Last Updated Sep 13, 2017 1:43 PM EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, unveils his Medicare-for-All legislation at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
The Vermont senator’s bill seeks to set up a single-payer model for health insurance, which would make health care both less complicated and less expensive for Americans. It would expand the Medicare health insurance program to cover more of the 28 million individuals who currently lack health insurance, even under the Affordable Care Act.
“The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program,” Sanders’ website explains.
At least 12 other Senate Democrats have signed onto Sanders’ bill, including potential 2020 presidential contenders Kamala Harris, D-California, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, both progressives.
However, more moderate Democrats have expressed concern that the bill goes too far by risking a major tax increase and eliminating employer-provided coverage among other potentially polarizing factors of the bill.
While some Democrats are focused on improving the already existing health care law, Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, plan to introduce their own health care bills that would expand coverage, but on a lesser scale compared to Sanders’ legislation.
Meanwhile, Republicans have begun crafting their own answer to the high price of health insurance. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana; Dean Heller, R-Nevada; and Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, introduced their plan after the GOP’s failed attempts at repealing and replacing Obamacare over the summer.
“We refuse to quit, we have been working on a bill that should’ve been our first approach to repealing Obamacare, not our last,” said Graham at a press conference introducing the plan Wednesday.
“If you want a single-payer system, this is your worst nightmare. Bernie, this ends your dream of a single-payer health care system for America,” he said.
Neither Sanders’ bill nor the GOP-sponsored bill, each representing opposing sides of the health care debate, is likely to pass in the Senate.
Medicare-for-All bill updates:
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