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On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced an amendment to the Senate health bill that would delete the bulk of the language and substitute the wording of his original single-payer (Medicare for all) bill, S.703.

Sanders’ Senate amendment, known as Senate Amendment 2837, would create a universal single-payer health insurance system, federally funded, administered by the states.

Under Senate rules, the amendment will go straight to the floor for debate. The vote could come very soon.

Sanders’ Senate Amendment 2837 would:

• Establish a universal system covering every person legally residing in the U.S.

• Be regulated and funded by the federal government, paid for through a modest new payroll tax and an income tax, less than that paid now for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

• Replace the coverage and revenue titles of Senate bill, while leaving in place most of the provisions in the quality, work force and prevention titles.

• Presume that health care is a human right, for rich or poor.

• Benefit from lower administrative cost and give higher quality outcomes than the current system.

• Provide every citizen with comprehensive benefits of health care, dental coverage, prescription drugs and mental health in a cost-effective manner.

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• Save our country money, improve health outcomes and fulfill the administration’s promise of universal coverage.

• Challenge head-on for-profit drug and insurance entities that have contributed to unaffordable, inaccessible, inequitable health services.

Call Sen. Baucus at 800-332-6106 and Sen. Tester at 866-332-4403.

Richard A. Damon, MD

Bozeman

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