Does Bernie Sanders' health plan cost $33 trillion - or save $2 trillion?

In a statement US Senator Bernie Sanders responded to the Mercatus Center report “This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a ‘Medicare for all’ program.”

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) pointed out in a video for Twitter, a study by the Mercatus Center - which is "significantly funded" by the Koch Brothers - found that, in a ten-year period, Medicare for All would save Americans $2 trillion.

US government health care spending would rise by $32.6 trillion over 10 years under the "Medicare for all" plan proposed by Sen. Single-payer systems in many European countries demonstrate that they can reduce overall national health spending, but that does not mean that a Democratic administration could implement one without incurring an vast political backlash, said Harold Pollack, a health-care expert at the University of Chicago.

The report, authored by Mercatus Center senior research strategist Charles Blahous, notes that if the Medicare-for-All plan is successful, it would lower administrative and drug costs by $2 trillion while cautioning "actual savings are likely to be less than assumed under these projections". Blahous says the report is his own work, not that of the Koch brothers. "I suspect that that is not what the Koch brothers meant to do, but that is what's in the study of the Mercatus Center". This past weekend, the Koch network held its biannual meeting in Colorado Springs, where it said it plans to rebrand itself ahead of the midterms.

And, they say, putting all Americans on one insurer would create a large-enough pool to force private health-care providers to charge less, while eliminating private insurers' spending on marketing and administrative overhead that do not improve health outcomes.

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a National Nurses United event in Washington, DC, on July 30, 2015. Analysis by the libertarian Mercatus Center projects that under Sanders' plan, "federal healthcare commitments would equal approximately 10.7 percent of GDP in 2022" and then rise to almost 12.7 percent of GDP in 2031.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a health care rally on September 22, 2017 in San Francisco.

After taking into account current government healthcare financing, the study estimated that doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes would not fully cover the additional costs.

"I don't look at this report and say it is a partisan hack job: The basic idea the Sanders plan would require a substantial increase in federal budget outlays is correct", Pollack said.

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"Medicare for All" would diminish the role of the insurance industry while building on Medicare to cover all USA residents without requiring copays or deductibles, the Associated Press reports. The government is only one piece of the health system's puzzle.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks on health during an event on Capitol Hill, Sept. 13, 2017 in Washington.

A new study that puts an astronomical price tag on a Medicare-for-all proposal has prompted mockery from conservatives and defensive cries from liberals.

"This is a right-wing think tank, and even they found that Medicare-for-All would save money compared to the current system", he said.

While writing for Business Insider, Bryan also said, "The study contains assumptions, and there are numerous political and practical concerns in shifting the burden of healthcare payments to the federal government".

"I've never worked at a place where scholars were more independent and free of outside interest", he said. He assumes administrative costs will only drop from 13 percent to 6 percent for those now privately insured.

What that translates to is what Medicare for All advocates have been saying all along: Under a single-payer system, Americans would get more quality care for more people at less cost.

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