Single-Payer, Medicare-for-All Legislation Introduced

Senator Bernie Sanders
May 10, 2011

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced today that he introduced legislation to provide health care for every American through a Medicare-for-all type single-payer system.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) filed a companion bill in the House to provide better care for more patients at less cost by eliminating the middle-man role played by private insurance companies that rake off billions of dollars in profits.

The twin measures, both called the American Health Security Act of 2011, would provide federal guidelines and strong minimum standards for states to administer single-payer health care programs.

“The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as right to its people,” Sanders said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care with worse results than others that spend far less. It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage. It is time for the United States to provide a Medicare-for-all single-payer health coverage program.”

McDermott said, “The new health care law made big progress towards covering many more people and finding ways to lower cost. However, I think the best way to reduce costs and guarantee coverage for all is through a single-payer system like Medicare. This bill does just that – it builds on the new health care law by giving states the flexibility they need to go to a single-payer system of their own. It will also reduce costs, and Americans will be healthier.”

American Health Security Act of 2011: (select bill number and insert S.915 or H.R.1200)


Doctors’ group greets single-payer health bill in Senate

Physicians for a National Health Program
May 10, 2011

Physicians for a National Health Program says Sen. Bernie Sanders’ American Health Security Act would go far beyond federal health law, slash bureaucracy and lay the basis for universal, high-quality care.


By Don McCanne, MD

The single payer concept has not gone away. We really don’t have to accept the deficiencies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): tens of millions uninsured, and under-insurance as the new standard. The low actuarial value plans being established by PPACA will create financial hardships for middle-income Americans who have significant health care needs.

What we do need is an America that understands what we can have in health care for everyone, but what we won’t be receiving if we simply sit back and let PPACA play out. It’s our job to get the word out.

Re-posted with permission from