MEDICARE APPLICATIONS ARE THE BEST WAY TO PAY FOR OUR OWN HEALTH CARE — “We are the only nation on Earth that doesn’t require Medicare to pay its citizens for health care,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said at a press conference Monday, noting that President Donald Trump’s decision to end Medicare as we know it has cost the country $5.5 trillion over the past two years.
“And we must not do this again,” he continued.
“It is time to put an end to Medicare as the largest and most expensive health care system in the world.
We must end it.
We cannot afford it.”
In a speech on Medicare, Sanders also warned that Medicare is in a “death spiral” and needs to be replaced with a new system.
“We cannot afford to keep on spending trillions of dollars to bail out the insurance companies and the drug companies and Wall Street and big business,” Sanders said.
“When people lose their jobs, when people lose everything they have, when the stock market goes down, when millions of people are forced to give up their homes, when they lose their savings, when their pensions and retirement are thrown away, we cannot afford that.”
Sanders has long advocated for ending Medicare as a universal program that covers the costs of healthcare, particularly for the elderly and those with disabilities.
“Medicare is the single greatest entitlement program in the history of the world, and it has a huge deficit,” Sanders told the press conference, which was organized by the nonprofit Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
“Medicare, in fact, is the largest single government spending program in history.”
Sanders said he was disappointed by Trump’s move, saying, “I don’t think we should have the government spending money that’s going to the insurance and drug companies.”
He added that if he was president, “we would not be cutting Medicare as it exists today, but we would be changing it.”
While Sanders said he believes Trump’s action was “a mistake,” the senator said he thinks Trump was right to take action.
“But I think that if we are going to make Medicare a sustainable program that we need to fix, then we need the political will to fix it, to change it and to change Medicare as much as we can,” he said.
Sanders told the news conference that “we are in a death spiral” with healthcare spending and that Medicare should be replaced.
“As we have seen with President Trump’s budget, we are not in a place where we have a real chance of saving Medicare,” he added.
“I think that the only way to get us back on track is to put a lot of money into it and reform it.”
Sanders said that while Trump’s proposed budget would cut Medicare spending, the proposed change would reduce it by “a trillion dollars” over 10 years.
“We’re not going to be able to fix Medicare with a trillion dollars in cuts,” Sanders warned, saying that the Trump budget is “not a balanced budget.”
According to Sanders, “Medicine has been around for nearly 150 years.
It has been a government program that has grown and evolved with the needs of the American people.”
“But we have not always been able to provide universal healthcare to all Americans, not just to people who need it the most,” Sanders added.
Sanders noted that the United States “is the only advanced nation that does not require Medicare.”
“What we are facing right now is a death-spiral that will eventually bankrupt Medicare,” Sanders continued.
Sanders argued that the system needs to “reform” and that the “only way to fix this is to change the way Medicare is paid for, which is by taxes and by raising the minimum wage and the Social Security retirement benefit.”
The senator also said that Medicare needs to get more value for money.
“The Medicare system is the most expensive and it is also the most wasteful program in our country,” he noted.
The senator said that “Medicaid, Medicare and Medicaid together create an enormous deficit” and he called for “a single-payer, Medicare-for-all, single-department system” to replace the current system.
The announcement comes as the number of Americans who lack health insurance has more than doubled in the past year.
As of March 31, 6.3 million Americans lacked health insurance, up from 3.9 million in February and 3.3 to 3.5 million in January.
In addition, the number has nearly doubled in states with the highest number of uninsured, with more than 7.4 million people who lack insurance.
At the same time, Sanders said, “the Republican Party and the Trump administration continue to say that the best way to stop this crisis is to end Social Security and Medicare and the insurance programs for people who cannot afford them.”
As he said, the plan Sanders proposed would “rebuild” the programs to help people who do not