Ryan Grim and Zaid Jilani report on a new study that finds that adopting the Medicare For All plan advocated by Bernie Sanders that is increasingly supported by politicians and the public would not only improve the availability and quality of health care and cut costs but also result in increased wages for people. But what is noticeable is that this study was not done at some leftists but by a former Bush administration economist and issued by a conservative think tank.
A NEW STUDY from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is making headlines for projecting that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” bill is estimated to cost $32.6 trillion — a number that’s entirely in line with 2016 projections, and is literally old news. But what the Associated Press headline fails to announce is a much more sanguine update: The report, by Senior Research Strategist Charles Blahous, found that under Sanders’s plan, overall health costs would go down, and wages would go up.
The study, which came out of the Koch-funded research center, was initially provided to the AP with a cost estimate that exceeded previous ones by an incredible $3 trillion — a massive error that was found and corrected by Sanders’s staff when approached by AP for comment.
But despite that correction, the report actually yields a wealth of good news for advocates of Sanders’s plan — a remarkable conclusion, given that Blahous is a former Bush administration economist working at a prominent conservative think tank.
Even using Blahous’s numbers — which may be off by roughly $15 trillion according to Himmelstein and Woolhandler’s estimates — the conclusion is plain: “Medicare for All” would cover more people, increase the quality of coverage, and cost less than is currently being spent on health care. “Blahous admits that covering the uninsured and upgrading coverage for most others could be achieved at virtually no additional cost through a single payer reform,” Himmelstein and Woolhandler conclude.
We need to adopt Medicare For All. Now.