Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Saturday said that if he is elected president, he will implement an $81 billion plan he said would eliminate the overdue debt Americans owe for healthcare-related expenses.
The proposal calls for the government to negotiate with collectors, according to the Washington Examiner. The exact mechanism for how that would take place was not included in the plan. [RELATED: Congress Erupts After Republican Confronts Al Sharpton Over Unhinged Anti-Semitic, Anti-White Rhetoric]
The medical debt-relief plan would be paid for through a tax on corporations based on how much they pay their CEOs, the Sanders campaign said, according to Reuters. No details of how that would work were released.
The plan is the latest big-ticket proposal released by the Sanders campaign. Earlier last week, he released a $2.5 trillion plan he said would provide affordable housing for all Americans. Sanders has already proposed that the government should wipe out all student debt.
Sanders is currently in third place in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, trailing front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Sanders had been running second to Biden but has been overtaken by Warren, who has released a vast number of policy proposals as part of her campaign. [RELATED: Report: Trump Pressed Ukraine President To Investigate Biden’s Son]
“In the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, one illness or disease should not ruin a family’s financial life and future. In America today, it is unacceptable that one out of every six Americans has past-due medical bills on their credit report, totaling $81 billion. The largest share of that medical debt is held by 27-year-olds who lose access to their parents’ insurance after age 26. Today, 25 percent of 24 to 55-year-olds throughout the country have outstanding medical debt,” the Sanders campaign states on its website.
“When Bernie is in the White House, he will fight to make sure that no one in America goes bankrupt because of medical debt and will eliminate all past-due medical debt in this country,” the campaign site stated.
The campaign makes the claim that “500,000 people are bankrupted by medical expenses each and every year — and the true number may be far higher.” [RELATED: Andrew Yang: Climate Change May Require Americans to Give Up Cars]