As the field of Democratic presidential contenders takes the debate stage over two consecutive nights this week, the high costs and inevitable middle-class tax hikes of a one-size-fits-all health care system will once again be in the spotlight. As The New York Times reported over the weekend, such a system “would not come cheaply.”
Asked how they would pay for their preferred plan, many called for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, starting with a repeal of the 2017 Republican tax cuts. The two biggest champions of single-payer Medicare for All, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, almost completely sidestepped the financing question; Mr. Sanders maintained that by wringing out of the system premiums, co-payments and the profits of the private insurance industry, his plan “would actually end up saving the American people trillions of dollars.”
However, while calling out Senator Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) “misleading” rhetoric, fact-checkers for The Washington Post wrote recently that “[a]ccording to a study from the Urban Institute (and a follow-up paper), Medicare-for-all would still add $32.6 trillion to national health spending over 10 years. The study goes on to state that Sanders’s proposed tax increase would be insufficient and that additional revenue would be needed.”
And while many Americans are just beginning to learn how a one-size-fits-all health care system would affect them, most are already aware of the high costs and massive tax hikes they’d be hit with. “There’s one thing Americans understand about Medicare-for-all: It would mean higher taxes … Americans seem most familiar with the fact that Medicare-for-all would require massively higher taxes,” The Washington Post reports.
As the Kaiser Family Foundation notes of their recent national poll, “eight in 10 Americans (78%) are aware that taxes would increase for most people under such a plan.” A previous national poll by Kaiser revealed that 60 percent oppose Medicare for all when they learn it would require most Americans to pay higher taxes.
And ultimately, these proposed government insurance programs would lead to the same result as Medicare for all: a one-size-fits-all health care system run by Washington that will force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.