The overwhelming majority of Americans (91 percent) have health insurance coverage, and the overwhelming majority (84 percent) of those Americans are satisfied overall with their coverage, according to new polling data. These facts underline the enormous political risks inherent in so-called 'Medicare for All' schemes, including the coercive single-payer plans being pushed by presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They have co-sponsored legislation that would eliminate private insurance, outlawing the existing healthcare arrangements of approximately 180 million people, forcing everyone into a one-size-fits-all government regime. Such a mandate would be hugely disruptive, likely stirring anger and fear among the legions of voters who are generally happy with the status quo:
New polling out last week from Hart Research on behalf of “Get America Covered” finds that “fully 84% of insured consumers say they are satisfied with their current health insurance plan overall,” while “many uninsured individuals intend to purchase health insurance in 2020.” These findings track closely with previous public opinion research from Gallup. As CNN reported, “82% of Democrats said the quality of health care they received was either good or excellent. A large majority, 71%, believed their health care coverage was either good or excellent. Even when it comes to health care costs, 61% of Democrats said were satisfied with what they paid in health care.” The same Gallup poll also notes that the vast majority of all Americans are satisfied with the quality of their health care – rating it ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ (80 percent) – and their level of coverage (69 percent).
And while it's useful that less radical 2020 Democrats are pushing back on the economics of single-payer, several of these "moderates" are advocating alternatives that are specifically designed to pull the country into a 'Medicare for All' environment -- effectively making it a question of when, not if. Even under these less extreme proposals, tens of millions of Americans wouldn't be able to maintain the arrangements on which they rely, and with which they're satisfied, in violation of a familiar and infamous political pledge:
The new polling data comes as some presidential candidates and lawmakers promote new government-controlled health insurance systems – like the public option, Medicare buy-in and Medicare for America – as “moderate” alternatives to Medicare for All. But a new study reveals millions of Americans would, in fact, be unable to keep their current coverage under such a proposal – and underscores
that a new government insurance system would be a “stepping stone” to a one-size-fits-all system run by politicians.
The study finds that one-in-three American workers would be at risk of losing their employer-based health insurance under the supposedly "pragmatic" approach. The full-blown socialist approach would mandate the end of 100 percent of employer-based plans. Meanwhile, while Elizabeth Warren hides the ball on how she'd pay for her designs to double the annual federal budget, Bernie Sanders (whose eye-popping plans somehow make Warren's look like child's play) has been praised for conceding that he'd raise taxes beyond just 'the rich.' But he's getting awfully shy about fleshing out that explanation, to the point that he's expressly refusing to put out any detailed roadmap at all:
Sorry, Bernie, you cannot claim that:— Brian Riedl (@Brian_Riedl) October 29, 2019
A) Your $35 trillion M4A plan will be paid for in taxes, and
B) Those taxes will somehow be structured to be cheaper for families than current premiums...
...and then refuse to offer a plan backing up your claims. https://t.co/ORY1De8FCt
Via Philip Klein, here's a quick reminder that mumbling about wealth taxes and billionaires is pure fiscal quackery when it comes to single-payer healthcare:
The liberal Urban Institute has calculated that a plan along the lines of what Sanders and Warren are advocating would raise federal spending by $34 trillion over a decade. The study does not include a year-by-year breakdown, but the average annual cost over 10 years would thus be $3.4 trillion, or $10.2 trillion for three years. Yet earlier this year, Forbes estimated that the 2,153 billionaires in the U.S. have a collective net worth of $8.7 trillion. That means even if the government were to magically vacuum up all of their wealth without any economic distortion, it wouldn't even pay for a third of the cost of the plan in the coming decade. Of course, if this were done, in the second decade, when the program's cost would be even higher, the government would be out of billionaires to tax. The largest revenue raiser Warren has proposed during her campaign is a wealth tax, which she claims would raise $2.75 trillion, not enough to cover a year of the healthcare proposal. Either way, she has already pledged to use the wealth tax to pay for [other new programs].
I'll again repeat that such "wealth taxes" have crashed and burned, leading to retreat and repeal, in much of Europe. Back in reality, I'll leave you with these real-world trade-offs. Enjoy, voters and taxpayers:
New from @BudgetHawks - paying for #MedicareForAll would require a 32% payroll tax, 25% income surtax, 42% VAT, 80% spending cut, or 108 percent of GDP increase in the national debt. There are other options as well:https://t.co/eIP40nc1N8 pic.twitter.com/MI1GZloJ5i— Marc Goldwein (@MarcGoldwein) October 28, 2019
As we've been saying...