Medicare For All would boost wages and create new jobs

A new analysis shows that Bernie Sanders’s’ signature proposal of Medicare For All would be a net positive for the economy and jobs.

A new analysis of the economic impact of a Medicare for All health care reform, like the signature policy proposal of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, suggests that such a plan would not only increase wages for workers but also create additional jobs.

Sanders, a progressive senator from Vermont who is currently a close second to former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, has long advocated for a universal or single-payer health care system. Critics argue that such a policy would lead to mass job loss and be an economic drain on the country, but the new analysis published Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) suggests the opposite would happen.

Josh Bivens, EPI’s director who conducted the study, wrote in the report that Medicare for All “would be unambiguously positive” for the labor market in the U.S., leading to a “boost in wages and salaries” as well as an “increase in job quality, while producing “a net increase in jobs.”

Although the analysis notes that policymakers should not “ignore the distress caused by job transitions” due to such a health care reform, Bivens wrote that job losses during a transitional period would be “relatively small.”

“Despite the fact that M4A [Medicare for All] could deliver these large benefits to efficient labor market functioning, the policy often comes under fire from critics making highly exaggerated claims about the potential job loss that could occur under such a reform,” Bivens noted.

America’s abominable health care system has resulted in fraudulent companies taking advantage of people’s fears about health care costs to scam them. Samantha Bee explains a case where Christian businesses are exploiting people with health insurance plans that are not really insurance and where coverage is frequently denied so that in some cases, only 20% of the premiums go towards health care.

And while we are at it, we should highlight that in 2019, 10 of the top healthcare CEOs took in a total of $300 million in compensation.

Any wonder why the health insurance industry and the politicians that they have bought are so opposed to Medicare For All? How will these executives be able to afford their yachts?


  1. jrkrideau says

    Critics argue that such a policy would lead to mass job loss and be an economic drain on the country

    This reminds we of the old (Lil’ Abner?) cartoon where war was to be abolished but the unemployment among generals, admirals and other assorted war-types was going to be so great it was unaffordable.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    From the linked story:

    “The grain of truth in some of the claims is that, like any productivity improvement, the adoption of a reform like M4A would require the redeployment of workers from one sector (the health insurance and medical billing complex) to other sectors (mostly the delivery of health care),” he wrote.

    Uh, do you want medical advice or treatment from someone whose primary skills consist of stamping “Denied!” or “Payment due immediately!” on pieces of paper?

  3. consciousness razor says

    The point is that there would be fewer positions in the former and more in the latter. It’s a “redeployment” overall or in the aggregate. It isn’t that those specific people (some fairly large fraction working in health insurance, etc.) would go on to become nurses or doctors or whatever.
    Maybe you were only kidding, but you’re also minimizing the skills required in insurance and the like. Many have much more complicated jobs than that, making them a good fit for positions in many other types of businesses and organizations.

  4. Porivil Sorrens says

    Plus, even if you remove the monetary aspect, there will still be a massive amount of bureaucratic roles in need of filling. It’s not like the options are like “bureaucrat or open heart surgeon”

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 4 Porivil Sorrens
    there will still be a massive amount of bureaucratic roles in need of filling.
    True but compared to what I read and hear about the US we are talking tremendous cuts.

    I need to see my family doctor.

    Make appointment.

    Arrive for appointment
    Hand provincial medical card to receptionist
    See doctor
    Unless something goes awry, doctor codes whatever he/she did--electronically in my clinic.
    Clinic submits invoice to province, I assume electronically .
    Province pays.
    I am not sure but I believe my clinic has one “specialist” to assist in getting difficult bill codings done or resolved if there is a dispute with the provincial ministry.

    Going to hospital:
    Hand receptionist provincial health card. If you are unconscious someone will fish it out of your wallet or purse.

    Spend indeterminate amount of time in hospital usually whinging about how bad the food is while various medical types poke, prod and cajole. This could be anyone from the Head of Oncology to an Occupational Therapist.
    All bills submitted to Province single payer.
    Your visitors complain about exorbitant parking fees.

    We, in Ontario, do not have in network /out of network concerns, there is only , essentially, one payer so the paperwork, forms and policies are standard for all patients. We do not have the concept of “pre-existing condition” in terms of medical coverage.

    Time had an article on this a couple of months ago. The U.S. Spends $2,500 Per Person on Health Care Administrative Costs. Canada Spends $550. Here’s Why

  6. Holms says

    Uh, do you want medical advice or treatment from someone whose primary skills consist of stamping “Denied!” or “Payment due immediately!” on pieces of paper?

    To the extent that those specific people you note are the ones finding new jobs in some health delivery capacity, it will only be after training for that role. Employers don’t simply rubber stamp job applications and unleash random people in random hospital roles or similar.

  7. publicola says

    Porivil is correct, I believe. The increased number of jobs that M4A would require could be competently filled by those in the insurance industry who had lost theirs. They would certainly be familiar with this kind of work, and would require less training to get up to speed. As far as Bivens’ statement that there would be “increased wages and salaries”, I’m skeptical. Govt. jobs are historically underpaid when compared to the private sector, although better Federal benefits might make up some or all of the difference. Of course, Bivens assumes that any savings realized by the transition would be given to employees, but I wouldn’t bet a wooden nickel on that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *