Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says the government could pay for health care for all Americans by taxing the rich, targeting tax shelters, hitting up Wall Street and eliminating loopholes.
The former presidential contender on Wednesday unveiled his “Medicare for All” proposal, a plan to move all Americans to a health-care system run by the government. The plan has zero chance of passing in Republican-controlled Washington, but Sanders is aiming to shift the debate and position himself as a leader of the Democratic party ahead of the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Several other Democratic senators including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey also back the approach.
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Here are the options Sanders puts forward to pay for his plan, and how much he says could be raised by them.
* Elimination of special tax breaks: $4.2 trillion over 10 years. The main target: company-provided health benefits for employees. They would no longer be needed.
* Business payroll tax: $3.9 trillion over 10 years. Companies would pay a 7.5% income-based fee, but Sanders asserts it would cost them less overall compared to the current system.
* Household premiums: $3.4 trillion over 10 years. Families would pay a 4% income-based fee, considerably less than what they pay now.
* Higher taxes on the rich: $1.8 trillion over 10 years. Raise marginal rates to as high as 52% on the richest Americans. The current top rate is about 39.6%. Also, limit deductions and treat taxes on dividends and capital gains equally.
* A new net wealth tax: $1.3 trillion over 10 years. This new tax would apply to the wealthiest 0.1%, or 160,000 households. A 1% annual tax would be applied to net worth exceeding $21 million.
* One-time tax on offshore profits: $767 billion over 10 years. Sanders wants to tax profits of Americans companies that are earned and held in other countries. These profits are not taxed until they are returned home under current U.S. law.
* Increased estate taxes: $249 billion over 10 years.
* Fee on large Wall Street banks: $117 billion over 10 years. The six largest U..S. financial institutions would get the bill.