Sen. Elizabeth Warren embarrassed herself at the Democratic debate on Wednesday when she declined, three times, to say whether or not her Medicare for All plan would raise taxes on the American middle class. Continually going back to a false song about how “costs” will go down for everyone other than the richest people in the country, Warren refused to acknowledge the plain and simple truth: A tax on the wealthy will not and cannot possible pay for the universal healthcare plan that she and other progressives are looking to implement.
If we needed further evidence of that, we now have it from a liberal think tank. The Urban Institute just did a study about how much Medicare for All would cost the country, and boy…hold on to your hats. According to their analysis, a universal healthcare program of this magnitude would cost us a whopping $34 trillion dollars over the next ten years.
Thirty. Four. Trillion.
When you get into astronomical price tags like that one, it’s hard to even conceive of the scope. But Phillip Klein of the Washington Examiner gave it a try: “To put that number in context, it would be more than 17 times what Obamacare added to federal spending in its first decade of full implementation. Between 2020 and 2029, the federal government is projected to collect $26.8 trillion in income taxes from individuals and corporations — thus, doubling income taxes on individuals and businesses would still leave a hole of over $7 trillion.”
So, we have a figure that is 17 TIMES the impact of a healthcare law that literally drove people out into the streets with Boston Tea Party hats and banners? Awesome. What could go wrong if the federal government were to try and implement something of this magnitude? Something that poses – and we do not say this lightly – an existential threat to the economy and to the welfare of the middle class. We will see chaos.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will no doubt reject this think tank’s price tag, just as they did two years ago when the same Urban Institute pegged the cost of Medicare for All at a relatively cheap $32 trillion over ten years. But the truth is that there are potentially harmful effects to this policy that aren’t even considered by the study. As Klein points out, the Sanders plan does not account for many damaging real-world effects:
It’s also worth noting that this estimate assumes the new government-run plan would be able to pay close to Medicare rates to doctors and hospitals, which are less than what they are paid by private insurance. But if that were the case, it would cause massive disruption to medical providers who could find it unprofitable to operate, thus creating access problems just as tens of millions of people would be gaining unlimited coverage. Were payment rates to be higher, the $34 trillion price tag would go up.
Warren, Sanders, and any other Democrat proposing Medicare for All are pitching a pipe dream to young Americans who don’t know any better. They will expand health coverage, yes, but they will do so at the grave expense of both quality and quantity. You want to talk about “death panels?” They’ll become a reality under this dystopia.
But by then, the average American’s will to live may be greatly diminished anyway.