Democratic candidates for president Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are both running on a campaign to bring Medicare-for-All to the country, and neither of them have been particularly candid about how they will pay for it. Sanders, at least, admits that it will take a tax hike on the middle class to fund his $34 trillion proposal. Warren won’t even mention the word “taxes” outside of her proposal of a tax on the wealthiest billionaires in the country. Otherwise, she defaults to the term “costs,” promising that costs would be lowered for everyone outside of that very highest tax bracket.
But a new report says the numbers just don’t add up.
From Fox News:
A bipartisan budget watchdog released a report Monday detailing options for how the federal government could pay for “Medicare-for-All,” the health care plan popular with 2020 Democratic presidential contenders — and its findings show there would be no way to fund the expanded health program by simply raising taxes on the rich.
The report, published by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, examines a variety of potential ways to raise the estimated $30 trillion over 10 years necessary to fund “Medicare-for-All,” including a 32 percent payroll tax, a 25 percent income surtax and a 42 percent value-added tax. These methods could all raise $30 trillion, the report says, but there is no way for the federal government to bring in that much money simply by taxing rich people.
“There is not enough annual income available among higher earners to finance the full cost of ‘Medicare-for-All,'” it says. “On a static basis, even increasing the top two income tax rates (applying to individuals making over $204,000 per year and couples making over $408,000 per year) to 100 percent would not raise $30 trillion over a decade.”
An accompanying chart lists the tax-the-rich funding option as “IMPOSSIBLE.”
Warren and Sanders are selling the American people a bill of goods. Implementing their healthcare policy would mean disaster for the economy and personal destruction for millions of American families. You can talk all day long about the elimination of premiums and deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses; that may sound good for people who spend half the year at the doctor’s office, but it simply won’t balance the books for even relatively healthy individuals and families. Those people are going to pay for the sick in a way that makes Obamacare look like the height of liberty.
Are there ways to pay for Medicare-for-All without raising payroll taxes on the middle class? Sure, and this report considered those as well. The next Democratic president/Congress could slash Social Security and decimate the U.S. military budget to pay for their scheme. Or, if slashing federal spending by 80% doesn’t sound feasible, they could simply run a $30 trillion, ten-year deficit and destroy the American economy that way.
If Sanders and Warren want to campaign on Medicare-for-All, that’s fine and well. But the American public should know the truth about the ruination it will bring to our shores.