Warren’s Medicare for All Plan Counts Chickens, Kills Geese

Medicare for all progressive presidential election
Photo Credit: Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, has revealed how she anticipates financing Medicare for All (M4A). Summing up, her plan underestimates costs, overestimates revenues, and glosses over devastating effects on the U.S. economy.

Warren assumes M4A would add around $20 trillion to the federal budget over 10 years. My colleague, Chuck Blahous puts the number at around $33.4 trillion. The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget assumes $30 trillion. The left-of-center Urban Institute estimated that a similar program would raise federal expenditures by around $34 trillion.

Warren obtains her low estimate by assuming away costs that are unlikely to go anywhere. She assumes the federal government can force prescription drug prices to plunge by 70 percent (devastating to new drug development if implemented, but more likely impossible to implement). She assumes doctors and hospitals will accept massive income reductions and still provide their services. She assumes that, unlike the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, M4A will be a paragon of efficiency and bargaining prowess.

Outside of the ultra-rich and corporations, she infers, Americans will experience no tax increases. Former Obama adviser Stephen Rattner concludes that nearly 50 percent of Warren’s revenue sources are “classic gimmicks that people use when they can’t get the numbers to add up.”

Perhaps Warren’s most controversial proposal is a wealth tax of up to 6 percent on billionaires. Federal wealth taxes are probably unconstitutional, but that aside, they would be economically ruinous. Microsoft founder Bill Gates said: “I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine. But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math over what I have left over.”

In response, Warren posted an online “calculator” to persuade Gates and his peers of the benign nature of this tax. It likely does the opposite. Gates would have to come up with more than $6 billion in cash every year forever. Aside from Disney’s Scrooge McDuck, billionaires don’t keep vast sums of cash lying around, so they would find themselves perpetually liquidating large chunks of their portfolios, permanently destabilizing asset markets.

Such ceaseless liquidation may not even be possible. Warren’s plan would tax unrealized capital gains. Imagine a cash-poor, idea-rich entrepreneur whose high-tech start-up soars to a $2 billion valuation before earning a cent. Somehow, she would have to scrounge up $240,000 in cash every year. And what if the start-up ultimately fails, obliterating her paper billions? Does the government then return the taxes on wealth that never really existed?

Warren’s wealth tax effectively commands entrepreneurs, “Count your chickens before they’re hatched, and pay us the anticipated proceeds today.”

Many innovators will have no choices other than to leave the country or cease innovating altogether. At the risk of a second poultry metaphor, this tax kills the geese laying golden eggs.

Asked what would become of the half million or so health insurance industry employees who would lose their jobs under her plan, Warren said, “So if you’ve had a chance to read the plan, you’ll see no one gets left behind. … Some of the people currently working in health insurance will work in other parts of insurance — in life insurance, in auto insurance, in car insurance, some will work for Medicaid.”

Presumably, she meant “Medicare for All,” since present-day Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance would all be abolished and replaced by an entirely new system. But more important, you can’t just brush away the massive employment dislocations in the health insurance industry with the bromide, “no one gets left behind.”

Health insurance has little in common with life insurance or auto insurance, other than the noun “insurance.” Warren might as well promise, “When we outlaw horse racing, some of the horse jockeys will find work as computer jockeys or disk jockeys.”

Even if health insurance skills were transferable to life or auto insurance, there’s absolutely no reason to think the life and auto insurance industries will suddenly need half a million new employees. It’s like firing half the auto manufacturing workers in America and assuring them, “I’m sure you’ll find something.”

In short, Warren’s document is more fantasy than plan.

From – Inside Sources – By Robert F. Graboyes

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3 years ago

Why don’t those spouting socialism go live in Venezuela, Sweden, or another Socialist country since it’s so great?

Ed Curtis
3 years ago

White woman speak no truth!

3 years ago

wealth tax of up to 6 percent … high-tech start-up soars to a $2 billion valuation before earning a cent. Somehow, she would have to scrounge up $240,000 in cash every year
Is the arithmetic calculation of the $240,000 correct?

3 years ago

Back when Carter was President, he decided to flex the government muscle by enacting price and wage controls over the fossil fuel industry. It didn’t take long and fuel supplies dried up, shortages nationwide, and rationing lines became the norm. Stayed that way until controls were repealed. Do we want to push that envelope with our healthcare? Warrens total ineptness proves only her link to the Native American Fukowi tribe. She’s still going in circles screaming “where the Fukowi?”

James Anderson
3 years ago

is this going to be all in one place and decided by one person when you will need a doctor.

Lynn Miller
3 years ago

The socialist tyrants while in take-over mode always lie through their teeth to get the gullible to get in line like sheep for the slaughter.

Linda M
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Miller

Le t the Dems nominate her. This will fall flat.

John Karkalis
3 years ago

I can see my primary care physician or a specialist within days of a request.
Once in the doctor’s office my wait is usually a matter of minutes and, importantly, my questions are are answered in full.
Under Sen Warren’s “Rube Goldberg ” plan would I continue to enjoy this type of experiece?

Bob Wiggans
3 years ago

I am sure she can find several socialist countries to move to, please leave our republic alone. Many of our countrymen have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, our freedom and our way of life!

Mark A LaJoie
3 years ago

We here in the USA certainly can’t afford a single payer system like those in barbaric Europe, the primitive far East, or Cuba or Canada. Those countries have been going broke for the last fifty or sixty years. [/sarcasm]

3 years ago

Fauxcahontas health care as phony as her Native American heritage.

3 years ago
Reply to  Jim


Dave Campbell
3 years ago

Leftists can only sell their policies by lying about them.

3 years ago

I stile want to know if she and all the rest of our government officials are going to go on this health plain or keep their great plan that we have to pay for,while the rest of us have to go on her great plan by law. My thinking is for all you government people to get out of our health plan and leave us alone !!!!!!!

3 years ago
Reply to  PopPopB

Yeah, I agree with you PopPopB. They just want to sit on their butts and tell all of us what to do.

Helen Corey
3 years ago

Politicians who never built a business but lived off the taxes working people pay have no idea what makes a business grow. Politicians, bureaucrats in DC think “money grows on trees.”

Steve B.
3 years ago

I laughed several times while reading this.But only to keep from crying.

3 years ago
Reply to  Steve B.


3 years ago

Obamacare was created to get us to where we are today: Medicare for All! The left has always wanted to control healthcare for the whole country because then they control EVERYONE! No matter what the Democrats come up with, the ultimate goal is to CONTROL everyone, NOT provide affordable healthcare! Screw the economy, it doesn’t affect them (so they think) cuz they are isolated from the rest of us! Their arrogance knows no bounds and the more poor and dependent we become, the more they can lord over all us peons! The left has NO intention of coming up with any ideas that will HELP AMERICANS since that means allowing THE PEOPLE more CONTROL over their OWN lives!!!

3 years ago
Reply to  carol

Very true.

Linda M
3 years ago
Reply to  carol

Agree, Obama’s ACA was essentially a large funnel with universal healthcare in a jug at the bottom.

3 years ago

Why do we waste our time even listening to this idiot.

3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

So we won’t vote for this idiot should she be elected for the Presidential election next year. Trump 2020.

Ed J
3 years ago

Warren is the Poster Child for dysfunctional thinking built upon a foundation of abject ignorance. While health coverage for all is an admirable goal, her total disconnect with the fundamentals of economic reality is really amazing. Almost all of her assumptions about how to pay for M4A fail to hold water. Doctors and other health care professionals will NOT work for lower wages. Pharma will NOT be selling their drugs below cost, and in many cases would choose not to sell them in the USA at all under Warren’s plan. Doing away with health insurance companies is NOT reasonable in a free market system. American taxpayers will NOT embrace the monstrous increase in income taxes required to support her plan. M4A would be a disaster across the board on so many levels if ever implemented. The most tragic aspect of all of this is that she is getting so much attention for her dystopian ideas and is actually attracting so many of our fellow citizens to her stable! This Pied Piper needs to crawl back under a rock and stay there!

Wendell Fountain
3 years ago

Why should anyone pay attention to a fraudulent prevaricator? This fake Cherokee is a disgrace to herself, Harvard, and the nation at large!

Josephine pooley
3 years ago

UNBELIEVABLE!!! Just pure nonsense!

Paul DAscenz
3 years ago

99.9% of every economic plan the Democrats have is not Feasible.
There Quest is to Destroy the USA!

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