April 15, 2019 | Updates

Protecting Working Families Means Rejecting Medicare For All’s ‘Big Middle Class Tax Increases’

WASHINGTON – As Americans file their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on April 15, known by many as “Tax Day,” it is a good time to revisit what elected officials have said about the importance of supporting the nation’s working families, including protecting them from the burden of high taxes.

With some Members of Congress and 2020 presidential hopefuls now embracing Medicare for all-style proposals that would cost an estimated $32 trillion and “require tax hikes on middle class families,” it is more important than ever for elected leaders like Congressman Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) to keep their commitments to the middle class by rejecting these misguided policies that would hurt working families.

As a candidate and Member of the U.S. House, Pappas has made helping middle class Granite Staters a central part of his agenda, saying: “I think we’ve got to make sure that we have policies that … allow people to reach the middle class and stay there.”

  • And, to date, Pappas has chosen not to support Medicare for all proposals that would subject hard working families to tax increases.

“By continuing to reject Medicare for all-style proposals, Congressman Chris Pappas can keep his promise to middle class Granite Staters,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, executive director of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.  “While we can and must do more to make our health care system work better for all Americans, the mounting evidence continues to show that a costly, disruptive Medicare for all-style approach is not the best path forward for our nation.  Instead of eliminating our entire health care system and starting from scratch with a one-size-all government-run system, we urge Congressman Pappas and his colleagues to work together to protect and build upon what is working in American health care, while coming together to fix what isn’t.”

Adding weight to this point, a growing list of Democrats are expressing serious concerns about Medicare for all’s high costs that would be passed on to American families through higher taxes.

For instance, President Barack Obama last week “warned a group of freshman House Democrats … about the costs associated with some liberal ideas popular in their ranks, encouraging members to look at price tags” in what was widely seen as “a cautionary note about Medicare-for-all,” The Washington Post reports, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently exclaimed during an interview with Rolling Stone“And by the way, how’s it gonna be paid for?”

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos said recently to The Hill that “the $33 trillion price tag for Medicare for all is a little scary,” and later doubled down on those comments in an interview with CNN, while “Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, also has drawn attention to the cost,” the Washington Examiner notes.

Independent analyses conducted by both the liberal-leaning Urban Institute and the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimate that a Medicare for all program like the one Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed last year would cost taxpayers approximately $32 trillion over 10 years.

The Washington Post reports that “Medicare-for-all in particular would require tax hikes on middle class families,” while NBC News reports that implementing such a system “requires a massive new source of tax revenue.”  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, even under the assumption that provider payment rates are reduced by over 40 percent for treatment of patients now covered by private insurance.”

Similarly, 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 financing a $30 trillion program would require the equivalent of tripling payroll taxes or more than doubling all other taxes.

“There’s no possible way to finance even single-payer without big middle class tax increases,” Marc Goldwein, CRFB’s senior vice president, told The Washington Post.

Background Information:

Pappas: “I Think We’ve Got To Make Sure That We Have Policies That … Allow People To Reach The Middle Class And Stay There.” “Pappas continued to hammer home an economy-centric message in the campaign’s final days, telling ABC News ‘I think we’ve got to make sure that we have policies that can respond and ensure that we reward hard work and allow people to reach the middle class and stay there.’” (John Verhovek, “New Hampshire Could Elect Its First Openly Gay Congressman,” ABC News, 11/2/18)


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