Medicare for All bill could cost $32 trillion, study says

The study claimed the proposed bill would add tens of trillions of dollars to federal spending.  

ARLINGTON –– The proposed "Medicare for all" bill would add more than $32 trillion to the federal budget over 10 years, according to a July study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

In his findings, the study's author Charles Blahous noted the increase in federal health care commitments would rise from 10.7 percent to 12.7 percent over a decade.

"Medicare for all" would expand the range of services covered by federal insurance, including vision, dental and hearing benefits, but also dramatically expand the demand for services, the study noted.

"Throwing out the current system and moving to one that relies solely on government provided care would restrict options, limit access, reduce the quality of care, stifle innovation, and put decisions regarding our health care in the hands of politicians in Washington," Erik Smith, a spokesperson for the Partnership for American's Health Care Future, said in a statement provided to Tennessee Business Daily.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who proposed the plan, said the upfront costs of the bill would be approximately $1.3 trillion. In a video statement, Sanders criticized the study as sponsored by the conservative Koch brothers. 

While the plan would increase the demand for healthcare services while cutting payments to providers, it is still unknown how providers would react to such losses, according to the Mercatus Center study.

Blahous said even doubling federal individual and corporate income taxes would not be enough to finance the added costs. He added his numbers were conservative, assuming the bill would achieve the stated goal of reducing payments to health care providers.

The Mercatus Center describes itself as the "world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas."

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George Mason University The Mercatus Center United States Senate

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