DFL Gubernatorial Candidate Veers Left of Bernie Sanders’ Health Care Plan

DFL gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto did not specify how her plan would expand on Sanders’ already comprehensive Medicare for All, nor how much a single-payer system would cost Minnesotans.

Rebecca Otto (Credit: rebeccaotto.com / Bernie Sanders (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto wants to implement a health care program that is even further left than self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders’ plan.

At an AFL-CIO forum for the four leading DFL candidates for governor, Otto said she is committed to creating a “Medicare-for-all plus” in Minnesota.

“I’m gonna work 24/7 to make sure that we get to a Medicare-for-all plus or a single-payer plan plus, where very Minnesotan is covered and everyone receives a standard benefits set. And insurance goes away,” Otto said.

Sanders unveiled his single-payer health care plan “Medicare for All” last year, gaining the support of over a third of the Democratic caucus in the Senate. The bill offers comprehensive coverage for everything from preventive to emergency care; vision, hearing, and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments.

Despite the bill’s utopian promises, the single-payer system would come at a high cost to Americans. Sanders proposes paying for the plan through exorbitant tax increases, including raising the top marginal income tax rate to 52 percent, taxing capital gains as the same as income, and creating a federal progressive estate tax.

Otto did not specify how her plan would expand on Sanders’ already comprehensive Medicare for All, however, some details of her health care proposals are available on her website. Besides offering health care coverage comparable to Sanders’ Medicare for All, Otto’s proposal includes food and agricultural regulations to “support the health, well-being and livelihoods” of Minnesotans as well as energy and environmental regulations.

Otto also failed to address how much a single-payer system would cost Minnesotans. However, much like Sanders’ plan, funding would likely come through tax hikes. In an op-ed for MinnPost, Otto admitted to the need to raise taxes in order to cover health care costs, saying they would “create a system of broad-based and fair taxation.”

Watch Otto’s healthcare remarks here.

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