Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont released a healthcare plan Saturday that aims to erase $81 billion in existing medical debt. 

"In the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, one illness or disease should not ruin a family's financial life and future," it reads on Sanders' website. "In America today, it is unacceptable that one out of every six Americans have past-due medical bills on their credit report, totaling $81 billion." 

Sanders posted a video on Twitter where he had spoken with a distressed Navy veteran named John, who has $139,000 in medical debt, because his military health insurance, Tricare, is no longer accepted. 

Sanders believes that medical debt shouldn't exist and that he would pay for his elimination plan with an unspecified tax on the pay of CEOs. 

Sanders, along with Democratic competitor Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, believes that the U.S. should have government-funded Medicare insurance for all Americans, which is known as "Medicare-for-All." They point to other countries with socialized healthcare systems, such as the U.K. and France, as inspiration for the idea.

More moderate opponents, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, have criticized the Medicare-for-All plan as being too costly, and that the U.S. government would have to raise taxes to pay for the idea.