Medicare for All Would Save $450 Billion and 68,000 Lives: Study


Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All plan would save the country about $450 billion a year on total health care spending while preventing nearly 70,000 deaths, according to a study published over the weekend in The Lancet.

In the analysis, a team of epidemiologists led by Alison P. Galvani of the Yale School of Public Health applied the provisions of Sanders' plan to real-world spending in the U.S. in 2017. They concluded that Medicare for All would have cost just over $3 trillion that year, or $458 billion less than the actual total. The analysis found that per capita costs would decline, resulting in lower costs overall, even with millions more people covered. And providing universal coverage would save 68,531 lives per year, the researchers.

Here are some key details and assumptions from the study:

A new analysis: Previous estimates of the cost of Medicare for All have reached significantly different conclusions, ranging from a roughly 16% increase over current national health-care spending levels to a 27% decrease. This latest study relies on a new analytical tool to measure the impact of different provisions within Medicare for All as applied to real-world data (you can review and adjust the parameters of the analysis in the Single-Payer Healthcare Interactive Financing Tool).

Big savings with a single-payer system: The researchers found that the proposed system would reduce total health-care expenditures by about 13% based on 2017 spending levels. Savings would come from a variety of sources. Here are some of the major savings the researchers found with Medicare for All, based on the 2017 total health care expenditure of nearly $3.5 trillion:

  • Reducing pharmaceutical prices via negotiation: $219 billion

  • Improving fraud detection: $191 billion

  • Reducing reimbursement rates for hospitals, physician, and clinical services: $188 billion

  • Reducing overhead: $102 billion

  • Eliminating uncompensated hospitalization fees: $78 billion in savings.

Revenues: The Sanders proposal would impose new taxes while reducing the overall cost burden on both businesses and households. The revenues look like this, according to the analysis:

  • Payroll tax: A 10% tax on employers would raise $436 billion. By comparison, employers currently pay $536 billion on insurance premiums, the equivalent of a 12.3% tax rate.

  • Household income tax: At the individual level, households would pay a 5% income tax above the standard deduction, yielding $375 billion per year. By comparison, households currently pay about $738 billion on premiums and service fees.

  • Wealth tax: A new tax on net worth over $21 million would produce about $109 billion a year.

The bottom line: There are some methodological questions about the analysis, and the politics of transitioning to a single-payer system remain as complicated as ever. You might hear Sanders talk up this study during a debate or on the campaign trail, but it will likely do little to change minds in the debate.

Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter.


More Related News

Biden to name VP vetting team, thinking about Cabinet makeup
Biden to name VP vetting team, thinking about Cabinet makeup

Joe Biden said Friday that he will announce a committee to oversee his vice presidential selection process and is already thinking about whom he'd choose to join his Cabinet. Biden, who holds a significant lead in delegates over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary race but has yet to officially clinch the nomination, also said he's spoken to Sanders to let him know he'd be proceeding with the vice presidential vetting process. Biden, a former vice president himself, has previously committed to choosing a woman as his running mate.

Ex-White House candidate Buttigieg forms PAC to support
Ex-White House candidate Buttigieg forms PAC to support 'forward-thinking' Democrats
  • US
  • 2020-04-03 17:16:29Z

The formation of the PAC, called Win the Era, will focus on down-ballot races and represents the former White House hopeful's first steps in outlining his post-campaign future. After dropping out, he endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, who now leads the delegate race for the Democratic nomination over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

'A lot has changed': Bernie's Wisconsin stronghold breaks hard for Biden

The ex-veep has a big lead in the polls, but the coronavirus crisis has added an unstable element.

Political rivals Biden, Trump may talk about coronavirus
Political rivals Biden, Trump may talk about coronavirus
  • US
  • 2020-04-02 01:09:32Z

Biden has been critical of Trump's response to the coronavirus, saying he had been too slow to marshal federal resources to get equipment and funds to governors responding to the highly contagious respiratory disease. "Our teams will be in touch and we will arrange a call," Biden's deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said in a statement. The original overture by Biden to talk with Trump was first reported by Fox News.

Whoopi Goldberg to Bernie Sanders:
Whoopi Goldberg to Bernie Sanders: 'Can You Explain Why You're Still in the Race?'

On Wednesday afternoon's episode of "The View," host Whoopi Goldberg pressed presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on why he remains in the race against former vice president Joe Biden."I'm told that you intend to stay in this race because you believe there is a path to victory. I want to know what that path is because this feels a little bit like it did when you didn't come out when Hillary Clinton was clearly the person folks were going for. So, can you explain why you're still in the race and what this path is that you see?" the ABC host asked while broadcasting live from her own home, which she began doing in mid-March as the coronavirus spread through the country.Also Read:...

Leave a Comment

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

Cancel reply


Top News: Economy