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Bernie Sanders Says Medicare for All Would Cost Jaw-Dropping $40 Trillion Dollars

Bernie Sanders Says Medicare for All Would Cost Jaw-Dropping $40 Trillion Dollars

“Sanders’ astronomical estimate aligns with a Mercatus Center study conducted last year”

Bernie Sanders was interviewed by the Washington Post on Tuesday and when asked what the price of his Medicare-for-all plan would be, he casually answered that it would be 30 to 40 trillion over ten years.

Oh, is that all?

The NTK Network reports:

Bernie Sanders Admits Medicare for All Would Cost Up to $40 Trillion

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) admitted during an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday that Medicare for All, his preferred government-run health care system, could cost up to $40 trillion over a 10-year span.

he Washington Post’s Robert Costa asked Sanders to put a number on what his proposal might cost.

“Somewhere between $30 trillion and $40 trillion over a 10-year period,” Sanders responded.

Sanders’ astronomical estimate aligns with a Mercatus Center study conducted last year that pegged the 10-year cost to be about $32.6 trillion.

A senior research strategist from Mercatus testified before Congress and said that “doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax would be insufficient to finance” Medicare for All.

Sanders typically avoids direct discussions about the costs associated with Medicare for All. Frequently, he qualifies the massive price tag by noting that Medicare for All eliminates premiums, co-pays, and other costs associated with the current system.

Watch the video:

During the same interview, Sanders admitted that this would raise taxes on the middle class, explaining that healthcare isn’t free. Wait. It isn’t?

It’s worth noting that not everyone on the left is for this idea.

Joe Lockhart was White House press secretary under Bill Clinton. He writes at CNN:

Medicare for All is a political loser

The debate among the Democratic presidential candidates about universal health coverage calls to mind a couple of political truths. First, most things that sound too good to be true are, in fact, not true. Second, if you want to take away a public benefit, you’d better have a good replacement for it first.

Three candidates are for full-blown Medicare for All, which means eliminating all employer-provided private insurance. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Bill de Blasio argue that only this fundamental restructuring of our health care system will cover all Americans. The idea seems popular on the surface. According to a poll from the Kaiser Foundation, 56% of Americans say they support full Medicare for All. But when respondents are told important details about the plan — like how much it costs, and how it abolishes private insurance — that number slips.

In similar polls, when voters are presented with the full details of the Sanders and Warren plans, support falls dramatically. A poll done by David Binder for Third Way found a dramatic drop when factoring in the cost, the increase in payroll tax to pay for it, and the potential for the GOP-controlled Congress to have ultimate control of health care decisions including reproductive rights. That last piece of info drops support for the program to only 23% of Americans.

One of the issues I have with the entire argument over Medicare-for-all, is the way the numeric value of a trillion is thrown around. Most people don’t grasp the enormity of it:

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caseoftheblues | July 17, 2019 at 9:17 am

The left is certifiably insane….keep in mind this isn’t just for the US it’s for entire world we will provide care to if they get their open borders that they want even more than this….so double the costs. The country will be in Venezuela ruins in ten years.

    puhiawa in reply to caseoftheblues. | July 17, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    And they intend to use the IRS code to punish Americans who don’t comply.

      They’re soviets, after all. Lois Lerner and obama showed the way.

      Sanders is a corrupt bad joke. Like all useless fascists, he just wants his piece of the pie on the backs of the rest of us.

        jmccandles in reply to | July 18, 2019 at 9:01 am

        Vermont’s by way of Brooklyn N.Y.Barking Buffoon has made it his life’s work. First getting elected mayor the as congressman and then senator and now he want’s to be premiere.
        He has never held a working job but rather lived of the backs of the people thru the largess of government.

That’s more than a dollar a mile to Alpha Centauri.

Numbers. The Left doesn’t do numbers.

40T over ten years for a population of 325M is the equivalent of giving a family of four a $50,000 stipend every year to cover medical costs.

    bigskydoc in reply to Pachelbel. | July 17, 2019 at 11:18 am

    We already spend, approximately, $49,000 per family of four per year, so it’s a wash, in terms of overall per capita spending. It’s just a question of who the middle man is. Who does the premium collecting and payment distribution? It’s just a question of who you want responsible for the $3-4 trillion per year, private companies or the government.

    I don’t want the government responsible for health care, any more than the next, true conservative, but it’s not like this is some outrageous, astronomical increase in health care spending. It’s just what it costs to provide the level of healthcare that the American populous demands.

      txvet2 in reply to bigskydoc. | July 17, 2019 at 11:58 am

      When was the last time you saw the government bring in anything at anywhere near the estimated cost? If they estimate $40T, you can be sure that in the end there’ll be at least a $100T overrun.

        bigskydoc in reply to txvet2. | July 17, 2019 at 2:41 pm

        Sure, but that’s an entirely different argument from, “40 trillion over 10 years is an insane amount to pay for healthcare.” The numbers Sanders is quoting are entirely reasonable, in terms of what we currently pay.

        The reality is, if we keep Medicare payment rates the same, national expenditure on health care will actually drop. Medicare pays significantly less than private insurance, and, if Medicare is paying for all procedures etc at current rates, then total expenditures will go down. Of course, many practices and hospitals will go out of business, reducing access, and thus cost.

        The long-term net effect would be a significantly reduced level of care with hugely increased wait and travel times, especially for thos of us who reside in rural areas.

        Medicare would have to double what they currently pay me for me to stay in business. It would still be less than private insurance by about 40%, and I would take an income hit, but I could stay in business. This is actually doable under the 40 trillion number, but I highly doubt they are going to increase payment rates if/when they take over all of health care.

        Those of us in rural America will take a huge hit to our healthcare if this passes.

          Paul in reply to bigskydoc. | July 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm

          “Those of us in rural America will take a huge hit to our healthcare if this passes.”

          Then move to the city. All part of the globalist, Marxist plan…Agenda 21.

          txvet2 in reply to bigskydoc. | July 17, 2019 at 4:09 pm

          We can talk numbers all day, but the truth is none of us have the slightest idea at this point of what this would look like if implemented, how much it will cost or how it will be financed. Certainly it can’t be “free”, or the system would collapse in a matter of weeks or months. As I’m sure you agree and as other bad examples like NHS already demonstrate, the result will be huge waiting times for even the most urgent care and eventually more drastic measures like euthanasia. I’m sure you’d also agree that this isn’t about “health care” or the cost, but about total control of the populace, which means that cost will be controlled by the simple expedient of denying care to anyone mot on the approved list.

          You seem to be under the impression that you’ll still have some degree of independence. That isn’t what is going to happen. You’ll be working for the government and you’ll be paid what they want to pay you, unless you just quit or retire, which is what many will more than likely do – or, unless you find yourself a slot caring for the rulers and their bureaucrats. Those will be far better paid. There will be little to no incentive for anybody to spend years in medical school to replace you. No matter what they call it, it won’t be Medicare as it now exists – it’ll be some version of the NHS or worse.

      ConradCA in reply to bigskydoc. | July 17, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      That’s double what we paid before ObamaCare.

    MajorWood in reply to Pachelbel. | July 17, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    As my old boss at Hopkins put it, “if you think medicine is expensive now, just wait until it is free.” Just plot out health care costs as a % of GDP for the last 40 years and you’ll be able to see the future.

LeftWingLock | July 17, 2019 at 9:39 am

The US Government just needs to print 4 trillion of new money every year and the problem is solved. (NOTE: Don’t print 4 trillion dollar bills because it would be hard to find someone who could make change.)

    Massinsanity in reply to LeftWingLock. | July 17, 2019 at 10:07 am

    You may be joking but this is a big part of how they intend to pay for it. Its no coincidence that nutty plans like Medicare for All and the GND are becoming popular on the left at the same time their accomplices in academia are out peddling Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) which states that there is little risk for governments to simply print as much money as they want in their own currency. It’s tight there in the GND proposal.

    The thought process in part stems from the fact that the Fed printed trillions to bail out the banks so why not print trillions to pay for free shit for everyone else.

We are already spending $3.5 trillion a year in health care costs, or about $11k per person. Kick out all the illegals and Bernie’s $4 trillion per year would probably go down to $3.5 trillion.

I would be willing to go along with Bernie’s plan in exchange for kicking out all the illegals.

    txvet2 in reply to mrboxty. | July 17, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    That sort of bargain by squishy Republicans over the past century is how we got where we are. Chinese and Democrats have this in common: They’ll promise you anything to get you to agree to their agenda, and then they’ll forget all about keeping their side of the bargain. The illegals will simply be given “amnesty” and voila, they won’t be illegal anymore.

No problem. Just issue four 10-trillion dollar bills. It will save hundreds in paper costs alone. We’ll call them “Bernies”.

Albigensian | July 17, 2019 at 9:58 am

But depending on what it’s intended to be or do, it might cost a whole lot more.

A basic problem in expanding Medicare is that Medicare rates are set on the assumption that others will pay more. There’s some debate over whether Medicare at least covers marginal costs, but, most likely it does. And that’s enough so long as there are others who will pay more.

Consider a business (even if a non-profit is not actually a business, many seem to act as though they are). Businesses have fixed costs, and variable costs. That motel needs to pay at least some staff, keep the lights on, maintain the building, pay taxes even if it has zero occupancy.

A hospital (for example) has some very high fixed costs, which it must pay even if it has only one patient. But then there are variable costs, the additional cost of providing services to each additional patient (or customer).

In general, a business is better off accepting a customer who is willing to pay more than the marginal cost of serving that customer, even if that doesn’t cover any of the fixed costs (and so long as one doesn’t permit those willing and able to pay more to pay less). BUT, a business can’t survive on customers who pay just above marginal costs as it still has fixed costs to cover.

And that’s where Medicare comes in: it tries to pay just above providers’ marginal costs. But although it’s always in the providers financial interest to accept any will to pay at rates above marginal costs, providers still need to cover their (often large) fixed costs.

The present medical system could not survive if everyone paid Medicare rates; therefore, “Medicare for all” costing must either include the assumption that Medicare rates to providers will rise substantially or, the assumption must be that costs can somehow be significantly decreased. (For example, the medical sector could be allowed to shrink substantially if demand were reduced via rationing.)

No doubt this sort of analysis is no political answer against shouts/demands for “Medicare for all!!”, as the simple-minded, thought-less assumption is, “Why not? If you can do it for some then why not for me?”

Nonetheless, any reasonable analysis should deal with the reality that today’s medical system couldn’t survive if all patients were to pay Medicare prices.

    bigskydoc in reply to Albigensian. | July 17, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Exactly, Medicare pays my specialty 30 percent of what private insurance pays. It doesn’t cover the marginal cost of business. If all of my patients were suddenly paying me at Medicare rates, I would have to close my practice and declare personal bankruptcy.

      Petrushka in reply to bigskydoc. | July 17, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      I’m not sure Medicare pays only 30 percent of what private insurers pay. Have you ever seen what private insurers pay? It’s kind of a secret.

      I’ve priced surgery under a number of scenarios. I eventually got old enough for Medicare. They paid a fraction of what was billed, but it was not much below what was quoted if I paid cash up front.

      Some providers like Medicare because they pay immediately, whereas private insurers jerk the hospital around for 90 days or so.

        bigskydoc in reply to Petrushka. | July 17, 2019 at 2:14 pm

        Have I ever seen what private insurance pays? Yep. In fact, you might say that I have a pretty solid handle on exactly what each privat insurance company pays me, and how it differs from what Medicare pays me. Medicare pays 30 percent of the blended private insurance rate, and it’s a huge problem in my specialty.

        Medicare pays right away, with no argument? I wish.

        One of the reason we can offer so much lower cash rates is that we don’t have to pay our billing company to fight with the insurance company, or medicare, for payment.

      Barry in reply to bigskydoc. | July 17, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Well Doc, you just don’t get it:

      You’re overpaid. Our Mediscare medical board for physician wage reduction will fix all that. We estimate you could live on 25% of your current pay. Besides, we no longer require so many doctors as the population has become remarkably healthier since we introduced the award winning cost containment plan that replace the doctor with a kiosk where you answer a series of questions and we tell you what to do*.
      *90+% of those answers result in the person returning home with no further action warranted.

What never gets discussed is the level of care this $40 trillion will purchase. Would everyone have unfettered access to unlimited provider visits, diagnostic testing, treatments, and hospitalization? If so, how many specialists, general physicians, and associates will be needed to provide this care and how will their salaries be calculated? If not, who decides the limit of care a particular individual will receive? What number and type of medical facilities will be required? How will those be funded? So many questions…and no discussion about specifics. Just a cute phrase, “Medicare for All”, without any serious consideration of what that actually means.

Oh, that’s okay. It’s going to be someone else’s money.

Getting medical is just one step in bankrupting the country to pave the way for their fascist/Marxist takeover.

They don’t care what the stated cost is as their goal is not to provide medical care.

The disease is progressive prices, and shared or shift responsibility that has left the population with a progressive condition. Medicare for all (or Medicaid for all a la Obamacare) is, at best, a salve or drug to treat the symptoms, and, at worst, an opportunistic disease.

texansamurai | July 17, 2019 at 10:45 am

what does bernie care?–more than likely, he’s not even going to be around in ten years–why not save all of us some $$$ and aggravation and have him committed now?–there’s got to be a home somewhere that accepts demented fools with a grandiose sense of self-importance–seems the practical solution in his case

johnny dollar | July 17, 2019 at 10:50 am

According to the trustees of the Social Security system, Medicare is already burdened with 40 trillion dollars or so of “unfunded liabilities”. What this means, I take it, is that $40,000,000,000,000 of healthcare promises have been made without any means of paying for them.
Adding another 40 trillion or so to this total would guarantee economic collapse.
I am still waiting for any of these candidates to address the looming issue of unfunded liabilities. I believe Social Security has another 20 trillion or so of unfunded liabilities as well.

Hmmm, if Bernie was actually working secretly for Trump to ensure DJT’s reelection…what would he be saying and doing differently?

    Paul in reply to MarkJ. | July 17, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I think all the Dims are betting on the fact that the Overton Window has moved so far to the left that they are safe dropping the Marxist masks they’ve worn for so many years. This is the “fundamental transformation” that Jugears crowed about.

Medicare for All eliminates premiums, co-pays, and other costs associated with the current system.

This is a lie. Medicare is insurance, and not very generous insurance at that. Patients still have premiums and co-pays. Routine surgical outpatient procedures like hernia operations or nasal polyp removals can still cost a patient thousands of dollars. It all depends on what Medicare happens to feel like covering, and the patient has absolutely no control over that. Another cute Medicare trick is that it sometimes decides that it’s out of money for the year, and after that it pays nothing. That one happens with prescription medication coverage.

Bernie’s casual $40 trillion actually buys pretty minimal coverage. I suspect voters would howl if they realized just how minimal.

    Petrushka in reply to tom_swift. | July 17, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    I had hernial surgery under Medicare. It got complicated. The hospital billed Medicare $50,000, and Medicare paid a bit over $5000. My co-pay was $500.

    Other things, like eye surgery, have been similar in price structure. Cataract surgery cost me about $200 per eye. Plus some expensive eyedrops, for which I had no coverage.

    I also pay about $250 a month for two people for Part B.

    I wonder what the national price would be if everyone had this deal. $120 per month per person, plus a co-pay. Plus another $100 per month for supplemental.

    When they talk about Medicare for all, they obviously aren’t talking about Medicare.

    mrzee in reply to tom_swift. | July 17, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    That’s only true until the government decides to ban physicians from charging more than the government is willing to pay. The’s what they did in Canada.

Bitterlyclinging | July 17, 2019 at 12:27 pm

“There’s plenty of money out there. All we have to do is take it”

South Africa’s not too far behind.

The cost will be far greater. What this fool did was simply multiply out the current Medicare enrollment.But Medicare is actually insurance and in order to get full insurance 2 additional plans are common…B and Advantage, a private policy. With these two plans eliminated, you have a level of coverage that is basically free clinic or emergency room. Further, the compensation level is such that every single hospital and clinic will be losing money in months. That will necessitate expenditures to support them. That in turn will lead to rationing because only large hospitals will subsidized.Likewise, doctors salaries will be rationed. And then the doctors will open up practices that take no Medicare patients and accept only cash. Of course this will be outlawed, and do elderly doctors will retire….and others will move their practices to Mexico. A trend already in progress.
Then there are the 2 million jobs in the insurance sector, lost when the firms declare bankruptcy. The unpaid property taxes, the unemployment insurance etc.

And what just happened to Finland because of universal healthcare?

People, especially political pundits continue to view the current political actions as adhering to traditional modern politics. However, everything changed in 2016, with the election of DJT.

For 100 years rich, Progressives have been working to fundamentally change the United States in order to allow for a global society controlled, by, well, them.

The Obama decade was the run-up to the complete transformation of this country, in such a way as to marginalize [read destroy] it. A return to tribalism, with class, racial, gender, ethnic and economic warfare. The continued destruction of American manufacturing and business. The transformation of American educational institutions into re-education camps. The destruction of American society by unfettered third world immigration. Increased US debt. The expansion of the control of the populous through the expansion of social welfare programs, especially Obamacare. The active destabilization of the Middle East. The sponsoring of domestic genocide through Planned Parenthood. And the list goes on.

The problem that the liberal Progressives face is the populous. The populous elected Trump. And, Trump, despite the lies spread by the propagandist media, has delivered an the vast majority of his promises. He has delivered on all of those which do not require the cooperation of the Quislings in the US Congress. And, because of that, he will likely be reelected, unless wholesale Democrat vote and voter fraud occurs. And, do not think for a single second that the Progressive do not know this.

So, the liberal Progressives HAVE to remove or eliminate Trump. They can beat Pense, not Trump. So, everything becomes an impeachable offense. But, if that does not work, they have to set the stage for armed insurrection in this country. The Democrat base is being promised virtually everything for free. Free health care. Free education. Free lodging. And they are being threatened with death from global warming unless the entire economy is destroyed. If DJT gets elected, all of that will go away. And, the lunatic base is expected “feel” this loss and rebel. In the meantime, we will see more acts of domestic terrorism, supported by the left and the Dems. We will an enhanced effort to fragment our populous along racial, gender, class and sexual orientation lines. We will the efforts to marginalize the majority in this country continue. The Progressives do not want to control the US. They seek to destroy it.

    txvet2 in reply to Mac45. | July 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Not to be a “grammar Nazi”, but that word keeps clanking against my brain like somebody ringing a cowbell next to my ear. “Populace”.

Another problem with programs such as this is the same as any public assistance program. It creates two classes, rich and poor and denies most from EVER rising out of poverty due to the progressive income tax. Rising employees are the most affected by the tax rates, starting a business will be financially and regulatory prohibitive especially if you add “common sense” progressive environmental polices. You’ll be left with the politicians, the already wealthy, the unionized government employees, and we the poor tax farm= everyone else.

“Then there are the 2 million jobs in the insurance sector, lost when the firms declare bankruptcy. The unpaid property taxes, the unemployment insurance etc.”

The private insurance industry already administers Medicare and Medicaid. They would probably become more profitable.

So it’s 40T$ … and when was the last time the cost of anything was not underestimated by anyone in government?

You are correct. The correct word would by populace, not populous. Thank you for pointing that out.

However, Adolph. It might be helpful if you would offer a brief explanation as to exactly what you are talking about, so that those of us without telepathic powers can more easily discern what W.O.H. you are trying to get across. Communication skills are key.

    tom_swift in reply to Mac45. | July 17, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Communication skills are key.

    Does those skills include basic proofreading?

    txvet2 in reply to Mac45. | July 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    It would help, when responding to my comment, if you would post it as a response. You seem to have a habit of posting responses as individual comments further down the thread. Not that it’s a flaw or a flaw or an error, (is that obsequious enough?) it just makes it easier to respond.

    I assume the intelligence of the vast majority of people who comment here, so I rarely go into excruciating detail on those things I consider obvious, deferring to their ability to reason and conclude. And I was correct. You got it right away. I admit I’m not familiar with the term W.O.H., you didn’t specify what part of my comment was unclear to you and I don’t see anything that would be unclear, so I’m afraid I can’t clarify further.

These Dems/Progs don’t care. It’s not real money, and it’s not their money. Besides their healthcare will be better than the masses and you will pay for it.