Would Hit Middle Class Families With Higher Taxes, Eliminate Patient Choice & Control

WASHINGTON – The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing in the U.S. House Committee on Rules on Medicare for All legislation that would eliminate the foundations of American health care and start over from scratch with a one-size-fits-all health care system run by Washington bureaucrats:

“All Americans deserve access to quality, affordable health care – and that is exactly why Medicare for all is the wrong approach,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, the Partnership’s executive director.  “Our leaders should be building upon all that is working, not scrapping the foundations of American health care – including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid – and starting over from scratch with a one-size-fits-all system run by Washington bureaucrats.

“Unfortunately, that is exactly what this legislation would do – all while costing Americans trillions of dollars and forcing families to pay more through higher taxes.  If that weren’t enough, it would force all Americans – most of whom are satisfied with their care – off their current health coverage and put an end the choice, control and competition families enjoy today as the free market and public programs work together to cover roughly 90 percent of Americans.

“The result would be a single, one-size-fits-all system for every American – young or old, sick or healthy – that leads to longer wait times and a lower quality of care for everyone, while health care decisions are shifted away from doctors and patients to politicians and bureaucrats in Washington.

“More can and should be done to improve the way health care works for every American, but Medicare for all is the wrong path forward.  Instead, our elected leaders should use the powerful tools available to control costs and extend coverage to millions more Americans.  When it comes to our health care, let’s build and improve upon what works, and come together to fix what doesn’t.”

While the Medicare for all legislation being considered today notably “doesn’t include a price tag or specific proposals for financing the new system,” independent analyses conducted by both the liberal-leaning Urban Institute and the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimate that even a less expansive Medicare for all program would cost taxpayers approximately $32 trillion over 10 years.  As NBC News reports, such a system “requires a massive new source of tax revenue.”

The Washington Post reports that Medicare for all “would require tax hikes on middle class families,” a fact on which analysts agree.  In fact, the Mercatus Center warns that “doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes going forward would be insufficient to fully finance the plan,” while the centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) found that enacting Medicare for all “would mean increasing federal spending by about 60 percent (excluding interest)” and “would require the equivalent of tripling payroll taxes or more than doubling all other taxes.”

Today, roughly 90 percent of Americans are covered – more than at any time in our nation’s history.  U.S. Census data indicates that more than 217 million Americans benefit from private coverage – including 180 million who receive coverage through their employers and 10 million who shopped for coverage through the marketplaces last year.  More than 20 million seniors are enrolled in the popular Medicare Advantage program.

“Perhaps the greatest political danger for Democrats is that Medicare for all would disrupt coverage” for every one of those AmericansBloomberg notes, as public opinion research shows that a majority of Americans are satisfied with their coverage and care.

new national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that a majority of Americans want elected leaders to focus on “targeted actions” to improve and build upon what is working and fix what isn’t, and not scrap our existing health care system in favor of starting from scratch with Medicare for all.

In fact, Kaiser finds that most Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents “say they want Democrats in Congress to focus their efforts on improving and protecting the ACA,” while previous national polling by Kaiser reveals that Americans don’t support Medicare for all once they understand what it would mean for them.

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