Democrats embraced what some consider socialism in health care Tuesday by introducing legislation that would create a single-payer, Medicare For All health insurance apparatus that would, if implemented as written, virtually destroy the private health insurance marketplace.
But guess what’s missing from their proposal…
“The bill, co-sponsored by just over 100 House Democrats, doesn’t include a price tag or specific proposals for financing the new system…” https://t.co/hKwymmUVpj
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 27, 2019
The bill, co-sponsored by just over 100 House Democrats, doesn’t include a price tag or specific proposals for financing the new system, which analysts estimate would cost tens of trillions of dollars over a decade. The lead sponsor, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, said she will release a separate list of suggested funding mechanisms, including a tax on high earners or mandated employer contributions.
The proposal calls for a two-year transformation of Medicare into a universal single-payer system, eliminating nearly all private health plans. It would also expand Medicare coverage to include prescription drugs, dental and vision services, and long-term care without charging co-pays, premiums or deductibles — and would provide federal funding for abortions.
Jayapal will formally introduce the plan Wednesday and said Tuesday evening that the program “means a full-scale, government-run health insurance system for everyone.” Apparently, however, she and the huge number of Democrats supporting the legislation are not quite sure how they’re going to pay for everyone.
One possible reason for the dodge is that according to one well-touted report out of The Mercatus Center, the program as outlined will ultimately cost in the neighborhood of $32 trillion over 10 years and would need funding beyond what the federal government would take in even if it doubled all federal and corporate income taxes.
Which is a lot of words to say: it’s really expensive and is likely impossible to pay for.
And, since the plan is to destroy the private market (despite what Sen. Kamala Harris says), if it fails to be adequately funded, there will be no back-up. Which means Americans would be stuck with a one-stop, health insurance shop that doesn’t work as originally planned (usually indicative of a situation leading to higher prices and less quality because that’s what happens when there’s no market competition).
Giving the government a monopoly on health insurance is a dangerous utopian dream, but be forewarned: releasing the bill without associated costs included was not accidental. It’s just a way to get the conversation started. Democrats likely know this first iteration will never pass. So the devil, as they say, is most certainly in the details. Pay attention.