Study: ‘Medicare for all’ projected to cost $32.6 trillion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a study by a university-based libertarian policy center.

That’s trillion with a “T.”

The latest plan from the Vermont independent would require historic tax increases as government replaces what employers and consumers now pay for health care, according to the analysis being released Monday by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia. It would deliver significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased demand for care would drive up spending, the analysis found.‘Medicare-for-all’-bill-estimated-at-$32.6-trillion


The question is why do we have Medicare for anyone?


The answer is that in a nominally democratic political system, entitlements are almost impossible to get rid of once established, no matter how bad they work in practice.


Won’t happen even at tenth of that cost but it will become a campaign issue for a while.


Actually, Sanders plan would transfer premium payments currently being paid to insurance companies, to a medicare tax to help cover the costs for expanding medicare.

In other words, you would no longer see premium payments deducted from your check, but medicare tax instead,.



When talking about Medicare for All, it is important to distinguish between two concepts: national health expenditures and federal health expenditures. National health expenditures refer to all health spending from any source whether made by private employers, state Medicaid programs, or the federal government. It is national health expenditures that, according to the report, will decline by $2.054 trillion.

Federal health expenditures refer to health spending from the federal government in particular. Since the federal government takes on nearly all health spending under Medicare for All, federal health expenditures will necessarily go up a lot, $32.6 trillion over the ten-year period according to Blahous. But this is more of an accounting thing than anything else: rather than paying premiums, deductibles, and co-pays for health care, people will instead pay a tax that is, on average, a bit less than they currently pay into the health care system and, for those on lower incomes, a lot less.

At first glance, it is strange that the Mercatus Center, which is libertarian in its orientation and heavily funded by the libertarian Koch family, would publish a report this positive about Medicare for All. The claim that “even the Koch organizations say it will save money while covering everyone” provides a useful bit of rhetoric for proponents of the policy.

But the real game here for Mercatus is to bury the money-saving finding in the report’s tables while headlining the incomprehensibly large $32.6 trillion number in order to trick dim reporters into splashing that number everywhere and freaking out. This is a strategy that already appears to be working, as the Associated Press headline reads: “Study: ‘Medicare for all’ projected to cost $32.6 trillion.”


It might be wise to take anything coming from a group named after the authors of French Revolution’s “Reign of Terror” with a grain or two of salt.


It’s not a group, it’s a magazine, and it isn’t coming from them, it’s coming from the Koch-funded libertarian think tank’s report that is the subject of this thread.


Over ten years.

Subtract from that the cost of uninsured people.


When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the support of Paul.


You can say that about any entitlement, but I’m not what the point of doing so is other than to reinforce a smug sense of superiority.


It seems to be a fairly common expression on these forums. These forums are where I first saw the expression and certainly one can’t argue that it does not apply to medicare.


Medicare is complicated in that the law is written to make it almost impossible for senior citizens to get health care without it. Opting out of it is a very expensive proposition.


Actually, many senior citizens have significant assets. Paid off houses, 401k funds, etc. Why should working people have to sacrifice so that someone else can inherit a house?

There is a simple solution that is consistent with the principle of subsidiarity. Let people provide their own care, then their family, then the Church, and if all else fails there is medicaid.


Or, you know, move to the system that insures tens of millions of currently-uninsured people while saving trillions of dollars.


Whenever I here someone offer a “simple solution”, I start to head for the hills.

Insurance is not health care. Nationalized health insurance systems control costs by rationing care, not by providing it.


You have a problem with solutions that follow the principle of subsidiarity?


I know, personal responsibility is so unpopular these days. Deep down most people are greedy and they don’t really care about anyone else but themselves.


And private health insurance systems control costs by letting tens of thousands of people die annually because they don’t have money. Also you should read the report that is the subject of this thread, they estimate increased health care utilization in their analysis. Sanders’ M4A bill provides more health care to tens of millions more people for $200 billion in savings a year.


So nobody dies under nationalized healthcare? One would think it more popular.

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