'Medicare for all' bill estimated at $32.6 trillion, study finds

'Medicare for all' bill estimated at $32.6 trillion, study finds

From 2019 to 2028, the federal government overall would spend an additional $2.5 trillion annually on health care under Sanders' plan, according to the study, published by the Mercatus Center, a libertarian-leaning think tank.

Sanders' plan - if he succeeds in implementing it - will instead "increase the share of that cost paid through taxes, rather than through insurance premiums or out of pocket costs, according to Axios".

According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Sanders' plan would rack up that $32.6 trillion in just the first 10 years.

Mr Sanders' plan would provide coverage for various elements of health care, including preventative to emergency care, mental health and substance abuse services and prescription medications - and all by a federally administered single-player health system. All those people seeing doctors and going to the hospital will drive up health spending over the years, but the legislation is created to offset those costs through lower provider payment rates, drug savings and administrative cost savings.

Sanders recorded a video in which he said: "Let me thank the Koch brothers, of all people, for sponsoring a study that shows that "Medicare for All" would save the American people $2 trillion over a 10-year period".

His office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said.

While writing for Business Insider, Bryan also said, "The study contains assumptions, and there are numerous political and practical concerns in shifting the burden of healthcare payments to the federal government". Blahous says the report is his own work, not that of the Koch brothers. This is a strategy that already appears to be working, as the Associated Press headline reads: "Study: "Medicare for all' projected to cost $32.6 trillion". Even if Democrats manage to take control of both the House and Senate, a narrow majority with a Republican in the White House would make it hard to enact this kind of legislation.

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Medicare-for-All, also known as single-payer healthcare, has become increasingly popular among Democrats, including progressive candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pulled off a shocking primary upset last month in New York's 14th Congressional District and made the issue a central part of her platform.

The Mercatus analysis estimated the 10-year cost of Medicare for all from 2022 to 2031, after an initial phase-in. Those studies found increases in federal spending over 10 years that ranged from $24.7 trillion to $34.7 trillion.

Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy professor at Emory University and a senior health policy adviser in the Clinton administration, added to the discussion, stating that people will end up paying more in taxes than they would save on premiums under the new plan.

In calculating his cost estimate, Blahous assumed that the new universal system would succeed in "dramatically reducing payments to health providers, in addition to substantially reducing drug prices and administrative costs". Savings from streamlined administration would be even greater, almost $1.6 trillion. He assumes administrative costs will only drop from 13 percent to 6 percent for those now privately insured.

However, it also found that potential savings would vanish if hospitals and doctors aren't willing to accept lower fees for patients who are now privately insured. Most U.S. spending on health care is done through the private sector.

"In individual states like California and Vermont, similar single-payer healthcare plans tanked because increasing taxes was too much of a gamble", he said.

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