New study ignites debate over cost of 'Medicare for all'

New study ignites debate over cost of 'Medicare for all'

New study ignites debate over cost of 'Medicare for all'

It concludes the Sanders Medicare-for-All plan would increase federal budget commitments by about $32 trillion over its first 10 years of implementation.

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 USA lawmakers-Sen.

These changes would lead the US government to control virtually all health spending in the United States - Sanders' plan would also cover dental care and vision care - in what may be the biggest increase in federal expenditures in history, according to Blahous.

Bernie Sander's proposed single-payer national healthcare program is projected to cost the federal government $32.6 trillion over the next 10 years, requiring historic tax increases. The author behind the paper, Charles Blahous, predicts that Sanders' health care strategy will end up costing Americans nearly $33 trillion. Blahous was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration. The Mercatus Center receives funding from the Koch brothers, prominent conservative donors, and Charles Koch is on the center's board.

The long-time advocate for a single-payer system was not exactly singing the praises of the Mercatus study, which he dismissed as a "grossly misleading and biased" attempt by the Koch brothers to counter "growing support in our country for a "Medicare for All" program".

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In other words, according to the analysis, Bernie Sanders' health care plan would cost the country about the same in aggregate as the current system, while covering the entire population.

And, they say, putting all Americans on one insurer would create a large-enough pool to force private health-care providers to charge less, while eliminating private insurers' spending on marketing and administrative overhead that do not improve health outcomes.

The study notes that the projected spending increases are "conservative" estimates "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".

What that translates to is what Medicare for All advocates have been saying all along: Under a single-payer system, Americans would get more quality care for more people at less cost. "Even though people don't pay premiums, the tax increases are going to be enormous".

Mr Sanders' office has not immediately responded to The Independent's request for comment on the study's projections.

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The Mercatus study takes issue with a key cost-saving feature of the plan: that hospitals and doctors would accept payment based on lower Medicare rates for all their patients.

But other provisions would tend to drive up spending, including coverage for almost 30 million uninsured people, no deductibles or copays, and improved benefits, including dental, vision, and hearing.

The study found that the plan would reap substantial savings from lower prescription costs - $846 billion over 10 years - since the government would deal directly with drugmakers. Doubling federal individual and corporate income tax receipts would not cover the full cost, the study said. Most U.S. spending on health care is done through the private sector.

Sanders then explains that up-front and taxpayer costs may rise slightly in the short term to pay for a universal health care system, but that in the long term, the average American will save thousands.

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