Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., newly unveiled ‘Medicare-for-all’ plan, backed by a host of other 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, would open the door to giving health care to illegal immigrants — a marked left-wing departure from past proposals for healthcare reform.
The legislation, unveiled by Sanders this week, and signed onto by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, N.Y., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., does not speak directly about immigrants but refers to covering U.S. “residents” instead.
Both Sanders’ bill in the Senate, and a corresponding House bill introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., would extend coverage to every U.S. resident — a shift from the Affordable Care Act, which limited benefits to citizens, nationals and “lawfully present” immigrants. The House bill also prohibits the government from denying benefits because of “citizenship status.”
While the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the task of defining residency, the federal government is tasked with taking steps to ensuring that “every person in the United States has access to health care, The Washington Examiner notes.
Sanders told CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe, that his bill “guarantees, like every other major country on Earth, health care to every man, woman and child in this country.”