Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) published his health-care plan today, which would turn Medicare into the nation's health-insurance provider. Supporters cheered and chanted at the press conference, the Hill reports, and 16 other Democratic senators have endorsed the bill. With a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, the Medicare for All Act of 2017 has little chance of passing. Instead, it serves as a "touchstone" (the Hill) and indicator of "a record level of support for an idea that had been relegated to the fringes during the last Democratic presidency" (Washington Post).
The plan offers generous benefits, including maternity, prescription-drug, mental-health, vision, and dental coverage, alongside more typical health-insurance fare such as covered primary care and hospital visits. Sanders' plan for paying for the act includes a tax on employers, who would no longer have to provide health coverage to their employees; an income-based tax on households; and higher income taxes on the wealthy.