11.1.19 / Press Releases

Partnership Statement On Unaffordable Costs Of Medicare For All

WASHINGTON – The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future issued the following statement after presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released an unaffordable plan for a one-size-fits-all government-controlled health insurance system: 

“No matter what any candidate claims, the unaffordable costs of Medicare for All mean working families would have to pay higher taxes,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, executive director of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.  “This has been confirmed not only by economists, but by the bill’s own author, who acknowledges that its tax hikes would need to hit Americans making as little as $29,000 a year.  And Senator Warren’s own plan would slam American workers with nearly $9 trillion in new taxes.  With roughly 90 percent of Americans covered today and millions more eligible for coverage under the existing law of the land, lawmakers should build and improve upon what’s working and come together to fix what’s broken – not start over from scratch with an unaffordable one-size-fits-all system, controlled by politicians that forces Americans to pay more and wait longer for lower-quality care.”

new analysis from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) warns that Medicare for All “would require aggressive changes in taxes, spending or borrowing,” adding that “the middle class would be forced to shoulder some of the burden,” Axios reports.  “No matter how you cut the numbers, there is absolutely no way to pay for Medicare for all without tax increases — or spending cuts — on the middle class,” Marc Goldwein of CFRB told POLITICO.  “These policies would have massive economic impacts, reverberating far beyond health care,” Axios adds.  This tracks with a previous analysisreleased from CFRB which warns that “fully offsetting the cost would require higher taxes on the middle class.” 

“[Medicare for All] is extremely difficult if not impossible to pay for by taxing the rich alone, according to both liberal and conservative economists,” The Washington Post confirms.  That’s because “analysts on both the political right and left have estimated [Medicare for All], which [Senator Elizabeth] Warren has said she wholly backs,could cost more than $30 trillion over a decade.  By comparison, the overall federal government spent about $4 trillion last year,” The Post reports.

Shedding additional light on some of these new unaffordable costs, a recent study from the Urban Institute finds “that federal spending on health care would increase by roughly $34 trillion under a single-payer plan similar to Medicare for All,” CNN reports.  Ronald Brownstein of The Atlantic notes that the “eye-popping” cost is “more than the federal government will spend over the coming decade on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined.”

Bloomberg previously reported that “for many [Americans], higher taxes would exceed any savings … [T]he 181 million taxpayers with employer-sponsored coverage could miss out on the benefits of [Medicare for All], and even those receiving Medicaid could pay more, according to health-care policy experts on both sides of the political spectrum … [A] wealth tax, a bank levy and premiums paid by employers and employees … only raises about half of what is needed, meaning that payroll taxes and income tax increases would necessarily have to be part of the plan.”

And, “economists say that most taxpayers would pay more in taxes than they would save from having the federal government absorb the cost of health-care premiums,”The Post also reports.  Additionally, “71% of households with private insurance would wind up paying more than they would under the current system,” Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of the health policy and management department at Emory University, told The Wall Street Journal.

The simple fact is, “[t]here’s no possible way to finance [Medicare for All] without big middle class tax increases,” Marc Goldwein of CRFB previously explained to The Washington Post.

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