The vision of Bernie Sanders is that of a very different America



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And his greatest achievement to date is directing – or perhaps reading – a left-to-right movement among a new group of Democratic activists who are not angry at the word socialist and want the government to guarantee jobs and jobs. health care to its citizens. .

How different would the country be if Sanders could be elected and follow through on his ideas? Here is an overview of where he could start:

According to Bernie Sanders' plan, he is working to put in place a single payer health care system in the United States. Much more than in many European countries, a single payer system would replace the predominantly employment-based private health insurance system with a system administered by the government. Within four years, all Americans will have essentially the same insurance company: the United States government. That's how Medicare works, and people generally like it. People like the idea of ​​expanding it too.

But while a large majority of Americans want a Medicare option, they are not as sold as those offered by "Medicare for All" as Sanders had envisioned.

In a January poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 56% of Americans said they preferred health insurance for all, but many more (74%) favor the creation of a public option similar to insurance. a disease that allows people to maintain the coverage they have if they prefer it.
To reach a bipartisan consensus, it's this half-step – a public option – that could be easier to sell. In this Kaiser poll, 47% of Republicans agreed with the public option, but less than a quarter (23%) wanted a single payer format, as proposed by Sanders.

How much would that cost?

The non-parliamentary Congressional Budget Office has not officially put a price tag on Sanders' plan, in part because with a Republican President and a Senate, this is far from becoming a reality. Sanders argued that an earlier version of the plan would cost about $ 1.38 trillion a year. A libertarian think tank – the Mercatus Center of George Mason University – suggested that the proposal would cost more than $ 32 trillion over 10 years. These are very different estimates.

But it is also important to note that the government would be able to control the cost of health care on a scale even greater than that of Medicare today, by setting its own rates. Overall spending on health care in the country would decline. The government's share would increase. In addition, every American would have a blanket, essentially as a birthright.

Sanders says he would pay for his plan with new employer taxes and a new payroll tax, but these taxes would offset what employers and employees currently pay for coverage. He claims therefore that they would pay less in the system. In addition, it would end the tax deduction employers receive for health insurance, generating $ 4,200 billion over 10 years.

The ultimate question is all about choice. Do Americans think the government would better price health care than for-profit insurance companies?

But if they want a single payer system, they will have to do more than elect President Sanders. They will have to convince the Republican-dominated Senate as well or vote for the plan-friendly senators.

Free College

The cost of university education, like that of health care, has exploded in recent decades. Just like the debt incurred by American students to obtain diplomas. Sanders would make public colleges and universities free by raising taxes on Wall Street. The federal government would assume two-thirds of the bill and the states the rest, according to the plan it unveiled in 2017 in the Senate. This would impose new rules on how the federal money is spent – for example, no sport stadium could be built with federal dollars. Tuition fees would be free for children in households earning less than $ 125,000 a year.
It would also give students in states with high tuition fees a greater benefit than those in states with lower tuition fees. According to the College Board, Vermont is the highest in the country, with more than $ 16,000 for tuition fees.
Several states have experimented with free tuition at community colleges. In New York, there is a free education program, but with an income cap of $ 110,000. But there were failures, as for students who could claim the advantage but who also try to work. Rhode Island has a pilot program that gives two years of free tuition to the state's community college, which requires the student to be enrolled full-time and retains a cumulative grade point average of 2.5.

The free university has been a much broader topic of discussion during the 2016 campaign cycle, however. Although Sanders mentions it in his campaign announcement documents, he is not as important in the political conversation of recent years.

How much would that cost?

Sanders suggests in his plan that the government pays $ 47 billion a year in tuition fees to cover two-thirds of the $ 70 billion spent, he says, in tuition fees at public colleges and universities. There would be no guarantee that states would participate, which could make it cheaper. But there would also potentially be many more people enrolled in public schools if tuition fees were free. The proposal has not been evaluated by a community organization.

New taxes

Sanders plans to raise taxes on the wealthy and Wall Street to pay for expenses such as Medicare for all and a free college. With the law For the 99.8%, he issued a plan to reduce the drastic cuts in inheritance tax imposed by Republicans. Sanders would introduce a new progressive estate tax of $ 3.5 million or more. It would progressively move to 45% of the fields at $ 3.5 million and would reach up to 77% of the value of an area of ​​more than a billion dollars.

That's what the law is called for the 99.8% because it would only affect the wealthier 0.02% of households. The Democratic Group 2020 has proposed other wealth taxes, including Senator Elizabeth Warren's plan to fund universal custody with a new 2% tax on households with assets in excess of $ 50 million and a total of 3% on households with assets. more than $ 1 billion.

Progressives do not see these proposals as competing with each other, but as part of a larger effort to "reverse this trend, as US wealth is increasingly concentrated in its wealthier households." "As stated by Greg Krieg and Tami Luhby of CNN.

Sanders would pay his university project with a new tax on Wall Street. He would charge companies and individuals to cover the costs of his health insurance plan for everyone. But in both cases, there is no official cost estimate.

Double the federal minimum wage

A number of states have increased their minimum wage, sometimes considerably, beyond the national minimum wage of $ 7.25. But no state has a minimum wage of $ 15, as Sanders has urged. Technically, it would not cost much to the government, but there would certainly be a cost to business owners, many of whom would oppose this idea. His proposal would also gradually bring in the swing workers, who may be paid an hourly wage below the minimum wage – comparable to that of other workers.

The federal minimum wage has not been increased for a decade. Due to inflation, these $ 7.25 have lower purchasing power than 2009. It now needs $ 8.47 per hour to match the $ 7.25 in 2009.

Breaking the big banks

While some Wall Street regulations passed as a result of the 2008 financial crisis are being canceled, Sanders would go the other way and impose new regulations on Wall Street and the big banks. He proposed a bill to prevent banks from becoming too big and prevent them from holding assets representing more than 3% of gross domestic product.

This would require the Treasury Department to identify and separate a number of financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Berkshire Hathaway.

And more

Sanders would like to do many other things, such as ending the drug war, eliminating private jails and overturning the US Supreme Court decision on campaign financing.

One of the things mentioned above could be the main achievement of an effective president. Sanders can never be accused of not keeping his campaign promises. The question is whether the public is behind this vision for the country.

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