Think Progress - July 2018
A single-payer Medicare for All system would reduce the amount the U.S. spends on health care by more than $2 trillion, a Koch brothers-funded study released Monday found.
Research by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University — a libertarian think tank backed by the Koch brothers — projected that the Medicare for All plan championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would cost the government $32.6 trillion over 10 years. The highly critical report represented this figure as additional federal spending on top of what the government currently spends on health programs, and found that even doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes would not cover the costs of Sanders’ Medicare for All plan.
The study did conclude, however, that Medicare for All would result in significant savings for the country because of lower prescription drug costs, saving $846 billion over the next decade. Streamlined administrative costs under the plan would save another $1.6 trillion, the researchers at the Mercatus Center found.
But when we talk about a Medicare for All system, it’s important to discuss the costs in the context of what the U.S. already spends on health care, given that the idea would be to replace the current system with a new Medicare for All program. As of 2016, national health expenditures — which includes federal spending, state Medicaid programs, and private employer health care spending — totaled $3.3 trillion per year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
That means that over the next decade, the U.S. is projected to spend more than $33 trillion, plus inflation, on health care services without any changes to our current system — significantly more than Mercatus’s estimated $32.6 trillion cost to the federal government over the next ten years. ...
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