Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
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Bernie Sander’s ‘Medicare For All’ Would Cost $32.6 Trillion, Study Projects

Bernie Sander’s ‘Medicare For All’ Would Cost $32.6 Trillion, Study Projects

A study published by George Mason University's Mercatus Center, described by Axios as a "libertarian policy" organization, says that Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan would be expensive - incredibly so.

The report, from the libertarian Mercatus Center, showed that Sanders' plan to extend Medicare to all Americans would increase federal healthcare costs by $32.6 trillion between 2022 and 2032, if implemented as written.

Paying for such a system would require a historic increase in taxes - and Blahous writes that "doubling of all now projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to finance the added federal costs of the plan".

What that translates to is what Medicare for All advocates have been saying all along: Under a single-payer system, Americans would get more quality care for more people at less cost. "That's what was in the study", said Sanders.

Sanders then explains that up-front and taxpayer costs may rise slightly in the short term to pay for a universal health care system, but that in the long term, the average American will save thousands.

Josh Miller-Lewis, Sanders's press secretary, said the additional $32 trillion is already being spent by private insurers, and the Medicare-for-All plan would simply move the money to the government.

Levitt said Sanders's plan is a good illustration of what Medicare for all could accomplish in theory, but payment levels for providers hasn't really had a full debate yet.

After a study by the Koch Brothers-funded Mercatus Center that was clearly designed as a deceptive attack on Medicare for All inadvertently bolstered the economic case for single-payer-which is rapidly growing in popularity among the public and USA lawmakers-Sen.


"I would never have expected the Mercatus Center to produce a document that claims extending Medicare to the entire population is the proverbial $20 bill lying on the sidewalk".

The senator issued a statement in response to the study, dismissing the "grossly misleading and biased report", as "the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a "Medicare for all" program". With Republicans in charge of Congress and the White House, it has little chance.

"It's showing that if you are going to go in this direction, it's going to cost the federal government $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion a year in terms of spending", Thorpe said.

Robert Graboyes, a senior research fellow and health care scholar at the center who read Blahous's report through its production, said the report doesn't "predict" $2 trillion in savings.

The study found it would deliver significant savings on drug costs and administration, but increased demand would drive up spending. But based on the Mercatus model, tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans would have access to healthcare and the U.S. as a whole would end up spending less than it is expected to right now. Medicare rates are now about 40 percent less than private insurance, according to the analysis.

However, it also found that potential savings would vanish if hospitals and doctors aren't willing to accept lower fees for patients who are now privately insured.

The Koch brothers have invested billions of dollars in a decades-long campaign to turn public opinion against necessary reforms, such as the establishment of a single-payer health care system in the United States.

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