Bernie Sanders' coronavirus aid plan could cost more than $10 trillion

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan to help Americans through the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic could cost more than $10 trillion depending on how long the crisis lasts.

"We need to send emergency cash payments of $2,000 to every person in America each month for the duration of this pandemic," he tweeted Saturday.


This is a sizeable outbid of what is currently being considered in the Senate, which is understood to be $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The money would not be given to those earning more than $100,000 and phased out for incomes below that.

Sanders’ plan, however, gives no indication of being any less for children, or any other excluding factor. He has previously tagged the price of his plan overall -- which includes other benefits such as expanded health care access and unemployment assistance -- at being approximately $2 trillion.

But, with more than 300 million Americans, that would in theory mean an outlay of $600 billion every month the crisis goes on. While some politicians have said the crisis might last just a few months, others predictions have been more dire.

A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus, obtained by The New York Times, warned that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer.” If that were the case, the costs on just part of the plan would cost more than $10 trillion.


And that is only one aspect of what Sanders wants to do to restart the economy after the crisis. On Friday, he said that Medicare should cover all health care expenses tied to the pandemic.

“Right now, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured. Our profit-driven health care system is a danger to our people. During this crisis, Medicare should cover all health care treatment for free, including coronavirus testing, treatment, and the eventual vaccine,” he tweeted.