Monday, April 15, 2019

AHF Supports Introduction of ‘Medicare for All Act of 2019’ in the U.S. Senate

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) praised U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his introduction of the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which would make everyone living in the U.S. eligible for Medicare.

“Senator Sanders has been a tireless champion in the cause to guarantee quality health care as a human right. His bill addresses the underlying forces that make our health care system so expensive, such as the enormous administrative overhead of the health insurance industry and obscene drug prices,” said Tom Myers, AHF’s chief of public affairs and general counsel.

“The U.S has the most complicated and expensive health care system in the world,” said Myers. “Senator Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation will make sure that people living with HIV will have access to treatment and not have to pay for exorbitant prices for life-saving anti-retroviral medication.”

The U.S. Medicare program, which has a 50-year record of success, is now only available to everyone over 65. This legislation would make tax-funded healthcare available that is medically necessary including primary care and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services and vision care. Like Medicare, patients would choose from participating physicians and institutions.

The program would be funded by taxes replacing insurance premiums. Funds from existing government sources for health care, increasing personal income taxes on the top five percent of income earners, a progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income, a tax on unearned income, and a transaction tax on stock and bond purchases would be enacted by the legislation. These taxes would be offset by the elimination of premium payments to health insurance companies. Health insurers would be prohibited from selling health insurance that duplicates benefits provided in the legislation.  They may sell insurance for services that are not medically necessary.

“This legislation will help all our patients and it will eliminate barriers to ending the AIDS epidemic.  Everyday support is building in the U.S. for expanding Medicare. AHF looks forward to the enactment of this bill into law,” said Myers.

To view Senator Sanders’ statement on his introduction of the ‘Medicare for All Act of 2019’ click here.

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