The universal medicare plan envisioned by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could cost more than $32 trillion over the next decade, according to a new report by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
The report estimates that taxpayers will have to shell out $32.6 trillion to support Sanders’s Canadian-style, single-payer medicare plan for all Americans.
Although the cost of administration and the price of drugs could decrease, the system would inevitably continue to grow in scope and expense as an increasing number of Americans opted to use the health care plan, the center says.
Sanders’s essentially wants to expand the current Medicare plan that is only available for seniors to the entire U.S. population in the same manner that Canada, the U.K. and Australia have done. Sanders has lauded the Canadian system as “innovative” even though recipients routinely wait from six months to a year for a plethora of operations, with many leaving the country to seek more immediate health care.
“Enacting something like ‘Medicare for all’ would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government,” writes Charles Blahous, the study’s author, who worked as a senior economic advisor to former President George W. Bush and thoroughly knows the social security and Medicare files.
Sanders was quick to rebut the study, suggesting the report was flawed because the center receives money from politically conservative Koch brothers.
“If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same,” reads a statement from Sanders. “This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a ‘Medicare for all’ program.”
Sanders’ office admitted to AP that it could not produce its own fiscal assessment for its Medicare plan as it has not completed one.