During a town hall in South Carolina on Friday, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said his team has a plan to can $81 billion in medical debt.
“The bottom line is it is an insane and cruel system, which says to people that they have to go deeply into debt or go bankrupt because of what? Because they came down with cancer or they came down with heart disease or they came down with Alzheimer’s, or whatever,” Sanders told Fox Business. “In the midst of a dysfunctional health care system, what we have got to do is say that you cannot go bankrupt … because you got terribly sick.”
The Sanders campaign plans to drop the proposal next month.
“In the United States of America, your financial life and future should not be destroyed because you or a member of your family gets sick,” Sanders said, according to The Hill. "That is unacceptable. I am sick and tired of seeing over 500,000 Americans declare bankruptcy each year because they cannot pay off the outrageous cost of a medical emergency or a hospital stay," he continued. "In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, 42 percent of Americans should not be losing their entire life savings two years after being diagnosed with cancer."
Bernie reiterated his position on Twitter, explaining why his wants to eliminate Americans' medical debt.
I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but I’ll keep saying it until it happens:— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 30, 2019
1) All people must have a right to health care
2) Insurance companies shouldn't be able to make huge profits off of people's suffering
It is nothing less than barbaric that the leading cause of bankruptcy in America is medical debt.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 31, 2019
These people didn't spend all their money on luxury items. Their crime was that they got sick.
We are going to cancel all $81 billion in existing past-due medical debt.
Bernie has advocated for eliminating Americans' student loan debt. He has also said he would scrap Obamacare and replace it with Medicare For All, something he admits would raise Americans' taxes. It's unclear if those tax increases he proposes in Medicare For All includes this medical debt cancelation.