In the News

Higher Taxes.. Too Expensive.. $52 Trillion


11.08.19

What a Week for Warren and Medicare for All


WASHINGTON, DC – It has been a tough week for Elizabeth Warren and Democrats rallying behind the government-run, one-size-fits-all takeover of our health care system known as Medicare for All. The new $52 trillion (⁉) socialist health plan from the leading Democratic candidate for president was stumbled out a day after Halloween, and the coverage on the potential impact is spooking many Americans.

“I’m scared. I really am,” one Iowan told the Washington Examiner about the proposal. “If she’s off by 2% on any of her predictions, that’s like a gazillion-dollar error.”

That uncertainty is sparking a lot of questions about Medicare for All, questions that could be answered at an Energy and Commerce hearing that Democrats refuse to hold. Democrats don’t want a reality check on Medicare for All, but they’re in desperate need of one.

Americans deserve answers as to how many people will lose private insurance (a lot); how much will the plan cost (also a lot); and what will be the impact on the quality and timeliness of health care in America (doesn’t look good).

While we await the hearing that will provide those answers, here’s what they are saying about Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All plan.

U.S. News and World Report: Democrats’ Health Care Prognosis: Negative

THE CRITICS ARE OUT IN full force, attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All” plan, calling it unrealistic, way too expensive, “a big mistake” and an unpopular, “elitist” approach that would kick Americans off their private insurance plans while imposing new taxes.

Slate: Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All” Plan Is Kind of Unfair

Another, deeper issue—which a number of writers, not to mention Warren’s primary rival Bernie Sanders, have pointed out—is that the centerpiece of her proposal is fundamentally unfair to many businesses and workers. It’s specifically a raw deal for companies that already offer their employees generous insurance, as well as for low-wage workers, who would somewhat indirectly shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden from the tax scheme she has concocted. It’s specifically a raw deal for companies that already offer their employees generous insurance, as well as for low-wage workers, who would somewhat indirectly shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden from the tax scheme she has concocted.

Fox News: Elizabeth Warren unveils $52 trillion Medicare-for-all plan, here’s how she’ll pay for it

In the detailed outline, Warren’s campaign said the single-payer health care plan would cost the country “just under” $52 trillion, including $20.5 trillion in new federal spending, over the course of a decade. It would be funded by a combination of existing federal and state spending on Medicare, a slew of new taxes on employers, the financial sector, large corporations and the wealthy, deep cuts to military spending and payments to doctors and comprehensive immigration reform.

The Atlantic: Can Warren Actually Avoid Taxing the Middle Class?

Even with a $20.5 trillion price tag, Warren’s single-payer plan would represent an increase of more than one-third in total federal spending over the next decade. But holding down the cost even to that level would require, as Blumberg said, “heroic” assumptions about how much savings could be squeezed from every corner of the health-care system. Warren’s plan, by her own projections, would require the federal government to raise nearly 90 percent as much new revenue as the total projected receipts from the federal income tax over the next decade. Without those “heroic” savings, she’d need to raise even more—and likely move beyond the targets for tax increases that she’s identified so far.

CNN: Fact-checking Warren’s claim that her health-care plan won’t raise taxes on the middle class

Ultimately the tax would cut into workers’ paychecks, experts say.

Erica York, an economist at the right-leaning Tax Foundation says that employers would likely just pass on that tax to employees. “The economics of tax burdens don’t really care about who signs the check,” York told CNN.

“If we look at Warren’s new employer Medicare contribution, she doesn’t call it a payroll tax, but that doesn’t change the underlying economics that it amounts to a payroll head tax, or a flat contribution per employee,” York said. “Economists across the spectrum agree that the burden of a payroll tax falls on the worker.”

Washington Post: The Health 202: Medicare-for-all would virtually erase the massive health insurance industry

Nearly 386,000 people were employed by health insurance carriers last year, according to federal labor data. The workforce is even larger if one counts jobs that exist because of health insurance, like administrators in doctor’s offices and hospitals who negotiate prices. Economists have projected as many as 2 million jobs could be lost under a Medicare-for-all system that eliminated all private coverage.


Subcommittees
Health (116th Congress)
In the News