Sunday, 19 August, 2018

BERNIE'S BLUFF: Sanders Claims 'Medicare for All' Would 'SAVE $2 TRILLION'

Bernie Sander’s ‘Medicare For All’ Would Cost $32.6 Trillion, Study Projects America Can Get Ocasio-Cortez’s and Bernie's ‘Medicare for All’ Plan for the Low Price of $32 Trillion
Delores Daniels | 02 August, 2018, 17:44

The author behind the paper, Charles Blahous, predicts that Sanders' health care strategy will end up costing Americans nearly $33 trillion.

The US could insure 30 million more Americans and virtually eliminate out-of-pocket health care expenses while saving $2 trillion in the process, according to a new report about Medicare for All released by the libertarian Mercatus Center.

While writing for Business Insider, Bryan also said, "The study contains assumptions, and there are numerous political and practical concerns in shifting the burden of healthcare payments to the federal government".

"Enacting something like "Medicare for all" would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government", according to analysis author Charles Blahous.

A working paper produced by the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which examined the potential costs of the Medicare for All Act (M4A) that has been sponsored by Sanders, was released with much fanfare this week.

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Levitt said Sanders's plan is a good illustration of what Medicare for all could accomplish in theory, but payment levels for providers hasn't really had a full debate yet.

Blahous, who was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration, said none of the critics have found anything fundamentally wrong with his analysis.

Graboyes declined to comment on how Sanders was interpreting the Mercatus Center report but said he has "high respect for senators across the board".

The long-time advocate for a single-payer system was not exactly singing the praises of the Mercatus study, which he dismissed as a "grossly misleading and biased" attempt by the Koch brothers to counter "growing support in our country for a "Medicare for All" program".

Sanders' office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said.

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"At a time when the United States spends far more per capita on health care than any other country on Earth... a Medicare For All health care system would save the average American significant sums of money", he continued. The figures in the Mercatus analysis are in the range of other cost estimates for Sanders' 2016 plan, the AP reported. Blahous corrected it, reducing his estimate by about $3 trillion over 10 years.

Medicare-for-All, also known as single-payer healthcare, has become increasingly popular among Democrats, including progressive candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pulled off a shocking primary upset last month in New York's 14th Congressional District and made the issue a central part of her platform. "Even though people don't pay premiums, the tax increases are going to be enormous". Even if Democrats manage to take control of both the House and Senate, a narrow majority with a Republican in the White House would make it hard to enact this kind of legislation.

The study found that the plan would reap substantial savings from lower prescription costs - $846 billion over 10 years - since the government would deal directly with drugmakers. He added that Blahous' study does admit that "tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans would have access to healthcare and the United States as a whole would end up spending less than it is expected to right now" under Sanders' proposal.

But Graboyes warned that, according to the report, even doubling all now projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be "insufficient" to finance the costs of Medicare-for-All.

Bank of England set to raise rates to highest level since 2009
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