As policymakers consider legislative solutions to address our broken healthcare system, one core principle must be made abundantly clear: Our solution must match the scale of the crisis we face. Now is not the time for half-measures.
Today in America, we spend over 18% of gross domestic product on healthcare, and yet our health outcomes are abysmal, including declining life expectancy and the worst infant and maternal mortality rates among our peer countries. In the last decade, families and businesses have seen private insurance premiums skyrocket while wages stagnate. By 2029, our current annual healthcare spending of $3.9 trillion will increase to a staggering $6 trillion. Over 70 million people are uninsured or underinsured, with medical bills as the leading cause of bankruptcy.
We need a bold solution to transform our broken healthcare system to guarantee universal coverage and bring down costs. That solution is my Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which guarantees comprehensive healthcare for everyone while ensuring financial sustainability and removing the profit motive from our system. Medicare for All builds on Medicare, which provides reliable coverage for seniors and has been tested over 54 years. But because Medicare does not go far enough—leaving out essential benefits such as vision, hearing, dental and, of particular importance, long-term care that is essential for seniors and people with disabilities—my bill improves Medicare by extending these critical benefits to current beneficiaries and then expands Medicare to cover everyone with a guaranteed government insurance plan.