Sen. Bernie Sanders is urging that Medicare cover all health care expenses tied to the coronavirus pandemic that’s sweeping the nation.
The progressive senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate tweeted Friday: “Right now, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Our profit-driven health care system is a danger to our people. During this crisis, Medicare should cover all health care treatment for free, including coronavirus testing, treatment, and the eventual vaccine.”
Sanders was responding to a story from Time that said: “An uninsured COVID-19 patient just got her medical bill: $34,927.43.”
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Under a bipartisan bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump this week, testing for the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19 is free, but patients are still on the hook for a substantial portion of their treatments.
Sanders has repeatedly argued the past couple of weeks – as the pandemic has spread across the country, forcing many Americans to huddle in their homes – that the outbreak illustrates the urgent need for a government-run single-payer “Medicare-for-all” health care system that he’s long championed.
Sanders’ presidential campaign announced that the senator would hold a virtual roundtable discussion on “the economic and health crises created by the coronavirus outbreak” at 7 p.m. ET.
Last week, both Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden gave addresses outlining their plans to combat the pandemic and help the millions of Americans and small and large businesses crippled by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus. On Tuesday, Sanders also released a set of principles for responding to the crisis.
The senator’s calling for doubling a $1 trillion economic stimulus plan being discussed on Friday by the Senate.
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Sanders is also mulling his next political move – after a string of devastating losses on Tuesday at the hands of the former vice president.
Sanders’ campaign on Wednesday emphasized that “the next primary contest is at least three weeks away. Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign.”
Biden’s landslide victory in Florida, his crushing defeat of Sanders in Illinois, and his win in Arizona cemented his status as the presumptive Democratic nominee and all but closed the senator’s extremely narrow path to win the nomination.
The Sanders campaign quickly stopped putting up Facebook ads and also stopped asking for contributions from supporters.