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November 5 2019

Want Medicare for All? Say Goodbye to 2 Million Jobs

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

When Medicare for All kills the private healthcare insurance industry, it will take two million Americans jobs to the grave with it. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s answer to those two million unemployed workers? There’s always auto insurance.

Both Senators Warren and Bernie Sanders have plans to upend the healthcare system and replace our private healthcare with Medicare for All.

Attention has rightly been focused on how expensive covering over 300 million people with government healthcare will be and how we could afford to pay for it.

According to the left-leaning Urban Institute, the price tag would be #34 trillion beyond what the federal government already spends on healthcare. Our entire federal budget today is only $4 trillion. Medicare for All for taking away every dollar we spend on other priorities including education and defense along with what we already spend on healthcare and still leave a gap of at least $30 trillion.

Elizabeth Warren came out with a plan to pay for Medicare for All and at best it’s fuzzy math. 

As my colleague, Charlotte Hayes wrote yesterday, “In a rare congruence, SNL and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal agree that Warren’s numbers fantasy.” It’s fair to say this plan would be dead on arrival in Congress and it should be.

The unavoidable tax increases on middle-class Americans, the elimination of any choice in healthcare, and the prospect of cramming every person onto a system that would be overloaded and likely understaffed all sound woeful.

Add to list the unintended consequence of the loss of an estimated 2 million jobs due to disruption in the healthcare industry, and we have to wonder why anyone would still defend Medicare for All. 

When asked about the job losses, Warren acknowledged the problem but shrugged it off. She was asked again by a reporter recently:

"Where do those who work in health insurance go when private insurance is eliminated?" a reporter asked the Massachusetts Democrat on Friday. 

Warren responded by saying, "No one gets left behind." 

She then added, "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."

Warren is telling 2 million people to just go find a new job in life and car insurance as though there are that many open positions in these fields and that the skills healthcare insurance workers possess would translate into entirely new industries.

Defenders of Medicare for All are making no big deal about this. Washington Post even says the loss of 2 million jobs is akin to the replacement of farmworkers by technology and as society evolved from agrarian to services.

Automation and technology will continue to transform our labor force, requiring that workers become reskilled and educated. Technology has also created entirely new careers and work opportunities. Undoubtedly, innovations in healthcare technology will create new opportunities as well. 

However, you cannot compare the elimination of jobs to technological advancements with the elimination of jobs due to policies that aim to kill an industry. The former is the natural course of progress that will create better outcomes in the long run. The latter is a man-made outcome that could very well be avoided through different healthcare policies.

Also Read: 

SNL and Wall Street Journal Agree: Warren’s Medicare for All Numbers are Fantasy





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.​
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