'Medicare for all' bill estimated at $32.6 trillion


"Even though people don't pay premiums, the tax increases are going to be enormous". "But over the long run, the Sanders people are very correct that you could implement a system like this that would be more disciplined, more economical and more fair than the current US health system".

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a National Nurses United event in Washington, DC, on July 30, 2015.

A new study that puts an astronomical price tag on a Medicare-for-all proposal has prompted mockery from conservatives and defensive cries from liberals.

Still, there are some who agree with the apprehension in Blahous' study and one of them is House Speaker Paul Ryan. That's how much Washington Democrats' single-payer healthcare proposal would cost over 10 years.

After taking into account current government healthcare financing, the study estimated that doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes would not fully cover the additional costs.

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Sanders' office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said. "It is just absurd". On page 18 of the paper, in a section titled "Effects on National Health Expenditures and the Federal Budget", came mention that under the Sanders plan "national personal health care costs decrease by less than 2 percent, while total health expenditures decrease by only 4 percent, even after assuming substantial administrative cost savings". The plan builds on existing Medicare legislation, covering all USA residents and eliminating copays and deductibles for medical expenses.

Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation tweeted, "This Mercatus analysis illustrates both the promise and pitfall of Medicare for all".

The eye-popping figure is tied in large part to the fact that under Medicare for all, the federal government is created to take on nearly all health spending.

"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". Many people will "pay more in taxes than they save on premiums". "There is such a thing as a free lunch, per Mercatus".

The study argues that Sanders' plan for universal health care would raise federal government spending by $32.6 trillion between 2022 and 2031, but also noted that overall federal healthcare spending would decline by more than $2 million.

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Nevertheless, there are still plenty of questions about the Sanders plan's economic - and, in particular, political - feasibility, not least with respect to the assumptions about system-wide savings resulting from such a plan. For example, the Sanders plan would apply Medicare's lower payments for medical services to the entire health care system - an effort that would no doubt meet considerable resistance from the health care industry.

Mr Sanders' plan would provide coverage for various elements of health care, including preventative to emergency care, mental health and substance abuse services and prescription medications - and all by a federally administered single-player health system. "It's not clear to what extent those savings are politically feasible, and socially beneficial".

"This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a "Medicare for all" programme", the veteran Vermont senator said.

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 US lawmakers-Sen.

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