Thursday, April 18, 2019
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Bernie Sanders Sneaks In Funding for Illegal Immigrants with Medicare for All Plan

After much talk, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders finally revealed his “Medicare for All” legislation Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Having introduced numerous unsuccessful single-payer healthcare bills in the past, Sanders took an even more ambitious angle with his latest piece of legislation — this time including language that would incidentally provide government healthcare coverage to illegal immigrants.

If signed into law, Sanders’ bill would provide universal coverage to any United States resident without regard to their official citizenship status.

“My plan would cover every U.S. resident,” Sanders told The Washington Post on Wednesday.

And residency requirements are unspecified in the language of the bill, which provides the Health and Human Services Secretary with the sole responsibility of defining the term and, if they so chose, expanding coverage to anyone not directly specified in the bill.

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Opponents of the bill, and similar bills of recent years, cite the cost of such broad coverage as a major pitfall, estimating that Medicare for All could cost anywhere between $25 and $35 trillion dollars.

Sanders has on numerous occasions railed against the private healthcare system in the United States, even referring to it as an “embarrassment.”

Sanders — a self described “democratic socialist” — has long been one of the American political system’s strongest advocates for radical healthcare reform, often citing the healthcare systems of Europe as the gold standard America should be striving for.

The senator was incredibly active on Twitter Wednesday, expressing some of those same sentiments throughout the day.

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“Healthcare is not a commodity. It is a human right,” Sanders wrote in a tweet. This was just one in a flurry of tweets ranging topically from a list of other industrialized nations with “Medicare for All” or similar programs, and rebuking the “greed” he believes exists throughout the private healthcare market.

Sanders proceeded to argue that under his Medicare for All plan the “disgrace” would end and that Americans would “get the care they need — regardless of whether it’s profitable for insurance companies.”

A far cry from President Barrack Obama’s already contested, flagship legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act — which provided a government-subsidized healthcare coverage option to United States citizens and “lawfully present” immigrants — NPR reports Sanders’ bill would also make the federal government the “single-payer” of every Americans healthcare expenses.

This has not, however, stopped fellow Democrats — many of whom have made healthcare and support for illegal immigrants key issues on the campaign trail — from showing their support for Sanders’ ambitious legislation.

Even some of Sanders’ fiercest competitors for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary are getting behind him with an overwhelming amount of support.

Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have all signed on in support of the bill, according to Fox News.

Do you think Sanders’ Medicare for All plan sounds like a good idea?

Gillibrand has since proposed an expansion on the bill’s prospective support for illegal immigrants, saying that they should also be eligible for Social Security.

“First, we need comprehensive immigration reform,” she said last month in Iowa.

“If you are in this country now you must have the right to pay into Social Security, to pay your taxes, to pay into the local school system and to have a pathway to citizenship. That must happen,” Gillibrand said.

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