Politics

New Study Shows Huge Cost of Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ Plan

Bernie Sanders universal job plan medicareSocialism is expensive. In a new cost analysis, Charles Blahous, formerly a member of the Medicare board of trustees, concludes that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill (S. 1804) would cost a breathtaking $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

Given the growing commitment of House and Senate Democrats to this agenda, Blahous’ analysis is timely. His assessment of the federal government’s financial burden is also consistent with two other independent analyses.

Two years ago, the Urban Institute, a highly respected liberal think tank, estimated the total cost of the Sanders proposal at $32 trillion over 10 years, and professor Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, estimated the cost at $24.7 trillion.

In both cases, the analysts estimated that the level of taxpayer funding would be much higher than Sanders and his colleagues assumed.

Central Control

Co-sponsored by 16 leading Senate Democrats—including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Cory Booker of New Jersey—the Sanders bill is the quintessential prescription for comprehensive government-controlled health care.

In the House of Representatives, 123 Democratic members, more than half of the House Democratic Caucus, have co-sponsored similar legislation (H.R. 676).

The Sanders bill would create a national health insurance program; prohibit all Americans from having a private or employer-based health insurance plan; and abolish Medicare and Medicaid, absorbing their functions into the new national health insurance scheme.

The bill would mandate that doctors, hospitals, and medical professionals be paid Medicare payment rates, and would restrict private agreements between doctors and patients outside of the national system.

Bottom Line

The $32.6 trillion in additional federal spending (2022 to 2031) alone would equal 10.7 percent of the national economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, and would rise to 12.7 percent of GDP by 2031.

Blahous grants Sanders and his Senate co-sponsors the benefit of the doubt. His estimates assume that their bill would be successful in reducing revenues going to doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals. He also assumes that their legislation would achieve its goals of reducing the cost of prescription drugs as well as administrative costs.

Blahous cautions, however, that drugs account for only 10 percent of total national health expenditures, and the bill’s intention to replace brand names with generics would take effect within a market where generics already make up 85 percent of drugs sold.

Uncertain Savings

Concerning administrative costs, the replacement of private insurance with a single government program would, in theory, secure major administrative cost reductions. For the sake of his estimates, Blahous projects a substantial 7 percent reduction in administrative costs.

There are, he warns, methodological problems in simple comparisons between Medicare and private-sector administrative costs.

Moreover, the major government programs are plagued by persistent administrative failures that routinely jack up administrative costs. Medicare and Medicaid, for example, racked up an estimated $96 billion in improper payments in 2016 alone.

“Although government also polices fraud within its health insurance programs,” Blahous observes, “financial survival and business competitiveness are concerns from which government-provided insurance is generally exempt.”

Even assuming gains from reductions in administrative costs, drugs, and the big reductions in provider payments, other features of the legislation, such as the abolition of all cost-sharing, would drive the costs of the program upward.

Huge Taxes

Taxpayers would face enormous burdens, assuming Congress enacted and the president signed the Sanders bill. In his earlier analysis, Thorpe estimated that those taxes would amount to 20 percent of payroll, and roughly 70 percent of working households would pay more than they do today.

For his part, Blahous says that the costs would be such that “doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes going forward would be insufficient to fully finance the plan, even under the assumption that provider payment rates are reduced by over 40 percent for treatment of patients now covered by private insurance. Such an increase in the scope of the federal government operations would precipitate a correspondingly large increase in federal taxation or debt and would be unprecedented if undertaken as an enduring commitment.”

The promise of “something for nothing” is always appealing, but it’s never cheap.

Reprinted with permission from - The Daily Signal - by Robert Moffit

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Robin Bork

Bernie needs to find reality, not utopia. Go get a real job and earn real monies and then see how much you want to pay in real taxes. Never Bernie!

michael ruppert

It’s bee said if you think health care is expensive now wait ’till ift’s free

Martin Steed

Ol’ Bernie likes to point to the British Health Service as an example of “how it should be done”. The three largest employers in the world are: 1. The Chinese Army; 2. The Indian National Railway System; and 3. The British National Healthcare System. Brits and Germans pay about 55% in income taxes to support their socialist health and welfare systems. In the immortal words of Lady Thatcher, “Socialism is wonderful, but eventually you run out of “other peoples money””. I guess the Dems never learned that There ain’t no free lunch!.

Wayne Peterkin

While I question the accuracy of all such estimates by any group, liberal or conservative, I also think it’s common sense that a program like Medicare which has serious funding issues already would be a financial disaster if expanded. The push for socialism, an economic system that has never worked well anywhere it was implemented scares the h— out of me because so many uneducated morons buy into it. The sales pitch of giving dumb people something for nothing (which is, of course, a lie) appeals to those folks so they vote for it. Some people will take anything they can get as long as someone else pays for it. It’s profoundly immoral, but we live in an increasingly immoral society. BTW, has anyone noticed that government revenues have increased since the tax cuts? The reason the deficit continues to be a problem is obviously spending, not taxes.

Paul W

“Crazy Bernie”,…nuff said. Just another leftist, lying hypocrite. Free, free, free…blah, blah, blah. Ain’t nothin’ free nowhere. More importantly, Sanders knows that. He also knows that there are suckers that’ll buy into it thanks to our current brainwashing centers…er…schools.

Ed Finley

The man has never held down a Real Job!! In his life! Neither has his partner in crime,Acasio Cortez, and yet they make it sound like water off a ducks back. Hey! It isn’t money coming out of their pockets,so why worry!!

James D. Mele

I think it is time to give all liberal-communists a free cranial rectal extraction paid for by Obamacare. The chatter from the left is nothing but ridiculous.
We need President Trump to be re-elected with a pro Conservative majority in the House and Senate.

Karen

Such nonsense — I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t see the foolishness of this idea!

michael failla

Is anyone surprised that bernie sanders initials are B S?

Wayne Peterkin

While I question the accuracy of all such estimates by any group, liberal or conservative, I also think it’s common sense that a program like Medicare which has serious funding issues already would be a financial disaster if expanded. The push for socialism, an economic system that has never worked well anywhere it was implemented scares the h— out of me because so many uneducated morons buy into it. The sales pitch of giving dumb people something for nothing (which is, of course, a lie) appeals to those folks so they vote for it. Some people will take anything they can get as long as someone else pays for it. It’s profoundly immoral, but we live in an increasingly immoral society. BTW, has anyone noticed that government revenues have increased since the tax cuts? The reason the deficit continues to be a problem is obviously spending, not taxes. (Duplicate comment?… Read more »

Robert G Morgan

Politics

Drue

Poor, poor Bernie. A sad case. He knows it all. Sounds good in theory, but someone has to pay the price. Ain’t nothing in this world that is free, except advice. And even that will cost you in the end. Sorry, Bernie. It won’t work.

Matt Arrell

It appears obvious that Bernie has one objective in mind and to attain that goal he has appealed to those of us who only read headlines. His objective, of course is to be president and to do that his message is to those of us who can go no further then the free signs. His ability to calculate costs speaks volumes of how on a senators pay he has amassed three substantial properties and he and his wife drove a New England university out of business through questionable dealings. His success rate seems appears a bit fuzzy.

CHARLY

Sanders looks and talks more like a moron all the time and maybe that’s why he has never had a job! Well, there is the Senate but that’s the same thing.

garfreak

Why would anyone go into the medical profession as a doctor, nurse, etc.? Oh, wait the ones who do would be the lowest of the low on an intelligence scale.

cliff

Bernie an all his cronies need to be put on a deserted island so they can run their agenda…..leave all the sane people alone

Wayne Peterkin

While I question the accuracy of all such estimates by any group, liberal or conservative, I also think it’s common sense that a program like Medicare which has serious funding issues already would be a financial disaster if expanded. The push for socialism, an economic system that has never worked well anywhere it was implemented scares the c–p out of me because so many uneducated morons buy into it. The sales pitch of giving many people something for nothing (which is, of course, a lie) appeals to those folks so they vote for it. Some people will take anything they can get as long as someone else pays for it. It’s profoundly immoral, but we live in an increasingly immoral society. BTW, has anyone noticed that government revenues have increased since the tax cuts? The reason the deficit continues to be a problem is obviously spending, not taxes.

Wayne Peterkin

While I question the accuracy of all such estimates by any group, liberal or conservative, I also think it’s common sense that a program like Medicare which has serious funding issues already would not be a financial disaster if expanded. The push for socialism, an economic system that has never worked well anywhere it was implements scares the h— out of me because so many uneducated morons buy into it. The sales pitch of giving dumb people something for nothing (which is, of course, a lie) appeals to those folks so they vote for it. Some people will take anything they can get as long as someone else pays for it. It’s profoundly immoral, but we live in an increasingly immoral society. BTW, has anyone noticed that government revenues have increased since the tax cuts? The reason the deficit continues to be a problem is obviously spending, not taxes.

L eatrice Goldberg

Question We’re with Silverscript Rx plan. Within the next 2 months we’re required to subscribe to a Medicare Part D Rx plan. Will you have Part D Rx
plans to apply for? We are members.

Patrick

Ummm…and how many millions were killed under Communism?