Even Libertarians Admit Medicare for All Would Save Trillions

"Let me thank the Koch brothers, of all people, for sponsoring a study that shows that Medicare for All would save the American people $2 trillion over a 10-year period", Sanders tweeted.

These changes would lead the USA government to control virtually all health spending in the United States - Sanders' plan would also cover dental care and vision care - in what may be the biggest increase in federal expenditures in history, according to Blahous. While the speaker fixated on a prediction by the author of the working paper that the Sanders plan would raise federal health-care spending by roughly $32.6 trillion between 2022 and 2031, economists who actually read the report focused on a far more salient detail.

Blahous, who was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration, said none of the critics have found anything fundamentally wrong with his analysis.

Sanders noted that the Mercatus Center receives funding from the conservative Koch brothers, and that Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch is on the center's board.

His office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said.

The Mercatus Centre at George Mason University published a study earlier this week with projections on Mr Sanders' single-payer health care programme that guarantees health care coverage to all Americans. Since February, Democrats have slowly and steadily expressed their support for the Vermont senator's stance on a better health care system for Americans.

Speaking to The Intercept on Monday, health policy experts and co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler argued that even the "whopping" $2 trillion in savings projected by the Koch-backed study vastly overstates the costs of implementing Medicare for All and "grossly" understates the savings that would result. Its findings are similar to those of several independent studies of Sanders' 2016 plan. For the plan to cost a minimum of $32.6 trillion, lawmakers would need to negotiate lower payments to providers and drastically reduce the cost of medications. "But, $32.6 trillion in higher federal spending and taxes over 10 years, which sounds scary". At the same time, the model also assumes that 30 million more people would get access to healthcare, and many people would get more robust services. Savings from streamlined administration would be even greater, almost $1.6 trillion. Looking ahead to the 2020 election, Democrats are debating whether single-payer should be a "litmus test" for national candidates.

Other provisions of the plan are expected to drive up spending, including increased services covered by the insurance and covering millions of uninsured Americans.

The Mercatus study also takes issue with a key cost-saving feature of the plan - that hospitals and doctors will accept payment based on lower Medicare rates for all their patients.

The study found that the plan would reap substantial savings from lower prescription costs - $846 billion over 10 years - since the government would deal directly with drugmakers. "But over the long run, the Sanders people are very correct that you could implement a system like this that would be more disciplined, more economical and more fair than the current US health system".

But Graboyes warned that, according to the report, even doubling all now projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be "insufficient" to finance the costs of Medicare-for-All.

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