The House Democrats unveiled on Wednesday their latest health insurance bill for all, an in-depth overhaul of the country's health system that would largely ban private insurance as part of what critics call a single takeover by the government.
The bill was introduced by representatives Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., And Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., And is co-sponsored by more than 100 Democrats of the House, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. ., showing the extent to which politics has moved from party to majority.
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This would move America to a single payer virtual system, similar to the systems used in the UK and Canada, and would promise "to prevent health care companies from charging fees to the US. excess costs of their services and profit from illness and injury ".
"It's time to put people's health first. Our bill will cover everyone. Not just those lucky enough to have employer-sponsored insurance, "Jayapal said in a statement. "Not only children. Not only seniors. Not only those who are healthy. Everyone. Because health care is a human right. All the people of the country will need to help us, stand up, organize and fight for it. "
"Everyone inside, nobody outside," Jayapal said at a press conference, according to The Guardian, where she praised the bill as a "transformation." of our health system. "
However, the bill reopens the controversy over the meaning of such a health care reform for private insurance. Under the new proposal, private insurance plans can only be used to supplement the coverage provided by the government, "for any additional benefits not covered by this law".
But the text of the proposal makes it clear that private policies would be largely eliminated. An article in the bill says that it is "illegal" for a private insurer "to sell health insurance coverage duplicating the benefits provided by this law." The text also prohibits employers from doing the same.
America's Health Insurance Plans, a private sector advocacy group for health insurance, said the vast majority of Americans were satisfied with their current coverage.
"Americans want to improve what works for them and fix what does not work. This bill will hurt patients, consumers and taxpayers: Americans will pay more, to wait longer, for worse care, "spokeswoman Kristine Grow told Fox News in an email. "Let's focus on real solutions that deliver real results, not a single government system."
Republicans immediately called the plan "disastrous," pointing to studies suggesting the price could reach $ 32 trillion.
"Medicare for all will eliminate private insurance, make travel to the DMV look like a vacation in the Caribbean, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Good luck to the vulnerable House Democrats, who will be forced to defend this $ 32 trillion boondoggle, "National Republican Congress Committee spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement.
The legislation was silent on the question of price. According to Politico, Jayapal has announced its intention to publish a separate list of suggested financing mechanisms, including additional taxes or mandatory contributions from the employer.
According to a fact sheet from Dingell's office, the transition to Medicare for All would take two years. Coverage would include all primary care, dental care, vision care, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, mental health services and more. This would also cover "women's reproductive health services". It would appear that the plan leaves few things that could be covered by private insurers.
This decision marks a radical change from the original speech of former President Barack Obama for ObamaCare, in which he had falsely promised: "If you like your plan, you can keep it."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Did not co-sponsor the bill, but said she would allow hearings on the bill, which would apparently a wink at the left flank of the party. The bill would almost certainly die when he arrived in the Senate under Republican control.
But the legislation seems to be part of a more general shift in Democrats, with a number of presidential hopes of 2020 advocating for Medicare schemes for all, and some supporting the Abolition of private health plans.
Former CNN animator, Jake Tapper, asked Senator Kamala Harris in January whether people could keep their current health care plan as part of her Medicare plan for all . She said they could not, suggesting that she wants to switch to a single payer system rather than a simple expansion of Medicare.
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"Well, listen, the idea is that everyone has access to medical care, and you will not have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, getting approval, going through writes, may require, "said Harris to Tapper.
"Who among us did not have this situation?" she continued. "Where you have to wait for approval, and the doctor says," Well, I do not know if your insurance company will cover that. "Let's get rid of all this.
On Monday, CNN was asked whether Senator Bernie Sanders, hope in 2020, if, as part of his plan, people could keep their private plans.
"No," Sanders answered in the middle of the question, shaking his head. "What will change in their plans, is the color of their card. So, instead of having a Blue Cross / Blue Shield card, instead of having a United Health Insurance card, they will have a Medicare card. "
Joseph Wulfsohn of Fox News contributed to this report.