Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has not let up in his push for single-payer health care—and some state legislators are matching his proposal.
Earlier this year, Sanders introduced a big and comprehensive “Medicare for All” proposal that would create a government-controlled health care system at the national level. The plan has gained momentum among Senate Democrats, but has also slammed into a fiscal reality check.
Three independent estimates from a diverse range of health care economists and policy analysts have highlighted the enormous additional cost of Sanders’ proposal. The liberal Urban Institute estimated that the 10-year costs would amount to a stunning $32 trillion, while the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University put the cost at $32.6 trillion.
Professor Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, used a different set of assumptions and set the 10-year price tag at$24.7 trillion.
Charles Blahous of the Mercatus Center said his own $32.6 trillion estimate made generous concessions for the purposes of calculation, and he accepted Sanders’ assumptions that the proposal would also generate savings, such as massive payment reductions to doctors and other medical professionals.
Blahous added that more realistic assumptions underlying estimates of the Sanders legislation would likely push the total taxpayer price tag even higher than $32.6 trillion.