Senator Bernie Sanders', I-Vt., Recently unveiled the plan & # 39; Medicare-for-all, backed by a host of other Democratic presidential candidates from 2020, would open the door to providing health care to illegal immigrants – the wing's "back-end". departs from previous proposals for health care reform.
The bill, unveiled by Sanders this week and signed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, NY, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Cory Booker, DN.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Do not speak directly about immigrants but talk about covering American "residents" instead.
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The Sanders bills in the Senate and a corresponding bill introduced by representatives Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., And Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Would extend coverage to all residents of the United States – a modification of the Affordable Care Act. which limited benefits to citizens, nationals and immigrants "legally present". The bill also prohibits the government from denying benefits because of its "citizen status".
While the Secretary of Health and Social Services is responsible for defining residency, the federal government is responsible for taking steps to ensure that "everyone in the United States has access to health care," notes Washington. examine.
Sanders told Ed O. Keefe of CBS News that his bill "guarantees, like all major countries in the world, health care for all men, women and children of the country".
He told the Washington Post: "My plan would cover all American residents."
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Such provisions are not new to Sanders, who has, in the past, put forward projects that do not exclude those living in the country illegally. But that marks a change for the 2020 area as a whole, which has shifted considerably to the left. Sanders' bill would also abolish most private health insurance. According to some estimates, the cost could reach $ 32 trillion over the next decade.
Neither the House nor the Senate bill will likely be passed as long as Republicans control the Senate and the White House. The Republicans would almost certainly oppose any one or the other bill en bloc, but even on the Democratic side, the project could face significant resistance.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said in February that Medicare for all "may not be" as beneficial as the Affordable Care Act.
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"It's not catastrophic [coverage] – you have to go and buy it. He does not have a dentist. It's not as good as the plans you can buy under the Affordable Care Act, "she told Rolling Stone during an interview. "So I told them, come in with your ideas, but understand that we will have to either improve the health care system for everyone, including the elderly, otherwise people will not get what they think about it. they will get, "she said. I said. "And by the way, how will he get paid?"
With respect to the broader concept of a single payer scheme, she estimated the cost at $ 30 trillion and asked, "Now, how do you pay for that?"
Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., expressed skepticism this week, saying it was only one of many proposals the party is considering: "Different Democrats have different ways of make it there. "
However, the resistance of Democratic leaders has not prevented the change left by new students in the House and by the presidential candidates of 2020, especially on the thorny issue of illegal immigration. .
The former mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, has called for illegal immigration to be treated as a civil rather than criminal case. At the same time, Gillibrand, as part of her call for a "global immigration reform", suggested that she wants to extend social security to those living in the country. illegally.
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"First, we need a comprehensive immigration reform," she said last month in Iowa. "If you are in this country now, you must have the right to contribute to social security, pay your taxes, contribute to the local school system and have a path to citizenship. . "
Barnini Chakraborty of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.