Home / Blog / Article


October 12 2018

The Real Cost of Medicare for All

by Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

Medicare for All would finance health care through taxes instead of insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays. All care would then be “free” in the Venezuelan sense of the word.

--Wall Street Journal editorial

Senator Bernie Sanders'  Medicare for All has been endorsed by 16 Democratic senators, including, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board notes, almost all who have 2020 aspirations: Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren.

A similar House bill has the support of two-thirds of the Democratic caucus. Two gubernatorial candidates, Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Gillum of Florida, also support the bill. So it is fair to say that Medicare for All is by no means a fringe position in the Democratic Party.

It is probably inconvenient for Democrats that they are advocating such a policy when Venezuela's glorious experiment in socialism and free stuff is imploding before us, with dire consequences to individuals.

The Wall Street Journal explains how Bernie Care has the potential not to wreck the health care system, without providing the promised services to Americans in need of medical care:

Medicare for All would finance health care through taxes instead of insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays. All care would then be “free” in the Venezuelan sense of the word.

 Government would dramatically cut the reimbursement rates doctors receive for providing services. All this would lower administrative costs and make health care more efficient, or so we’re told. And we’re not supposed to call this “government-run health care,” though who do you think would make the payment decisions?

President Trump said in an oped piece in USA Today that the Democrats' proposals would cost the government $32.6 trillion over 10 years. Mercatus Center’s respected Charles Blahous, a  former Social Security and Medicare trustee, came up with this estimate. This would mean that by 2022, Medicare for All would consume 10.7 percent of our GDP (compared to defense, which accounts for three percent).

Supporters of Bernie Care don't want you to know these figures--and what they mean for your life, if Medicare for All became a reality:

Liberals are griping that these estimates overlook what would be a decline in overall health spending, but Mr. Blahous goes out of his way to credit savings that would probably be illusory such as lower drug costs. As in every socialist system, the real “savings” would come from price controls and wait lists for many health-care services. Have a cold? Come on in. A hip replacement or breast reconstruction? Get in line.

And that’s the good news. The truth is that BernieCare would essentially blow up the entire current health system. The Sanders bill would eliminate employer-sponsored insurance, which now covers some 150 million Americans. The sales pitch for that should be: If you like your health-care plan, we won’t let you keep it.

BernieCare would also blow up Medicare as we know it by creating a new health system that young and old would have to join. We don’t like to see Republicans defending current Medicare as a perfect system, since it has many shortcomings and needs reform like premium support that Paul Ryan has proposed. But compared to BernieCare, Medicare is the Mayo Clinic for everyone.

Democrats are trying to make health care an issue in the midterms. They are portraying Republicans as hard-hearted people who don't care about people.

In light of what Bernie Care would do to actual people who need medical services, this is disingenuous.

And conservatives have devoted a lot of thought to coming up with ways to handle pre-existing conditions (a rallying point for the left). The IWF, for example, has put forth a plan that would actually help sick people with pre-existing conditions.

It is important to talk about real costs and benefits of Bernie Care, something supporters of Bernie Care are disinclined to do.

 



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
Follow us