Medicare for all introduced in Congress

As more of the Democratic party comes on board with the idea of Medicare for all, a new bill was introduced in the House this week to make universal healthcare a reality. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) introduced the bill on Feb. 27. The bill has more than 100 co-sponsors.

The bill would shift the American healthcare system to a single-payer system over a period of two years, and includes benefits that are more expansive than previous Medicare for all proposals. The idea of Medicare for all was most recently popularized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who spoke about the prospect of universal healthcare during his 2016 presidential run.

Critics are sounding off about the cost of universal healthcare. A previous study found the cost of Medicare for all could reach $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

Jayapal’s bill also ensures that enrollees in the plan are not charged copays, premiums or deductibles.

“Health care is a human RIGHT. Every single person living in this country, regardless of zip code, should have access to quality, affordable health coverage,” Jayapal tweeted on Feb. 27. “That’s why, I’m proud to join over 100 of my colleagues in co-sponsoring the #MedicareForAll Act.”

The Trump administration is also vehemently opposed to such a plan. CMS Administrator Seema Verma has been vocal about her opposition, calling the idea “scary.” President Trump also wrote an op-ed in 2018 to express his concerns about a single-payer healthcare system and slammed democrats for supporting it.

Still, support among Americans for Medicare for all remains above 50 percent, according to a recent poll. Democrats have also increasingly supported Medicare for all, as healthcare costs have become a significant issue among voters.

Upon news of the bill, stocks of major health insurance providers dropped, according to Bloomberg.