Boots & Sabers

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1013, 30 Jul 18

$32.6 TRILLION for Socialized Healthcare

Speaking of the cost of socialism

The “Medicare for All” plan pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and endorsed by a host of Democratic congressional and presidential hopefuls would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a new study.

The Vermont senator has avoided conducting his own cost analysis, and those supporting the plan have at times struggled to explain how they could pay for it.

The study, released Monday by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, showed the plan would require historic tax increases.

The hikes would allow the government to replace what employers and consumers currently pay for health care — delivering significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased demand for care that would drive up spending, according to the report.

The numbers make sense. The total U.S. GDP is just shy of $20 trillion per year and healthcare is about 18% of that. If the taxpayers are going to shoulder the entire cost for healthcare, it would run at least $3.5 trillion per year in today’s dollars. Run the number out 10 years with inflation and increased demand and there you have it…


1013, 30 July 2018


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    This is the problem socialists have…we should forego other urgencies like, housing, food, transportation, to put everything at the alter of healthcare which will have waste and bloat under a single payor system.

    It is an immoral proposal.    What if I determine my health care spending, which I may choose to forego, is best used to spread the Gospel, feed the homeless, or handing out plastic straws freely?   Making that choice for me is the ultimate immorality.

  2. jjf

    You feel the same about defense spending, Kevin?  You’d rather have it in your own pocket?  What about roads and water supplies and wastewater treatment plants?

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    Roads, water supplies, and wastewater treatment plants I can choose not to pay for by using less water, less gasoline by driving less, etc.

    How can I pay less for health care?   By paying for it myself when I need it.   If I don’t want healthcare, I simply use less of it.   It’s called personal responsibility.

    This Medicare plan would have to double all existing taxes, and even then it will be woefully short.

  4. jjf

    Where to begin?  You skipped talking about defense spending, which was my first question.  That’s not a cost spread to everyone?

    You’re still paying for roads, water, and sewers regardless of how much you think you’re using them.  You’re not paying their full costs directly, are you?  People were being taxed on them long before you were born.

    As for health care versus health insurance, you’re 100% pay as you go, and no insurance for the dramatically expensive unexpected?  Illness can come about even if you are perfectly personally responsible even by your high standards.

    I think it’s funny that the usual “The US is a Christian nation founded on Christian principles” crowd doesn’t use that for an explanation of the architecture of the US health system.

  5. jjf

    Weird. Lefties spun the same study a different way.

    A single-payer Medicare for All system would reduce the amount the U.S. spends on health care by more than $2 trillion, a Koch brothers-funded study released Monday found.


    Research by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University — a libertarian think tank backed by the Koch brothers — projected that the Medicare for All plan championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would cost the government $32.6 trillion over 10 years. The highly critical report found that even doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes would not cover the costs of Sanders’ Medicare for All plan.


    The study did conclude, however, that Medicare for All would result in significant savings for the government because of lower prescription drug costs, saving $846 billion over the next decade. Streamlined administrative costs under the plan would save another $1.6 trillion, the researchers at the Mercatus Center found.

  6. steveegg

    That’s $32.6 trillion (between 2022 and 2031) in addition to the $18.2 trillion that is scheduled to go out the door on the current Medicare/Medicaid/PlaceboCare mess, which would make the total federal spending on health care $50.8 trillion.  A few numbers for that time frame (sourced from the June 2018 Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Budget Outlook):

    Federal spending on everything except Social Security, health care and interest – $22.5 trillion
    Spending on Social Security – $16.4 trillion
    Net spending on the interest on the debt – $8.6 trillion
    Total federal revenues (i.e. taxes) – $51.2 trillion
    Revenues earmarked for Social Security – $14.9 trillion
    Total federal spending (before Medicare-for-All) – $65.7 trillion
    Deficit – $14.5 trillion

    Now, let’s do some math:

    Total federal revenues less amount earmarked for Social Security – $36.3 trillion
    Above revenues less debt service (i.e. net interest) – $27.8 trillion
    Social Security deficit – $1.5 trillion
    Above revenues less the Social Security deficit (which has the same senior secured claim on revenues debt service has, at least until the Trust Funds run out) – $26.3 trillion
    Above revenues plus the current projected deficit – $40.8 trillion

    That’s $10 trillion short of what is needed just for Medicaid-for-All, and that doesn’t take into account the fact that a few hundred billion dollars of revenues are currently earmarked for spending on items other than Social Security and health care (mostly to the Highway Trust Fund).  Put another way, even if nothing was spent on anything else (no roads, no defense, no food stamps, no farm aid, no national parks, no unemployment benefits, et cetera), and if we kept the $14.5 trillion deficit, we would be looking at a roughly 20% tax increase just for Social Security, federally-funded health care, and debt interest.

    Want to get rid of the deficit (no, not the $16 trillion in publicly-held debt, the deficit) while spending everything on Social Security, health care and the debt interest?  Try something north of a 40% tax increase.  Throw back in all the other federal spending and, depending on whether you want to keep the $14.5 trillion deficit or not, you’re looking at a 64%-90% tax increase.

    Given the $51.2 trillion in taxes represents a historically-high 18.1% of GDP between 2022 and 2031, I rather doubt the economy, and thus the country, would survive the tax increases necessary to fund Medicare-for-All.

  7. MjM

    Kevin sez: … or handing out plastic straws freely? 




  8. MHMaley

    Less military pork and taking care of our citizens health care is a winning proposition in 2018 .

    The Swamp has existed since Ike in terms of funding the military industrial complex .

  9. steveegg

    I should note that the tax increase percentages are the totality.  In terms of percentage of total tax revenues, the components are (as of 2016):

    – Personal income taxes 47%
    – Payroll taxes 34%
    – Corporate income taxes 9%
    – Excise taxes 3%
    – Other revenues 7% (unusually high because the Federal Reserve has not completed its wind-down of the Great Recession Stimulus)

  10. steveegg

    Less military pork and taking care of our citizens health care is a winning proposition in 2018 .

    The Swamp has existed since Ike in terms of funding the military industrial complex .

    That gets you maybe $2 trillion over 10 years (unless you want no military whatsoever, in which case it’s maybe $7 trillion)

  11. dad29

    Note how well Paul Ryan–the numbers-geek–has done in submitting budgets designed to reduce the national debt and the deficit!!

    Oh, wait.  You can’t see those results in Ryan budgets?

  12. steveegg

    Somewhere around 100% of the voters have decided deficits and debt no longer matter.

  13. dad29

    Well, yes….and I’ll take your “100%” as an acceptable hyperbole rather than calling it a “ELEVENTY LIE!!!!” as would the MSM….


    So what?  That’s why this is a republic, not a democracy.  Ryan is supposed to wear big-boy pants.  But he’s so damn busy whining about Trump–and thinking that he should have that chair, following Romney–that he just won’t say what must be said.

    Too bad.  He had a promising future.

  14. MHMaley

    Point taken Steve .

    Are there fundamental things we aren’t doing but could do to lower health care costs and cover everyone ?

    In my business , more players mean lower prices .
    In health care , new hospitals are built and prices go up .

    I hear folks yearn for the good old days .
    I have bought insurance for my small firm for
    35 years and waiting yearly for only 10-15% increases or being cancelled outright were NOT
    The good old days .

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