Despite trillions in estimated costs, House Democrats file ‘Medicare for All’ measure

By Bethany Blankley | Watchdog.org

As promised, Democrats on Thursday introduced their Medicare for All Act, which they say will eliminate health care disparities and put patients and caregivers first.

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, is the chief sponsor, and the bill has more than 100 co-sponsors in the House. It mirrors a bill proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, last year.

Wikimedia Commons/Alex

Mercatus estimates that the program would take up at least 10.7 percent of the projected national GDP in 2022, and about 12.7 percent in 2031.

Economists and numerous studies produced by think tanks and research centers say such a move would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, reduce medical services and nearly eliminate quality care.

A study from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center projects the initiative would add $32.6 trillion to federal budgetary commitments in its first 10 years. Even if individual and corporate federal income tax revenues were doubled, they would not cover the added cost, according to the study.

Mercatus estimates that the program would take up at least 10.7 percent of the projected national GDP in 2022, and about 12.7 percent in 2031.

Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which represents 15,000 health care workers, said he hopes both the House and Senate pass Medicare for All. He said in a statement that such a program would replace the “patchwork, piecemeal reform schemes that fail to improve quality or contain costs, all while continuing to pad the profits of health insurance and pharmaceutical companies.”

Medicare for All would expand coverage to include “in-home care, dental care, vision care, and true parity for mental health and substance abuse services,” Rosselli says, thereby creating “real health security” for everyone in the U.S.

Both the Senate and House bills would create a universal single-payer Medicare insurance program operated by the federal government. Another 250 million people would be brought into the program in addition to the 60 million already receiving Medicare coverage.

The Mercatus Center and other groups suggest the bill would have the opposite of its intended effect.

“The study results are right in line with those of an Urban Institute study published about two years ago, and resemble those from studies in California and Vermont,” Robert Graboyes, a Mercatus Center senior research fellow and Health Care Scholar, told Watchdog.

According to the Mercatus report, costs would skyrocket because the federal government would be required to fully fund nearly all current national health spending, including individual private insurance and state spending. Medicaid for All would also extend health care insurance coverage to include dental, vision and hearing, which Medicare and many private insurance policies exclude. It also eliminates health insurance deductibles and co-payments that those with private insurance are already required to pay to receive health care coverage, and would cover the currently uninsured.

Such costs would be unsustainable, the CATO Institute says.

Any small benefits it “might deliver to some groups would be totally wiped out by its crushing new taxes, higher administrative costs, and dangerously low-quality care,” Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, said. “It could very well have a downward impact on the U.S. economy and the long-term economic growth rate. Say, for example, an income tax hike is implemented. That’s a disincentive for economic production.”

Other economic effects would ensue, including how state funds are distributed, and the fact that the costs currently paid by states and private companies for health care would be transferred to the federal government, the Mercatus report notes.

It would also dramatically reduce reimbursements paid to health care insurers and service providers, resulting in the willingness or ability of insurers to offer coverage, or of service providers to offer treatment, Mercatus adds. As a result, less medical and health care services would be offered and overall quality of medical and health care would be greatly reduced.

Worse still, the plan could result in eliminating private insurance companies, or changing their function to act as an extension of the federal government agency tasked with managing the program, CATO notes.

Cannon said that Medicare administrative costs are far greater than private health insurance company costs. And raising taxes will create a “dead-weight loss” on the economy he says, totaling on average roughly 44 percent of the taxes raised to pay for it. Among individual income taxes, he says the dead-weight loss is at least 52 percent.

Such “dead-weight losses overwhelm the administrative costs of private health insurance, which the federal government has done a lot to inflate in the first place,” Cannon says.

Images courtesy of Infrogmation of New Orleans and Wikimedia Commons/Alex
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6 thoughts on “Despite trillions in estimated costs, House Democrats file ‘Medicare for All’ measure

  1. Cost, cost? Who cares about cost as long as someone else is footing the bill. These folks are from looneyville. Wonder how many will get reelected now that they have shown their true stripes.

  2. This isn’t about healthcare ….
    This is about destroying a ‘world economy’ where the US dollar is the standard and shoving the world into a single currency – by design – packaged in a healthcare for all/socialism distraction.

  3. And why would anyone with half a brain trust the same group who brought you
    you got to pass the bill to know what’s in it? Obola Care 2.0 should be a DOA..
    (you remember +2500. and keep your doc)
    Also being a former Burnee Bill it should be incinerated after DOA..

    Seems redundant as AOCrazio’s 92 trillion bill gnd covered free health care..just pass that one.

  4. You failed to mention once these liberal fools get their open borders which will increase their voting power and will increase the debt even more with all the freebies they’ll receive..

  5. This has to be an” Excellent Proposal”, as it was contrived by ” Social Sanders ” so I only have
    one question to the ” Spending Guru” Rep.Pramila Jayapal………… who’s paying for it ??

    So the Nation is already $22T in Debt, this boondoggle is another $32T and as long as we are
    on this ” Pipe Dream ” ride, the ” Green New Deal “is another $93T…..

    Christmas is coming early to some, who’s paying for it!!……Where do we get these people ??

    • You failed to mention once these liberal fools get their open borders which will increase their voting power and will increase the debt even more with all the freebies they’ll receive..

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