WASHINGTON – In yet another “reality check” for supporters of a one-size-fits-all government-run health care system, Bloomberg reports that Medicare for all “would require across-the-board tax increases that would hit middle-earners as well as the wealthy, public policy analysts say.”
Raising the more than $30 trillion needed to fund [Senator Bernie] Sanders’s health plan over a decade would require doubling all personal and corporate income taxes or tripling payroll taxes, which are split between employees and employers, said Marc Goldwein, a senior vice president at the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “There is a lot of money out there, but there isn’t $30 trillion sitting around from high earners,” he said. “It just doesn’t exist.”
“Sanders hasn’t yet said how he plans to pay for his proposal,” Bloomberg notes, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that it “would significantly increase government spending and require substantial additional government resources.” The Washington Post has reported that Medicare for all “would require tax hikes on middle class families,” while national polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that six in 10 Americans oppose Medicare for all once they learn it forces families to pay more in taxes.
As Bloomberg also notes, “many Democrats have balked at the price tag for Sanders’ proposal,” whileThe Washington Post has reported that Democratic leaders are worried by Medicare for all proposals, which“require middle class tax hikes that will prove hurtful for economic growth and the party’s political fortunes.”
Just today, former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) joined a growing chorus of leading Democrats who are expressing serious concerns about Medicare for all, writing in an op-ed for The Washington Post that “most Americans are satisfied with the health care they receive and do not want their coverage options taken away and replaced with a one-size-fits-all government program,” adding: “Championing a health-care policy that threatens to close rural hospitals and limit patients’ access to vital services is not a winning message.”
Recently, President Barack Obama “warned a group of freshman House Democrats … about the costs associated with some liberal ideas popular in their ranks, encouraging members to look at price tags” in what was widely seen as “a cautionary note about Medicare-for-all,” The Washington Post reports.
Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly expressed her objection to repealing the foundations of American health care – including employer-provided coverage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare and Medicaid – and starting from scratch with Medicare for all, saying: “All I want is the goal of every American having access to health care … You don’t get there by dismantling the Affordable Care Act,” and exclaiming to Rolling Stone: “And by the way, how’s it gonna be paid for?”
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos said to The Hillthat “the $33 trillion price tag for Medicare for all is a little scary,” adding “it’s just hard to conceive how that would work,” and later doubled down on those remarks in an interview with CNN. And the Washington Examiner notes that “Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, also has drawn attention to the cost” of Medicare for all.