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In This Corner … Single Payer

  • Bernie Sanders Announces Single-Payer Bill with Major Support in Senate Huffington Post by Daniel Marans and Jonathan Cohn — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled Wednesday a new version of his plan to give everybody government-run health insurance, potentially opening a new chapter in the ongoing debate over how to make health care in the U.S. more affordable and available….Of course, Republican political strategists say they are equally eager to engage in a fight over single payer, because they are convinced that Americans will oppose it, particularly as they learn more about it. Where advocates like Sanders see a chance to achieve what countries including Canada, Sweden and Taiwan have (universal coverage, generally strong health outcomes and far less spending), critics in the GOP and elsewhere see the specter of taxes choking the economy and government rationing vital care.

  • Medicare for all or State Control: Health Care Plans Go to Extremes The New York Times by Robert Pear — In one Senate office building, some of the leading lights of the Democratic Party gathered Wednesday to embrace what was once a proposal only of the far left: a huge expansion of Medicare, large enough to open the popular, government-run health program to all Americans. In another Senate office building, a smaller but equally adamant group of Republican senators stood together to take one last stab at dismantling the Affordable Care Act. They proposed instead to send each state a lump sum of federal money, along with sweeping new discretion over how to use it. Important elements in both parties are trying to move beyond President Barack Obama's health care law, which has always been a complicated, politically difficult mix of government and private health insurance. But they are moving in radically different directions. The proposals appeared to have only one thing in common: Neither is likely to be enacted any time soon.

  • Senator Asks for CBO Score of Sanders's Single-Payer Bill The Hill by Rachel Roubein — Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) is asking congressional scorekeepers to analyze the cost of Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) "Medicare for all" bill, which could fuel Republican attacks that a single-payer health-care system would bankrupt the country. In a letter to the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Barrasso — the Senate Republican Policy Committee chairman — wrote he was "deeply concerned that Senator Sanders' Medicare-for-All legislation is not only a government takeover of health care, but would also put financial burdens on the American people that they cannot sustain." He cited a 2016 cost estimate from the left-leaning Urban Institute that a previous plan from Sanders would cost $32 trillion over 10 years.

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