1.17.20 / Updates

New PLOS Survey Provides A Biased And Flawed Overview Of Medicare For All

PLOS Survey Is A Selective Review Of Prior Studies From Single Payer Proponents

  • The authors of the PLOS survey used a flawed and incomplete review process that only included studies supporting implementation of Medicare for All, rather than comprehensively and objectively examining the significant economic impact and other negative tradeoffs of single-payer proposals.
  • The PLOS survey included 22 studies, more than half of which were written by the same four authors, some of which dated back to 1991.
  • The PLOS survey excluded 35 studies of single payer proposals.

The Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Found Medicare For All Would Reduce Access To Care And Eliminate Choice For Consumers, While Dramatically Increasing Federal Spending At A Time Of Record Deficits And Debt 

  • CBO Found Implementing Medicare Reimbursement Rates Under Medicare For All Could Lead To Longer Wait Times, Reduced Access To Care, And Provider Shortages. (“Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System,” Congressional Budget Office, 5/1/19)
  • According To CBO, Americans Would Not Be Able To Choose Their Insurer And Provider, And Benefits Under A Medicare For All Plan Might Not Address The Needs Of Many Americans.  (“Answers to Questions for the Record Following a Hearing Conducted by the House Committee on the Budget: Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System,” Congressional Budget Office, 12/20/19)
  • CBO Stated, “Government Spending On Health Care Would Increase Substantially Under A Single-Payer System Because The Government (Federal Or State) Would Pay A Large Share Of All National Health Care Costs Directly.” (“Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System,” Congressional Budget Office, 5/1/19)

Financing Medicare For All Would Require Significant Tax Increases On Individuals And Businesses

  • Medicare For All Would Be Financed Through Increasing Individual And Corporate Taxes, As Well As Payroll And Consumption Taxes. (“Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System,” Congressional Budget Office, 5/1/19)
  • The Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB) Found Implementing Medicare For All Would Require Higher Taxes On The Middle Class. (“Would Medicare For All Require A Middle-Class Tax Hike?” Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget, 10/22/19)
  • CFRB: Medicare For All Would Increase Government Spending By 60 Percent And Require Tripling Payroll Taxes And Doubling Other Taxes For Financing A $34 Trillion Single-Payer System. (“How Much Will Medicare for All Cost?” Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget, 2/27/19)

Medicare For All Would Disrupt The Coverage 180 Million Receive Through Private Insurance

  • Medicare For All Would Replace All Private Insurance With A Government-Run Health Care System, Eliminating the Current Coverage Of 180 Million Americans Who Receive Insurance Through Their Employer, The Highly Popular Medicare Advantage Program, Medicaid Managed Care And The Individual Exchanges. (Pollitz, Neuman, Tolbert, Rudowitz, Cox, Claxton, and Levitt, “What’s The Role of Private Health Insurance Today and Under Medicare-for-all and Other Public Option Proposals,” Kasier Health News, 7/20/19)

Medicare For All Would Destabilize The Health Care Workforce And Harm The U.S. Economy

  • Medicare For All “Could Have A Significant Negative Impact On The Adequacy Of The Country’s Health Care Workforce, Access To Care, And, Ultimately, Patient Outcomes.” (“Medicare For All And The Future Of America’s Healthcare Workforce,” FTI Consulting, 1/13/20)
  • The Reduction Of Physicians “Would Be Felt Most Acutely In Rural Communities Already Experiencing Access Challenges … Shortages Of Healthcare Workers In Rural Areas Widen Existing Health Disparities And Contribute To Hospital Closures.” (“Medicare For All And The Future Of America’s Healthcare Workforce,” FTI Consulting, 1/13/20)
  • Shifting The Entire U.S. Population To Medicare Would Result In An Estimated 16 Percent Cut To Spending On Patient Care Provided By Physicians.” (“Medicare For All And The Future Of America’s Healthcare Workforce,” FTI Consulting, 1/13/20)

PLOS Ignores States’ Failures To Finance And Implement A Single-Payer System

  • Colorado, Massachusetts, And Vermont Failed Creating A Single-Payer System Due To The High-Cost Of Implementation. (Hunter & Kendall, “Single-Payer Health Care: A Tale of 3 States,” Third Way, 7/17/19)
  • In Colorado, Implementation Of A Single-Payer System Would Require A Budget Of $36 Billion A Year — $10 Billion Larger Than The Entire 2017 State Budget.  (“ColoradoCare: An Independent Analysis—Finances,” Colorado Health Institute, 8/1/16)
  • In Massachusetts, Analysis Of The State’s Total Health Care Spending Revealed Implementing A Single-Payer System Would Require An Increase In The State’s Budget Of More Than 50 Percent. (Hunter & Kendall, “Single-Payer Health Care: A Tale of 3 States,” Third Way, 7/17/19)
  • Vermont Attempted To Implement A Single-Payer System But Failed After Analysis Revealed It Would Have Required A 151 Percent Increase In Total State Taxes. (“Green Mountain Care: A Comprehensive Model for Building Vermont’s Universal Health Care System”, State of Vermont, 12/30/14)

Even The Public Option Proposal Would Disrupt Health Care for Millions of Americans

  • Even a Public Option Would Force Up To Two Million Americans Off Their Existing Health Care Coverage And Leave Close To Eight Million Without A Private Coverage Option – Without Meaningfully Expanding Coverage To The Uninsured. (“Assessing the Impact of a Public Option on Market Stability and Consumer Choice,” FTI Consulting, 11/18/19)
  • The Public Option Could Put More Than 1,000 Rural U.S. Hospitals Serving More Than 60 Million Americans In 46 States “At High Risk Of Closure.” (Jeff Goldsmith and Jeff Leibach, “The Potential Impact Of A Medicare Public Option On U.S. Rural Hospitals And Communities,” Navigant, 8/7/19)
  • Medicare-X, A Medicare Buy-in Proposal, Would Negatively Impact The Ability Of Hospitals And Health Systems To Continue To Provide Access To High-Quality Care To Their Patients And Communities. (Koenig, Saavoss, Soltoff, Demiralp & Xu, “The Impact Of Medicare-X Choice On Coverage, Healthcare Use, And Hospitals,” KNG Health Consulting, LLC, 3/12/19)
  • Another Public Option Proposal, Medicare For America, Could Disrupt The Access To Care Millions Of Americans Rely On Through Their Employer-Sponsored Insurance And Cause Health Care Spending To Increase Due To Higher Health Care Utilization. (Saavoss, Koenig, Demirapl, Nair, & Sheriff, “The Impact of Medicare for America on the Employer Market and Health Spending,” KNG Health Consulting, Inc, 10/22/19)

Americans Want To Keep And Build On Their Current Coverage

  • 94% Of Medicare Beneficiaries Satisfied With Medicare Advantage Plans. (“New Poll: Medicare Advantage Satisfaction Soars to Record 94%,” Better Medicare Alliance, 11/18/19)
  • 55% of Democrats Want To Build on The Affordable Care Act. (“Poll: Most Democrats Prefer a Presidential Candidate Who Wants to Build on the Affordable Care Act,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/12/19)
  • A Morning Consult and Bipartisan Policy Center poll found, “[i]mproving the current health-care system received the most support among voters, far more than repealing Obamacare or adopting ‘Medicare-for-All.’” (“2020 Health Care Priorities,” Morning Consult and Bipartisan Policy Center, 1/8/20)

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