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$32.6 Trillion: The cost of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez “Medicare for All”

Written By | Jul 30, 2018
Medicare for All, Ocasio-Cortez, JacquieKubin


WASHINGTON: Conservatives like the panelists at The Five (FOX) are having fun at  the expense of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez demand for free Medicare for All.  Today, Monday July 30 George Mason’s Mercatus Center, a libertarian-leaning policy center.  The  study shows latest plan from the Vermont independent would deliver significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased demand for care would drive up spending.

However that increased savings on administration and drug costs demands that service providers and big pharmaceutical  reduce costs.

The cost of Medicare for All

In order to extend Medicare benefits to the entire population would require a massive tax increase. Medicare for All requires the government to assume the entirety of the health care costs currently born by individuals. The Mercatus study conclusions are similar to the analysis conducted by the Urban Institute.

Socialism, a great idea? Not.

The Five’s Jessie Water’s is a frequent commentator on the bid for socialism in America.  As he says, the socialism success story is a fantasy. Waters points out that Ocasio-Cortez thinks Medicare for All would cost $3 trillion dollar.

According to the studies, Ocasio-Cortez he misses the mark – by a lot.

A study released by the  Mercatus Center at George Mason University today offers some truths.

The biggest one being that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez plan would rack up that $32.6 trillion in just the first 10 years.

According to the report:

The leading current Senate bill to establish single-payer health insurance in the United States is that of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). It’s called the Medicare for All Act, or M4A. The desirability and practicality of this kind of healthcare system will depend in large measure on cost—on what American taxpayers would have to pay for it. 

Charles Blahous puts a price on Sanders’s proposed legislation in “The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System.” These are his key findings. 

M4A Would Place Unprecedented Strain on the Federal Budget

By conservative estimates, this legislation would have the following effects:

  • M4A would add approximately $32.6 trillion to federal budget commitments during the first 10 years of its implementation (2022–2031).
  • This projected increase in federal healthcare commitments would equal approximately 10.7 percent of GDP in 2022. This amount would rise to nearly 12.7 percent of GDP in 2031 and continue to rise thereafter.

These estimates are conservative because they assume the legislation achieves its sponsors’ goals of dramatically reducing payments to health providers, in addition to substantially reducing drug prices and administrative costs.

A doubling of all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to finance the added federal costs of the plan. 

M4A’s Dramatic Federal Cost Increase Arises from Several Factors 

First and foremost, the federal government would become responsible for financing nearly all current national health spending, including individual private insurance and state spending.

M4A would increase federal health spending on the currently uninsured as well as those who now carry insurance by providing first-dollar coverage of their healthcare expenditures across the board, without deductibles or copayments.

M4A would expand the range of services covered by federal insurance (for example, dental, vision, and hearing benefits).

M4A would dramatically expand the demand for healthcare services, consistent with economics research findings that the more of an individual’s health costs are covered by insurance, the more services they tend to buy, irrespective of the services’ efficacy and value.

We Do Not Know How Much M4A Would Disrupt the Availability and Quality of Health Services

M4A would markedly increase the demand for healthcare services while simultaneously cutting payments to provid­ers by more than 40 percent, reducing payments to levels that are lower on average than providers’ current costs of providing care. It cannot be known how much providers will react to these losses by reducing the availabil­ity of existing health services, the quality of such services, or both.

Free Medicare for All is not Free

The Mercatus Center authors say study numbers are conservative estimates that would rely on health care providers and pharmaceutical companies to drastically reduce the cost of services and medications.   Taxes are not a reasonable source of Medicare for All funding.  Unfortunately for the Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Medicare for All plan, if all corporate and individual federal income taxes were doubled, the government would still be unable to pay for Sanders’ plan.

The Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez plan would not only be unmanageably expensive. Furthermore, the study shows that the quality of care would plummet with demand.  Even as sources diminish when costs to providers are cut.

The study authors saying:

 “It cannot be known how much providers will react to these losses by reducing the availabil­ity of existing health services, the quality of such services, or both.”

Despite the reality that socialism has never worked in any country, Ocasio-Cortez blindly supports everything free for all saying that “taxes and the government” should pay for it (yes, taxes and the government are one and the same):

Ocasio-Cortez says the United States should be a nation that “allows improved and expanded Medicare for all.”

Other tenants of the Ocasio-Cortez platform is that every child should be “born with the opportunity to go to college or trade school free of cost” and  “every person in this country is paid a living wage to lead a dignified life.”

Conservatives have warned about the costs and potential risks of socialism and socialized medicine for years, even as the Democrat party has moved farther left.



Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.