Medicare for All vs. Public Option Proposals

See how the leading 2020 Democratic candidates’ health care plans compare.

How many people will be left uninsured?

Warren: 0 people uninsured

Sanders: 0 people uninsured

Buttigieg: 6 million people uninsured

Biden: 10 million people uninsured

Bloomberg: Unknown

Klobuchar: Unknown

What would you have to spend on premiums?

Warren: $0

Sanders: Workers would be required to pay a 4% premium on every dollar of income above $29,000 (for a family of four).

Buttigieg: In employer coverage, about what you pay now. For a family of four, that’s nearly $8,000 a year. People with ACA exchange plans will save some money, but plans could cost up to 8.5% of income.

Biden: In employer coverage, about what you pay now. For a family of four, that’s nearly $8,000 a year. People with ACA exchange plans will save some money, but plans could cost up to 8.5% of income.

Bloomberg: In employer coverage, about what you pay now. For a family of four, that’s nearly $8,000 a year. People with ACA exchange plans will save some money, but plans could cost up to 8.5% of income.

Klobuchar: In employer coverage, about what you pay now. For a family of four, that’s nearly $8,000 a year. People with ACA exchange plans will save some money.

What would you have to spend on care after you pay premiums?

Warren: $0

Sanders: $0

Buttigieg: Families could still pay up to $16,400 out of pocket after premiums each year.

Biden: Families could still pay up to $16,400 out of pocket after premiums each year.

Bloomberg: Families could still pay up to $16,400 out of pocket after premiums each year.

Klobuchar: Families could still pay up to $16,400 out of pocket after premiums each year.

Does this plan raise middle class taxes?

Warren: No — not only does Elizabeth Warren’s plan not raise taxes on the middle class, it puts $11 trillion back into the pockets of American families.

Sanders: Yes — Bernie’s Medicare for All plan increases payroll and income taxes on workers by as much as 26% to cover the cost.

Buttigieg: No.

Biden: No.

Bloomberg: No.

Klobuchar: No.

Does the plan lift the burden of health care costs off families with employer coverage?

Warren: Yes. Elizabeth’s Medicare for All plan would bring families’ health costs down nearly to zero.

Sanders: Somewhat. Bernie’s Medicare for All plan would bring families’ out of pocket costs down to nearly zero, but it still charges premiums.

Buttigieg: Somewhat. Buttigieg’s public option is more expensive than most employer coverage, but does ban surprise billing.

Biden: Somewhat. Biden’s public option is more expensive than most employer coverage, but does ban surprise billing.

Bloomberg: Somewhat. Bloomberg’s public option is more expensive than most employer coverage, but does ban surprise billing and cap drugs prices.

Klobuchar: Somewhat. Klobuchar does not give details on affordability for her public option, but does ban surprise billing.

What benefits will be covered?

Warren: All physical and mental health care + dental, vision, and long term care.

Sanders: All physical and mental health care + dental, vision, and long term care.

Buttigieg: All medical and mental health care, no dental, vision. Limited long term care.

Biden: All medical and mental health care, possibly some dental, vision. Limited long term care.

Bloomberg: All medical and mental health care, no dental, vision. Limited long term care.

Klobuchar: Unknown

How long would it take to transition to their plan?

Warren: Elizabeth’s Medicare for All plan will be implemented within the first term—starting with giving anyone the chance to join a Medicare for All program within the first 100 days.

Sanders: Bernie’s Medicare for All plan would be implemented 4 years from date of legislation passage.

Buttigieg: Unknown

Biden: Unknown

Bloomberg: Unknown

Klobuchar: Unknown

Are patients restricted to only certain doctors in their insurance network?

Warren: No

Sanders: No

Buttigieg: Yes

Biden: Yes

Bloomberg: Yes

Klobuchar: Yes

Will people still need to launch crowdfunding campaigns to pay for medical bills?

Warren: No

Sanders: No

Buttigieg: Yes

Biden: Yes

Bloomberg: Yes

Klobuchar: Yes

* We welcome changes by candidates to improve their plans so American families know exactly what they’re getting. These are based off of plans as they were on 2/25/2020.

Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate for president with a comprehensive, effective plan to help as many people as possible, as fast as possible — and get us to high-quality Medicare for All without raising middle class taxes by one penny. Join our fight:

Want more? Click here to download a quick summary of Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All plan.Photos: Gage Skidmore