BERNIE'S BLUFF: Sanders Claims 'Medicare for All' Would 'SAVE $2 TRILLION'

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Dems court conservative Republican in drug pricing fight The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (I-Vt.) and estimates that his proposal to create a national health insurance system would lead to a $32.6 trillion increase in federal spending over a 10-year period.

Bernie Sanders, according to an analysis from a conservative-funded policy center. The plan builds on existing Medicare legislation, covering all US residents and eliminating copays and deductibles for medical expenses.

But the Mercatus report also showed that the national health expenditure - the total amount spent on healthcare in the USA by the federal government, states, businesses, and individuals - would actually come in below current projections under Sanders' plan. There won't be an increase in health spending, but "this would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government".

He was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration, the AP reported.

While the Koch brothers themselves did not author the report, Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch sits on the board of the Mercatus Center. "This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a "Medicare for all" program". His office has not released a cost analysis.

The Mercatus Centre at George Mason University published a study earlier this week with projections on Mr Sanders' single-payer health care programme that guarantees health care coverage to all Americans.

Robert Graboyes, a senior research fellow and health care scholar at the center who read Blahous's report through its production, said the report doesn't "predict" $2 trillion in savings.

The study found that the plan would reap substantial savings from lower prescription costs - $846 billion over 10 years - since the government would deal directly with drugmakers. Its findings are similar to those of several independent studies of Sanders' 2016 plan.

"$32.6 trillion dollars. That's how much Washington Democrats' single-payer healthcare proposal would cost over 10 years", House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted.

That's right. A report that was supposed to discredit the single-payer solution found that, even after the benefits of a Medicare for All program are realized-"additional healthcare demand that arises from eliminating copayments, providing additional categories of benefits, and covering the now uninsured"-the potential cost of the plan would still be less than "potential savings associated with cutting provider payments and achieving lower drug costs". Single-payer systems in many European countries demonstrate that they can reduce overall national health spending, but that does not mean that a Democratic administration could implement one without incurring an vast political backlash, said Harold Pollack, a health-care expert at the University of Chicago. "There are going to be a lot of people who'll pay more in taxes than they save on premiums". "A doubling of all now projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to finance the added federal costs of the plan", according to the study. Savings from streamlined administration would be even greater, almost $1.6 trillion.

The Mercatus study also takes issue with a key cost-saving feature of the plan - that hospitals and doctors will accept payment based on lower Medicare rates for all their patients.

Other provisions of the plan are expected to drive up spending, including increased services covered by the insurance and covering millions of uninsured Americans. Medicare rates are now about 40 percent less than private insurance, according to the analysis. In that case, the US would spend about $400 billion more in 2031.

Sanders then explains that up-front and taxpayer costs may rise slightly in the short term to pay for a universal health care system, but that in the long term, the average American will save thousands.

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