Hours Before Debate, Sanders Releases Medicare-for-All Plan

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CHARLESTON, South Carolina —

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign released a plan to provide all Americans with health care on Sunday, just an hour before the fourth Democratic debate in Charleston.

The plan would be paid for by raising a series of taxes on the middle class, the campaign said in a press release. Aides argued, however, that the tax increase would out weigh the savings families would receive under a Medicare-for-all system.

“Universal health care is an idea that has been supported in the United States by Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman,” Sanders said in a statement. “It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege.”

Sanders’ plan would be paid for by a 2.2 percent increase in a health care premium income tax and a 6.2 percent increase in a health care payroll tax. Campaign aides also said the plan would also include increasing the estate tax, a tax levied on people when they transfer wealth after death, and by “changes in the tax code to make federal income tax rates more progressive.”

Those changes were not detailed.

Sanders had previously pledged that his plan to provide 12 weeks of paid family leave would be the only campaign platform that would raise taxes on the middle class.