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.
Under Sanders' plan, all U.S. residents would be covered with no copays or deductibles for medical services. In fact, a study of Sanders' 2016 plan by the left-leaning Urban Institute found that it would also cost the federal government $32 trillion over a decade.
Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., are correct that enacting Sanders' single-payer plan would add trillions to government books, by placing all Americans on one government health insurer, according to both the study's author and Sanders himself.
He was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration, the AP reported.
Two of America's richest men, billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are known for supporting economically conservative causes.
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". As an example, the senator cited reducing administrative costs he said was, "now taking place as a result of the billing, bureaucracy and and insatiable greed within the insurance industry".
In other words, according to the analysis, Bernie Sanders' health care plan would cost the country about the same in aggregate as the current system, while covering the entire population.More news: Brown On Wildfires Outbreak: ‘We Are In For A Rough Ride’
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Robert Graboyes, a senior research fellow and health care scholar at the center who read Blahous's report through its production, said the report doesn't "predict" $2 trillion in savings. From there, he adds the costs associated with higher utilization of medical services and then subtracts the savings from lower administrative costs, lower reimbursements for medical services, and lower drug prices. That number would drop to $7.35 trillion if Sanders' plan were implemented, the study found.
However, the plan includes a key cost-saving feature that would save the government billions of dollars over 10 years through reduced prescription costs.
Sanders' plan would require enormous tax increases in order for the government to replace what employers and consumers now pay for health care.
Also called "single-payer" over the years, Medicare for all reflects a longtime wish among liberals for a government-run system that covers all Americans. It also banks on saving trillions by streamlining administration. "Even doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes wouldn't cover this cost".
But other provisions would tend to drive up spending, including coverage for almost 30 million uninsured people, no deductibles and copays, and improved benefits, including dental, vision and hearing. He assumes administrative costs will only drop from 13 percent to 6 percent for those now privately insured.
The study found USA health care spending under Sanders' plan would drop over time - about $300 billion lower in 2031. Most U.S. spending on health care is done through the private sector. "A Medicare for All health care system would save the average family significant sums of money", Mr Sanders said.
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