Look at the Headlines! Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all Plan Will Cost $32 trillion

$32 trillion.

That is how much federal spending would increase over 10 years under Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill, according to a brand-new estimate from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Wait Mercatus? Yes, Koch funded Mercatus came up with this estimate, but wait, that might actually be alright. Stick with me here.

That sure does sound like a lot of money, and conservatives were giddy to start talking about it this morning. But it turns out $32 trillion is a bargain. A really good bargain, actually.

Mercatus is projecting a $32 trillion increase in federal spending, above current projected government expenditures, from 2022 to 2031.

In terms of overall health care spending in the United States over the same time period, however, they are projecting a reduction in spending.

That’s right. Even a Koch sponsored, hack study couldn’t make Medicare-for-All not work. But if you’re still question the source (like Sanders did), you should know the Urban Institute came up with the exact same number back in 2016.

So there it is. The federal government will be spending more money on health care than it currently does, but the country overall will be spending less.

Let’s look at what we’re paying now. In 2016, we spent $3.4 trillion on health care. That spending is projected to rise an average of 5.6 percent per year over the next decade. If you do the math, that means that between 2018 and 2027 we’ll spend $49 trillion on health care in America. That’s the current system.

That $32 trillion number comes from an analysis of the Conyers bill. Republicans have seized on the $32 trillion number to scare people into thinking that Democrats want to raise their taxes some insane amount. But if we’re going to spend $49 trillion under the current system, and single payer would cost $32 trillion, doesn’t that mean we’d be saving $17 trillion? Yes, yes it does.

Also consider. A universal single-payer program would 1) cover every single American, eliminating uninsurance and 2) provide much more robust benefits, covering more services than get covered right now. Sounds pretty damn good.

More people covered. More services covered. Less money spent.

Be forewarned. Conservatives are going to recite that large-sounding cost as often as they can. Get out there, be loud and be informed. Don’t let lies persuade the majority of Americans who currently support Medicare-for-All.


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