health care is a human right, not a privilege.”

The bill’s reintroduction promises to shine a light on Democratic presidential candidates’ differing visions for the long term future of American health care.

President Donald Trump and Republicans are citing the astronomical price tag of Medicare for All.

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10:40 a.m.

As Sen. Bernie Sanders reintroduces his “Medicare for All” legislation to create a government-run health insurance plan, one co-sponsor from the last time won’t be with him.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire says she’s taking another road.

She says in a statement that there are “faster ways to reach universal coverage by building on the progress” through the Affordable Care Act — the Obama-era health law.

At the same time, Shaheen says the Medicare for All idea has helped “reignite an urgently needed debate about reaching universal health care coverage.”

She notes she’s now backing bills that take a more gradual approach, such as allowing older working-age adults to buy into Medicare or setting up a government-sponsored health insurance plan modeled on Medicare to compete with private insurance.

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12:25 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is renewing his call to eliminate private health insurance as he introduces a new version of his “Medicare for All” plan.

Under the plan by the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate, Americans would no longer pay premiums or face insurance deductibles. A government-run system would replace private health insurance offered through employers, which is the mainstay of coverage for more than 160 million people.

Big tax increases would be needed to finance such a system.

Four of Sanders’ fellow senators and rivals for the Democratic nomination are set to sign onto the updated single-payer health care proposal. The reintroduction promises to shine a light on candidates’ visions for the future of U.S. health care.