‘Medicare for All’ would save trillions

By Ronald Horvath | Aug 02, 2018

Koch-backed study finds ‘Medicare for All’ would save U.S. trillions


"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 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 government 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.

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. 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 health care system, significantly more than Mercatus’s estimated $32.6 trillion cost to the federal government over the next ten years.”


Comments (1)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 03, 2018 19:00

" A single payer saves money by saying no to the insurance industry and by forcing drug manufacturers and device manufacturers to lower their prices."

"We have real-world experience with a single-payer program in Canada. We also have some related experience with our own Medicare program; that’s kind of a partial single payer. It’s obviously not a true single payer, because there’s lots of other insurers, but it has some of the structures of single payer. And so we can look at the experience in Canada and in the United States, and find that most of these things are not true.

In fact, neither Canada’s single-payer system nor the Medicare system disrupted things. Neither of them broke the bank financially. In fact, there’s been almost no increase in Medicare costs over the last ten years, while private health insurance costs have continued to go up. In Canada, they’re spending about 40 percent less than we are. The doctors make plenty of money, the hospitals are doing just fine, and they have universal coverage. Their taxes are not much higher than what we pay in this country, and the higher taxes are more than offset by the fact that Canadian taxpayers don’t have to pay any premiums or out-of-pocket costs for most services.

So the facts on the ground, experience in both Canada and the United States, say that a single-payer system is imminently doable from an economic point of view, and that it is not overly expensive. In fact, it’s significantly cheaper than what we have in this country."   -Steffie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program and professor at the CUNY School of Public Health.


"Single payer in the UK insures the whole population from cradle to grave, is immensely popular, causes many grumbles about treatment, wasted time for chronic conditions, raises life expectancy and lowers Infant mortality in the UK, with better results than the US medical system.

It also only consumes 8% to 10% of the UK’s GDP

The US system by contrast consumes about 18% of the US GDP, and is rising towards 20% of the US GDP, and employs 30 to 40 million people."

"Doctors in the US graduate with enormous student debts, where historically Doctors graduated debt-free in the UK until the first Tory leader of the UK labor party, Tony Blair, copied the US’ poor lead and impoverished the next generations of Graduates."

"In addition we really need to understand what the financial stress of acquiring an MD degree has actually taught a graduating Doctor. He may have learned to practice medicine, but the accumulated debt actually prevents him from caring for people, because he is forced to spend substantial amounts of time and effort toward repaying his student loans. Learning to grasp for money like a 19th century skinflint becomes necessary, if he wants to pay back the loan, and then find a spouse, buy a home, have a family and save money on which to retire.

And all this to be accumulated between the years of 30 and 55, a Doctor’s practical working years. How can we expect our children to carry a load like this, when no previous generation was ever able to do so?

In other words, the new Graduate Doctor has received a strong incentive to learn how to grasp and snatch every dollar in sight – an objective which seems completely at cross-purposes to to the societal goals of patient care and the Hippocratic Oath’s promise “Do no harm.”


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