October 17, 2019 | Updates

ICYMI: ‘The Eye-Popping Cost Of Medicare For All’

WASHINGTON – After Medicare for all’s unaffordable costs and middle class tax hikes took center stage in this week’s presidential debate, Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic examines “eye-popping” new research showing that the new one-size-fits-all government-controlled system would cost “more than the federal government will spend over the coming decade on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined.”  He writes:

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to answer repeated questions at [Tuesday’s] debate about how she would fund Medicare for All underscores the challenge she faces finding a politically acceptable means to meet the idea’s huge price tag – a challenge that only intensified [this week] with the release of an eye-popping new study.

The Urban Institute, a center-left think tank highly respected among Democrats, is projecting that a plan similar to what Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders are pushing would require $34 trillion in additional federal spending over its first decade in operation.  That’s more than the federal government’s total cost over the coming decade for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections.

… The 10-year cost of $34 trillion that the study forecasts nearly matches the CBO’s estimate of how much money the federal government will spend over that period not only on all entitlement programs, but also on all federal income support, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program … But over the next decade, the plan on its own would represent a nearly 60 percent increase in total expected federal spending, from national defense to interest on the national debt, according to CBO projections.

… Taxes that can fill that big of a hole are not easy to identify.  Even by Warren’s own estimates, which some liberal economists consider too optimistic, her proposed wealth tax on personal fortunes exceeding $50 million would raise just $2.75 trillion over the next decade.  That’s less than what would be required to fund a single-payer plan for one year.

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