Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, September 15, 2017

Steve Benen, MSNBC: The Republican National Committee, responding to Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) new "Medicare for All" proposal, asked via Twitter, "Where does Bernie think the $32 trillion to pay for single-payer health care is coming from?" The Trump White House has been pushing the same figure. Even some journalists have begun using that price tag as if it were an accepted fact -- which is a shame, because it's not a figure to be taken seriously. There are legitimate criticisms of single-payer, but this isn't one of them. The assumption behind the GOP talking point is that we're talking about investing additional money on top of what we're spending now. But that's completely wrong. Indeed, Cornell's Robert Frank recently explained that the argument has it backwards: a "Medicare for All" system, with lower administrative costs, increased bargaining power, and lower advertising costs, would be considerably cheaper than our current approach:

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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 the CNN folks are tossing around comes from an analysis of the Conyers bill, which is basically a placeholder -- it's only 30 pages long. ...

Nevertheless, 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?

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The GOP and President Trump misrepresenting simple arithmetic? Sacre' bleu!

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-09-14 11:14 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

The answer to where will the money come from for the GOP is simple... it will come from tax cuts.

#2 | Posted by 726 at 2017-09-14 11:17 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

That number is nothing but a guess over a ten year cycle and throwing it around without explanation is typical fearmongering by the GOP.

That being said, people are now coming around to the reality that taxes will have to be raised fairly significantly to pay for MFA. I have seen estimates ranging from $1.7T to $3.5T needed to fund MFA, and we only raise $700B right now for Medicare. My guess is that it will be taken out of every paycheck as an added Medicare expense, with Employers being required to essentially pay its employees healthcare benefits to the Government.

This will require a fundamental restructuring of the Tax Code and for all employees to get used to having any healthcare contribution they currently make to their own insurance to become an additional tax. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to enact this without some financial pain but in the long run it is the right thing to do.

#3 | Posted by leftcoastlawyer at 2017-09-14 12:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Sure enough.,,,,,,,,,, they are too low.

#4 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-09-14 02:30 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Bernie Sanders' new Medicare-for-all plan explained

www.msn.com

#5 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:06 PM | Reply

From the above article:

How to pay for it?

The Sanders plan goes into great detail on what kind of coverage a universal plan ought to offer. But it does not do any work explaining how to payfor such a generous benefit package.

"There's nobody who has all of the answers," Sanders told my colleague Jeff Stein when asked about the financing of his health plan. "Nobody has all the answers. What I can say is we are going to be listing a number of revenue-raising proposals, which will generate more than enough money to pay for what we want to do."

Eventually though, somebody will need to have those answers -- and they're not easy to find.

Financing the health care system that Sanders envisions is an immense challenge. About half of the countries that attempt to build single-payer systems fail. That's Harvard health economist William Hsiao's estimate after working with about 10 governments in the past two decades. Whether he is in Taiwan, Cyprus, or Vermont, the process is roughly the same: Meet with legislators, draw up a plan, write legislation. Only half of those bills actually become law. The part where it collapses is, inevitably, when the country has to pay for it.

This is what happened when Sanders's home state of Vermont attempted to create a single-payer plan in 2014. Much like Sanders, local legislators outlined a clear vision of the type of health plan they'd want to extend to all Vermonters. Their plan was arguably less ambitious; it did require patients to pay money when they went to the doctor.

But Vermont's single-payer dream fell apart when the state figured out how much it would need to raise taxes to finance its new system. Vermont abandoned the government-run plan after finding it would need to increase payroll taxes by 11.5 percent and income tax by 9 percent.

It's true -- in Vermont and in the United States -- that these increased taxes don't necessarily mean overall health spending is rising. It's entirely possible that health spending will go down as taxes go up, with Americans no longer spending billions on premiums for employer-sponsored coverage.

Single-payer systems change who pays for health care, often shifting more of the burden onto wealthier individuals to create a more progressive system. The proposed 9 percent income tax in Vermont, for example, would be far more expensive for the $100,000 worker than the $30,000 earner.

But who pays how much more is a key question this Sanders bill doesn't answer. Until there is a version that does, we can't know whether the health system the Vermont senator envisions could actually become reality.

#6 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Noone questions where the money will come from for our wars but someone advocating for a single payer health care coverage and suddenly they dig out their calculators(Not Vernon's because it's broke). Funny dat be.

#7 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-09-14 04:23 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Medicare-for-all is a clear direction

Medicare-for-all, by contrast, really is a slogan in need of detail work.

Should the program be about as generous as Medicare, or should it be what Sanders wants -- a program with higher actuarial value and broader scope of coverage? Will it pay doctors and hospitals about what Medicare pays them, as much as private insurance pays them, or as little as the Canadian single-payer system pays them? Will there be universal enrollment at no charge, or will individuals and employers "buy in" to the system? Will the treatments the system covers be offered free of charge like a library book or a visit to a city park, or will users need to contribute some of the money as with a bus ride or a visit to a national park?

How these details are decided will determine how much new federal revenue is needed, and then there are a host of questions about where that revenue comes from.
The total current volume of health care spending in the United States is already very high (and total taxes in the US are low by international standards), so it's clear that as an abstract economic matter, the country could afford a Medicare-for-all system of some kind. But how you design the taxes matters, both to the people who pay and to the economy as a whole.

All that said, the basic shape of the proposed change here is clear. We know what Medicare is. We know what it would mean to make more people eligible for Medicare benefits. We know what it would mean to make Medicare coverage more generous in terms of reduced premiums and copayments. And we know what it would mean to make Medicare coverage broader in terms of kinds of services it covers.

If Democrats run on various flavors of "Medicare should be expanded both in terms of who it covers and what it pays for" and win a bunch of seats, they will face a lot of difficult policy work. But there's no reason they shouldn't be able to write a bill that, broadly speaking, does exactly that.

www.vox.com

#8 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"someone advocating for a single payer health care coverage and suddenly they dig out their calculators(Not Vernon's because it's broke). Funny dat be."

No, dat be the difference between campaigning and governing.

#9 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

No, dat be the difference between campaigning and governing.

Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:30 PM | Reply

Oh and pray tell is Sanders campaigning for today??? This aught to be good.

#10 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-09-14 04:34 PM | Reply

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He's campaigning for MFA. Duh.

#11 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:36 PM | Reply

President Donald Trump panned Sen. Bernie Sanders' single-payer health care plan, dramatically calling it a "curse" on Americans.

"Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for a single payer healthcare plan - a curse on the U.S. & its people," Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. "I told Republicans to approve healthcare fast or this would happen. But don't worry, I will veto because I love our country & its people."

www.politico.com

So much for my hope Trump would go back to his universal health care support in the near future.

#12 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-14 04:46 PM | Reply

The Democrats better have their stuff together on this, including a good well oganized, widespread PR/information campaign.

The GOP will fight this viciously to the end.

There'll be Disinformation, Misinformation and they'll pull every dirty trick in the book.

#13 | Posted by shane at 2017-09-14 06:24 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

What about the people who are happy with their healthcare? As of 2013, 69% of USans were happy with the quality of their healthcare.

Does Bernie have a plan to make sure they remain happy after the takeover?

#14 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-09-14 07:39 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

Sure enough.,,,,,,,,,, they are too low.

#4 | Posted by Sniper

It is sure enough that you are too high.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-09-14 07:41 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

It is sure enough that you are too high.

#15 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-09-14 07:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe if he was high it would normalize him someway.

#16 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-09-14 07:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Is the 10 year aggregate number accurate or not?

What is the lie? That it's being inferred as an annual number?

#17 | Posted by eberly at 2017-09-14 08:09 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Wow, just like obama and his cronies misrepresented the ACA costs....only thins is the ACA is actually here and hurting people financially.

#18 | Posted by MSgt at 2017-09-15 01:35 PM | Reply

I found this article interesting.

"Americans With Government Health Plans Most Satisfied":

www.gallup.com

#19 | Posted by shane at 2017-09-15 05:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#18 | POSTED BY MSGT

Kid, did you forget the intentional sabotage by GOP states? Because the ACA is doing great everywhere else. Convincing of you to forget who is at fault.

#20 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-09-15 06:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#19 | POSTED BY SHANE

The link you posted is broken...much like the US healthcare system.

I found this link to be interesting:
data.worldbank.org

In public money, the US spends 8.28% of GDP while the UK spends 7.58% of GDP

This is a good link:
data.worldbank.org

OECD and WHO data puts the US last among 11 countries in Healthcare; the UK is number 1.
The UK is number 1 in effectiveness and number 3 in timeliness (the US is #3 and #5 respectively). The US is last in a number of categories I'm certain some people don't care about.

Here's a good link:
www.oecd.org

The US spends 16.4% of GDP (2013) on healthcare. Next closest OECD is the Netherlands (11.1%). The OECD average is 8.9% and the UK is 8.1%. That's combined public and private money.

Don't like percentages? Here's a good link:
www.healthsystemtracker.org

In 2015, the per capita expenditure on health care (public and private money) was $9,451. The comparable country average was $4,908, and in the UK the per capita expenditure was $4,003. AND we've been outspending the other first world countries since the '70's.

Anyone care to argue that the US hasn't spent more than everyone else for decades?

No one can argue that we don't spend more. No one can argue that our system isn't exclusionary.

Rich people like it that way.

On the other hand, if you've owned stock in for-profit health insurers, you've done well.

#21 | Posted by worldasifindit at 2017-09-15 10:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#21 The link is working fine.

#22 | Posted by shane at 2017-09-16 10:58 AM | Reply

"The part where it collapses is, inevitably, when the country has to pay for it."

Either we're going to start turning away folks at the ER, or everyone in the country will collectively pay for everyone in the country's health.

Math.

#23 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-09-16 11:10 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Either we're going to start turning away folks at the ER, or everyone in the country will collectively pay for everyone in the country's health."

Is everyone really going to pay?

Or is going to be another of those things where one segment of income earners pay, so that another segment doesn't have to.

#24 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-09-16 11:22 AM | Reply

taxes will have to be raised fairly significantly to pay for MFA. I have seen estimates ranging from $1.7T to $3.5T needed to fund MFA

It's almost like you didn't read the article. We already spend $3.6 Trillion a year on health care. So yes, you will have to tax people to get the money for single payer, but those same people won't be spending $3.6T on insurance, deductibles, etc anymore, so it offsets.

#25 | Posted by JOE at 2017-09-16 11:24 AM | Reply

The headline could have stopped at "RNC lies!".

#26 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2017-09-16 04:09 PM | Reply

"It might cost money to cover everyone's healthcare "

"OMG NAZI LIES!!!!!"

#27 | Posted by LIVE_OR_DIE at 2017-09-16 05:51 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

It's almost like you didn't read the article. We already spend $3.6 Trillion a year on health care. So yes, you will have to tax people to get the money for single payer, but those same people won't be spending $3.6T on insurance, deductibles, etc anymore, so it offsets.

#25 | POSTED BY JOE AT 2017-09-16 11:24 AM | FLAG: Only If they pay that amount to the govt and that does not count healthcare that was provided and not paid for.

Bad Debt Triggers Hospital Closings Around US
www.nbcnews.com

Seem there are a bit more costs than just the ones you mentioned that also will have to be picked up by the taxpayers.

#28 | Posted by MSgt at 2017-09-16 06:03 PM | Reply


What about the people who are happy with their healthcare? As of 2013, 69% of USans were happy with the quality of their healthcare.
Does Bernie have a plan to make sure they remain happy after the takeover?

Socialists and progressives are the party of envy. They don't care you are happy with the policy you bought. They like your policy too, but they cant afford it. So they look for a way to get your policy without having to pay for it. The only unlimited fund they know of is the federal govt. Instead of this medicare for all, how about everyone pay for their own healthcare? No one thinks about that...

#29 | Posted by boaz at 2017-09-16 09:06 PM | Reply

Socialists and progressives are the party of envy. They don't care you are happy with the policy you bought. They like your policy too, but they cant afford it. So they look for a way to get your policy without having to pay for it. The only unlimited fund they know of is the federal govt. Instead of this medicare for all, how about everyone pay for their own healthcare? No one thinks about that...

Posted by boaz at 2017-09-16 09:06 PM | Reply

Says the guy who gets government health care covered for life.

#30 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-09-16 09:12 PM | Reply

"Either we're going to start turning away folks at the ER, or everyone in the country will collectively pay for everyone in the country's health."
Is everyone really going to pay?
Or is going to be another of those things where one segment of income earners pay, so that another segment doesn't have to.

#24 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Tie it to the sales tax and even illegal aliens will pay for YOUR health care!!!!

#31 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-09-16 09:31 PM | Reply

Liberals are about sharing. Conservatives are about selfishness and greed. They think the wages they pay their employees are coming out of their pocket when in fact the wages are just a percentage of the revenue produced by the employees labor and the remainder is taken by the true takers, the "job creators" who then think they did the employee a favor and are owed a debt.

#32 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-09-16 10:53 PM | Reply

Republicans never wonder where the money is going to come from for war, bailouts or tax cuts. As far as the $32 trillion, they are lying as usual.

#33 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-09-16 10:54 PM | Reply

What if it was paid for by the politicians that want it.

If they put their campaign money towards this instead of campaigns it might actually happen.

My big problem with it is I don't like socialism and this is another step in that direction.

I would prefer a profit cap on medical profits. Fix the problem not the symptoms, Dr ask for more for service so that when the insurance company under cuts the cost they still make what they want that's the root problem.

#34 | Posted by PinkyanTheBrain at 2017-09-17 01:29 PM | Reply

I like the slogan "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep that plan"

#35 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-17 01:37 PM | Reply

"They like your policy too, but they cant afford it."

Yes. This is the problem.

#36 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-17 01:38 PM | Reply

"I would prefer a profit cap on medical profits."

I thought you were opposed to price controls?

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-17 01:46 PM | Reply

"Is everyone really going to pay? Or is going to be another of those things where one segment of income earners pay, so that another segment doesn't have to."

Well, since payroll tax overcollections paid for your income tax cut, your baseline assumption sucks.

#38 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-09-18 12:25 PM | Reply

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