7.29.19 / Press Releases

Partnership Statement On Senator Harris’s Medicare For All Proposal

WASHINGTON – The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future issued the following statement today regarding Senator Kamala Harris’s (D-Calif.) Medicare for all proposal:

“The simple fact is, under this one-size-fits-all government-run system, Americans will be forced to pay more to wait longer for worse care,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, the Partnership’s executive director.  “No matter how candidates try to thread the needle, Medicare for all, Medicare ‘buy-in’ and the ‘public option’ would all lead to the same harmful consequences – including unaffordable tax increases, the elimination of consumer choice, threats to patients’ access to their doctors and treatments, and a diminished quality of care.  With 90 percent of Americans now covered and a majority satisfied with the care they receive, we should be building and improving upon that progress – not tossing it aside in order to start over from scratch with Medicare for all.” 

Senator Harris claims that her government-run health care system would not force families to pay more through higher taxes.  But as CNN recently reported, “[t]ax experts … say that you can’t raise enough money from taxing the rich and that the levies on all Americans may exceed the savings” supporters of Medicare for all promise.  “There’s no possible way to finance [Medicare for all] without big middle class tax increases,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Marc Goldwein explained to The Washington Post.  Likewise, Bloomberg finds that under Medicare for all, “[f]or many Americans … higher taxes would exceed any savings.”

At New York Magazine, Eric Levitz recently took note the “fundamental incoherence” and “substantive absurdity” of Senator Harris’s position on Medicare for all, including her assertion that such a system could be implemented without middle-class tax increases.

Public opinion research shows that most Americans are well aware that they’d be hit with unaffordable tax hikes under the system Harris supports: “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 of a recent national poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  As Kaiser writes of their findings, “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.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that “[g]overnment surveys show that about 90% of the population has coverage, largely preserving gains from President Barack Obama’s years. Independent experts estimate that more than one-half of the roughly 30 million uninsured people in the country are eligible for health insurance through existing programs.

And public opinion research consistently shows that most Americans are satisfied with the coverage and care they and their families receive, with eight in 10 Americans surveyed by Gallup in December rating the care they receive as “good” or “excellent.”

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