A 2006 healthcare bill could serve as foundation for a single-payer system

A decade-old plan with a focus on cost-sharing could help the country successfully transition to a universal healthcare program, according to a Vox blog post.

The 2006 AmeriCare Health Care Act, introduced by Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) in 2006, differs from a proposal put forth by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who wants to expand Medicare to all, in that it wouldn't force employers or employees to abandon their plans overnight. It's essentially a "public option on steroids," since it would involve cost sharing similar to what you'd find in a private plan. It would also cost a small fraction of Sanders' plan, the post claims. 

The post also points out that AmeriCare would take on everyone who is insured by Medicaid and SCHIP, and would automatically enroll all children at birth. It would pay the same rates to providers as Medicare--which is considerably less generous to doctors and hospitals than private insurers are now.

That said, AmeriCare could slowly transition to a single-payer system that doesn't involve massive sudden tax increases or the immediate elimination of hundreds of millions of people's private health plans--never mind the hit to the economy that would come from eliminating the private health insurance industry. 

To learn more:
- read the Vox blog post

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