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Tipsheet

Expert: Doubling Americans' Income Taxes Wouldn't Cover Even the Lowest Cost Estimate for Single-Payer Healthcare

As House Democrats held their first hearings on single-payer healthcare this week, Bernie Sanders lashed out at a CNN host for asking simple questions about the costs of implementing a government-run scheme.  The Vermont socialist, who's fallen in the polls, accused Brooke Baldwin of repeating a completely accurate "talking point" from opponents of the idea -- namely, that his plan would uproot private insurance from tens upon tens of millions of Americans:

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In fact, these single-payer proposals (favored by nearly every Senate Democrat running for president, and co-sponsored by almost half of House Democrats) would outlaw virtually all private insurance in America, ripping away a system on which nearly 180 million Americans currently rely (and are overwhelmingly satisfied).  Sanders also claimed that under his preferred system, in spite of large tax increases, the lopsided majority of people would end up paying less for their healthcare.  Some experts strongly disagree:


Another expert put the magnitude of this price tag (which we've covered) in sharp relief:

Charles Blahous, a senior research strategist at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, on Tuesday said, "Doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax would be insufficient to finance" Medicare for All. Blahous spoke before the House Rules Committee about "Medicare for All," the health care plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and supported by several 2020 Democratic candidates. Blahous estimated the cost is between $32.6 trillion and $38.8 trillion. "Medicare for All would add somewhere between $32.6 trillion and $38.8 trillion in new federal budget costs over the first ten years. The $32.6 trillion estimate is a lower bound estimate. It essentially assumes every cost containment provision in the bill saves as much as possible," Blahous said. "If instead things play out more consistently with historical trends, the new federal cost would be closer to $38.8 trillion." ... "So, to provide a sense of the magnitudes, the study notes that doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income taxes would be insufficient to finance even the lower bound estimate of $32.6 trillion," he said. "Now, to be clear, these would not be the total costs of Medicare for All. These would the federal government's net new cost above and beyond currently projected federal health obligations."
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I'll leave you with a familiar Democratic promise on healthcare, which has turned out quite badly in the recent past:

House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) said Americans wouldn't lose their health care or their doctors if the country adopted a Medicare for All system on Tuesday. McGovern's committee held the first-ever hearing on the proposed health care overhaul being debated as part of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and McGovern effectively repeated an infamous promise by President Barack Obama. "People aren't going to lose their health care with Medicare for All," he said. "You would actually to keep your doctors and go to your hospitals that you currently have. The only difference is you wouldn't have to deal with insurance companies. I don't know about you, but that's not my favorite thing to do when I get sick."

Again, the regime they're talking about imposing on the entire country would end private insurance. Any vow that this would allow everyone to keep their preferred coverage, doctors and hospitals is extremely reckless.  The aforementioned Mr. Blahous notes that the cost-cutting efforts in Democrats' legislation would drastically reduce doctor and hospital reimbursement rates, which would absolutely have a major impact on the viability and decisions of those care providers.  Democrats pushing their latest governmental healthcare scheme cannot promise the American people that they'll be able to maintain their current arrangements.  It simply isn't true.  Also, before you go, watch this clip, which follows up on another subject area we've frequently covered -- namely, government rationing and long wait times under state-run systems:

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