Universal Health Care Is Cheaper Even By Conservatives’ Calculations

This week, the Mercatus Center, a libertarian organization financed by the Koch Brothers, released a study analyzing the monetary impact of the left’s “Medicare for All” proposal. The think tank’s finding was alarming: adopting universal health care in the United States would cost $32.6 trillion over the span of a decade!

Then again, a $32.6 trillion price tag for literally anything seems alarming – that’s unquestionably a lot of money. The more significant finding of the report that conservatives conveniently forgot to tout is that Medicare for All would actually save the U.S. $2 trillion in the same timeframe.

In other words, single-payer health care seems expensive because people don’t realize just how expensive the existing nightmare of a system is. By moving the costs over to the government, the system gets more efficient and prices for medications and services can be kept to a uniformly reasonable rate.

Moreover, the analysis also found that Medicare for All spending would decrease by about $300 billion per year after ten years. Once the system is up and running, it would get cheaper to operate – a trajectory that we’re not seeing right now with private companies at the helm.

After reading the report for himself, Senator Bernie Sanders got a kick out of seeing a partisan group attack his legislation, despite that the data pointed to it actually being a good idea. Sanders then tweeted, “Thank you, Koch brothers, for accidentally making the case for Medicare for All!”

Dr. Robert Graboyes, a senior researcher at the Mercatus Center, responded by saying that while $2 trillion might be possible under a single-payer system if all went according to the legislation’s plan, it wouldn’t necessarily pan out that way and the savings could be much lower.

Okay, let’s suppose the savings estimate is overly optimistic and it winds up costing the same amount as the current system. That’d still be a compelling reason to make the jump to Medicare for All given that it would literally give coverage to everyone. As it stands, we’re spending trillions on a system that excludes many and leaves others in life-long debt.

For all of the worry about the cost, let’s not forget that we’re already spending that money. Yes, taxes will need to increase to put the government in charge, but it’s not as if individuals and businesses aren’t collectively paying that to private companies. It shouldn’t be too complex for the average American to understand that while their taxes will increase a bit, that money is offset by not having to pay health care costs out of pocket or to insurance companies.

Jean Ross, president of the National Nurses Union, agrees. “What even this corporate-funded study concedes is that we can actually guarantee health care for everyone in this country, without the devastating rising costs of premiums, deductibles and co-pays at less than we spend as a nation today on health costs,” said Ross.

As other nations and this analysis have demonstrated, a single-payer system is absolutely possible – to pretend it can’t work is a deliberate choice. It’s not the sick who benefit under the existing American system, it’s the private insurance companies raking in major profits.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

53 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks for posting.

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Chad A
Chad A6 months ago

Thank you.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Thanks.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E7 months ago

@ Margaret G
I notice that brian f says to you "even IF you're right" which says to me he doesn't EVER check his sources and hopes any other member won't either and he hope some of his lies stick to that wall.
brian f voted FOR Ms. Clinton and the Democrats in 2016.
What is apparent here if he wanted "medicare for all" is that he is doing NOTHING towards promoting within whatever party he is loyal to today or sharing information here for members wanting to know it's benefits. It's called divisiveness nd he and david f are poster BOYS for it

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Winn A
Winn A7 months ago

That's a no brainer

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Brian F
Brian F7 months ago

Margaret G I beleive it was a year and a half, that Obama had a fillibuster proof Democratic majority, but even if you're right, the fact that most Democrats like Nancy Pelosi are very wealthy and refuse to support Medicare for all is really disgusting. The ACA that Obama gave us is a Republican healthcare plan and it gives our criminal healthcare industry too much power. Lieberman has always been a sellout who sold himself to our criminal healthcare industry, like most of the Democrats, so of course he would oppose Medicare for all. So the real problem here is why are the Democrats refusing to support Medicare for all that most people support. Of course we know why. It's because they're crooks like the Republicans.

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Margaret G
Margaret G7 months ago

Brian F. wrote that Obama had a filibuster proof majority for a year and a half. I believe that it was only a few months. furthermore, Senator Lieberman who was part of this majority, did not want single payer health care.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E7 months ago

david f
Here you go !!!
I'll just bet you have more but I also bet the citizens in the US would like affordable care for all.
They capable of doing their own research david because all YOU ever do is trash everybody and every other POV.
If I need to see MY family physician, I call in the morning and see her that same day..
Just stop it david. We've ALL been through this with you many times.

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David F
David F7 months ago

RHoberta E, 2017 Canadian wait times continue to increase, cheaper that way.
It is estimated that, across the 10 Canadian provinces, the total number of procedures for which people are waiting in 2017 is 1,040,791.
From referral by a general practitioner to consultation with a specialist. The waiting time in this segment increased from 9.4 weeks in 2016 to 10.2 weeks this year. This wait time is 177% longer than in 1993, when it was 3.7 weeks. The shortest waits for specialist consultations are in Ontario (6.7 weeks) while the longest occur in New Brunswick (26.6 weeks).

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/waiting-your-turn-wait-times-for-health-care-in-canada-2017

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