Medicare for All?

The current, hugely expensive American health system absorbs 18% of U.S. GDP and leaves nearly 30 million people uninsured and another 40 million underinsured with large deductibles and copays.

A surprising study by the Koch brothers- funded Mercatus Center shows how, under Medicare for All, every single resident of the U.S. can be guaranteed good-quality health care at an overall cost that is nearly 10% less than our current system — savings that can translate into lower health-care costs for both households and businesses.  Average businesses that cover their workers will lower their costs by 8%. Middle-class households who now buy insurance on their own will see a savings of 14% of their income. That is, their net income will rise by 14% through Medicare for All.

On top of these cost savings, no American will ever again be uninsured or have to fight with an insurance company for coverage or worry about having to cover co-pays or deductibles while living on a tight budget;  or live in fear of a family member getting sick and facing bankruptcy as a result.

The study also considers in depth how to provide a Just Transition to people now employed in the private health insurance industry–providing them with retraining, relocation, job placement, as well as direct financial support as the country moves away from our existing private health insurance system.

The study reflects the reality of every other similar economy in the world: guaranteed healthcare for all with no barriers to care. This saves lives and costs less.   However, I also have to  report a figure $32 trillion of extra Federal government expenditure  over 10 years  under the Sanders bill as currently written.  This has caused the debate to get roiled in arguments about government expenditure rather than benefit to the economy and to general health and medical cost reduction.

The study was peer-reviewed by a group of eminent experts on the subject. One of the reviewers, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, concluded that, “This study is the most comprehensive, detailed, authoritative study ever undertaken of Medicare for All, and it points powerfully and unassailably in support of MFA.”.      (The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System” by Charles Blahous,  Mercatus Center,  George Mason University).

My comment: a government dedicated to shrivelling the role of government is never going to let Medicare for All become reality.   There is no benefit to the rich in extending tbis idea to the poor, just higher taxes. Already the knives are out .  In todays New York Times there is an article by the very moderate David Brooks entitled  “The Impossible Medicare for All”.  Watch while a positive idea about helping ordinary people, struggling with health costs, is savaged and disposed of.

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