According to research by a university-based libertarian policy group, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” proposal would result in an increase in government healthcare expenditure of $32.6 trillion over the course of ten years.
According to the research being presented on Monday by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia, the newest plan from the Vermont independent would need unprecedented tax rises as government substitutes what employers and consumers already pay for health care. The research revealed that while it would result in considerable administrative and prescription cost reductions, rising healthcare demand would result in higher spending.
Sanders’ proposal enhances Medicare, the well-liked elder insurance program. There would be no copays or deductibles for medical treatments for all Americans. The insurance sector will be given a supporting role.
According to study author Charles Blahous, “implementing ‘Medicare for all’ would drastically alter the size of the federal government.” During the Obama administration, Blahous served as a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare and served as the top economic adviser to former President George W. Bush.
In response to the report, Sanders attacked the Mercatus Center, which is supported by the ideologically conservative Koch brothers. Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, is on the board of the center.
“It is ludicrous for anybody to say that the United States cannot do the same if every major country on earth can provide health care to everyone and achieve better health results while spending far less per capita than we do,” Sanders stated in a statement. “The Koch brothers’ answer to the rising support for a “Medicare for all” system in our nation is this egregiously false and prejudiced article.”
According to a spokesperson, Sanders’ office has not performed a cost study. The Mercatus calculations, however, are in line with previous cost estimates for Sanders’ 2016 proposal.
A long-term care program that was included in the 2016 proposal but not the current one was counted in a mistake that Sanders’ team discovered in an early draft of the Mercatus study. Blahous changed it, bringing his prediction down by around $3 trillion over ten years. According to Blahous, he wrote the study alone, not the Koch brothers.
“Medicare for all” symbolizes a long-standing desire among liberals for a government-run system that covers all Americans; it has also been referred to as “single-payer” over the years.
After Sanders ran on it during the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, the notion received widespread rank-and-file support. Democrats are debating whether single-payer should be a “litmus test” for presidential contenders heading into the 2020 election.
After an initial phase-in, the Mercatus research calculated the 10-year cost of “Medicare for all” from 2022 to 2031. Its conclusions concur with those of several other independent investigations into Sanders’ 2016 plan. According to their analyses, government expenditure increased by $24.7 trillion to $34.7 trillion during a ten-year period.
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