‘Medicare For None’ Proponents Propose ‘Huge Tax Increases’

But Even Over $20 Trillion In New Taxes Likely Falls Short Of The True Cost Of Single-Payer Government-Run Health Care, Which Would Hammer Working And Middle Class Americans

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “One leading Democrat released a breathtaking proposal last week that illustrates the road they’d like to head down. This candidate’s Medicare For None plan on its own — notwithstanding all the other socialist plans; just the healthcare plan — would cost about 52 trillion dollars over the first ten years alone. That’s the candidate’s own estimate. Even after cannibalizing everything the government currently spends on health care, the plan’s author admits there would still be a staggering 20-plus trillion dollars left to finance. Other experts say it would be even more. For some perspective, Mr. / Madam President, if you add up every cent that is deposited in every commercial bank across the United States of America, that’s about $13 trillion. So you could seize every dollar that Americans have deposited in banks and you’d have nowhere near enough money for even the first decade of this experiment. Democrats are confident they can produce this huge sum of money through historic tax increases on job creators and on the American people. An enormous new tax burden dumped on the U.S. economy that would kill jobs, depress worker wages, and make America less competitive for generations to come.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/05/2019)


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Is Proposing Over $20 Trillion In New Taxes, Some Of Which ‘Are Essentially Middle-Class Taxes On Employees’

“Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday revealed her plan to pay for an expansive transformation of the nation’s health care system, proposing huge tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans …” (“Elizabeth Warren Proposes $20.5 Trillion Health Care Plan,” The New York Times, 11/01/2019)

“[Warren] has outlined $20.5 trillion over 10 years in spending on health care:

  • $8.8 trillion in new taxes on employers …
  • $2.9 trillion from higher taxes on large corporations
  • $2.3 trillion from tougher enforcement of tax laws
  • $2 trillion from additional nonretirement capital-gains taxes
  • $1.4 trillion in additional revenue generated by higher take-home pay for workers under existing tax laws
  • $1 trillion from an expansion of previously proposed wealth tax
  • $900 billion from higher taxes on financial firms
  • $800 billion in military spending cuts
  • $400 billion from tax receipts from expanded legal immigration” (“Warren Would Tax The Wealthy, Companies To Pay For Medicare For All,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/1/2019)

“[Warren] told reporters that billionaires would be the only people to see their taxes go up — a misstatement of what she had proposed a day earlier. … Ms. Warren’s plan for Medicare for all, which calls for $20.5 trillion in new federal spending over a decade, would be financed through a mix of sources, including taxes on businesses and $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax wealthy Americans. One of those measures would steepen her proposed wealth tax on net worth above $1 billion. But the other — accounting for $2 trillion of the $3 trillion total — would go far beyond billionaires. For the top 1 percent of households, Ms. Warren would increase taxes on investment gains. She would put in place a new system in which capital gains are taxed annually instead of when investments are sold, and she would raise the tax rate on capital gains to be the same as on ordinary income like wages.” (“Billionaires Only? Warren Errs in Saying Whom Her Health Plan Would Tax,” The New York Times, 11/3/2019)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Now we know why Elizabeth Warren took so long to release the financing details of her Medicare-for-All plan. The 20 pages of explanation she released Friday reveal that she is counting on ideas for cost-savings and new revenue that are a fiscal and health-care fantasy.” (Editorial, “Warren Has A (Fantasy) Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/3/2019)

  • “Start with the overall fiscal math, which by itself is staggering. She concedes that her plan will cost only ‘slightly’ less than the $52 trillion that the U.S. is expected to spend on health care in the next 10 years…. That leaves $30 trillion to finance, but Senator Warren waves her wand and says the bill will really be $20.5 trillion. She makes the rest vanish by positing magical savings from things like ‘comprehensive payment reform.’” (Editorial, “Warren Has A (Fantasy) Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/3/2019)
  • “The details of how she’d pay for the other $20.5 trillion are even more fantastical. Start with her ‘Employer Medicare Contribution.’ Instead of paying employee health-care premiums, businesses would cut a check to Uncle Sam to the tune of $8.8 trillion over 10 years based on what they pay now. She says per-employee health costs for every employer would remain about the same, but payroll costs of this sort are essentially middle-class taxes on employees.” (Editorial, “Warren Has A (Fantasy) Plan,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/3/2019)

JARED BERNSTEIN, Former Chief Economist To Former Vice President Joe Biden: “A good question for [Sen. Warren] is, given neither this nor the next Congress will enact your plan, don’t tell us what you’d like to do. Tell us about what you would do; what you think is in the realm of possible… This debate, this is just basically like saying, ‘I’m going to buy a unicorn and I’m going to pay for it with a unicorn.’” (“Ex-Biden Advisor: Warren’s ‘Medicare For All’ Like Trying To ‘Buy A Unicorn’ With A Unicorn,” CNBC, 11/04/2019)


‘Several Economists Have Said Providing Free Health Care Would Cost Trillions More’: The Urban Institute’s ‘Detailed Assessment Of Medicare For All Found It Would Require $34 Trillion In Added Federal Spending’

“Several economists have said providing free health care would cost trillions more over a decade. ‘We made different assumptions, because we didn’t think these kinds of assumptions were realistic,’ said Linda Blumberg, a health economist at the Urban Institute, whose detailed assessment of Medicare for all found it would require $34 trillion in added federal spending.” (“Elizabeth Warren Proposes $20.5 Trillion Health Care Plan,” The New York Times, 11/1/2019)

“The Urban Institute, a center-left think tank highly respected among Democrats, is projecting that a [single-payer health care] plan similar to what Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders are pushing would require $34 trillion in additional federal spending over its first decade in operation.” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)

  • “The think tank modeled the costs of eight possible plans to expand health-care coverage that generally track ideas from the Democratic presidential candidates. By far, the most expensive was its version of the single-payer plan that Sanders introduced in the Senate and Warren later endorsed: a blueprint that would eliminate private health insurance … and provide everyone in the United States (including undocumented immigrants) an expansive benefits package …” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)

URBAN INSTITUTE: “One single-payer approach [Reform 8] … would require much greater federal spending to finance. The modeled ‘enhanced’ single-payer system would cover everyone, including undocumented immigrants…. National spending on health care would grow by about $720 billion in 2020. Federal government spending would increase by $2.8 trillion in 2020, or $34.0 trillion over 10 years.” (“From Incremental to Comprehensive Health Reform: How Various Reform Options Compare on Coverage and Costs,” Urban Institute, 10/16/2019)

“In 2016, Urban Institute researchers estimated the costs associated with Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign proposal … At that time, we estimated that federal government health care spending would increase by $32.0 trillion over 10 years (2017–26) … That older estimate most closely parallels our 2020–29 estimate in table 16 for reform 8 of $34.0 trillion …” (“From Incremental to Comprehensive Health Insurance Reform: How Various Reform Options Compare on Coverage and Costs,” Urban Institute and The Commonwealth Fund, October 2019)


$34 Trillion Is ‘More Than The Federal Government’s Total Cost Over The Coming Decade For Social Security, Medicare, And Medicaid Combined

“The 10-year cost of $34 trillion that the study forecasts nearly matches the CBO’s estimate of how much money the federal government will spend over that period not only on all entitlement programs, but also all federal income support, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)



Related Issues: Middle Class, Taxes, Health Care, Senate Democrats