House Democrats unveiled a plan this week that would offer all Americans a government insurance plan option that would provide coverage for long-term services at no cost.
The Washington Post first reported the ambitious effort late Tuesday, which is backed by more than 100 members of Congress. Spearheaded by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the proposal would move all Americans to one public payer in two years, providing them with coverage for medical, vision, dental and long-term care services.
Though the measure has 106 cosponsors, it has no shot at passing the House or in the Republican-controlled Senate, the Post reported.
“We have a real plan,” Jayapal told reporters this week. “Americans are literally dying because they cannot afford insulin and can’t get the cancer treatments they need … I think this Medicare-for-all bill makes it clear what we mean by healthcare for all. We mean a complete transformation of our healthcare system.”
Critics have said the plan would require a sharp increase in taxes, with one previous estimate projecting that Medicare for all would increase federal expenditures by $30 trillion. Jayapal’s bill is more ambitious than a 2017 single-payer pitch from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Her idea also includes a crackdown on the pharmaceutical industry, aimed at lowering drug prices, and the government-run long-term care option, which also could cover home health services.
Nursing homes, hospitals and other providers would be paid under a fixed annual budget, determined by several factors including historical volume of services, Jayapal told reporters.