Pacific Research Institute President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy Sally C. Pipes today issued the following statement in response to Senator Bernie Sanders’ announcement of his new “Medicare-for-All” bill:
“Sen. Bernie Sanders’s new ‘Medicare-for-All 2017 Act’ released today would be disastrous for taxpayers, doctors, and patients. Senator Sanders has garnered support for his bill from 15 out of 48 Democratic Senators. Yet, he has not outlined in detail the cost or how the bill would be paid for. But with no private insurers allowed, Americans will face major tax increases to pay for this plan. His 2016 single payer bill was estimated to cost $32 trillion over 10 years.
“Several states have rejected single-payer health care after seeing the price tag. California’s Senate approved SB 562, ‘The Healthy California Act’ on June 1 but the Assembly put a hold on a vote pending more details related to cost and how to pay for it. The Senate Appropriations Committee pegged the cost of the single-payer bill at $400 billion — more than double the entire state budget. Last year, 80 percent of Colorado voters rejected a ballot initiative to implement single-payer after learning that it would run a $7.8 billion deficit within ten years and mean massive tax hikes for Coloradans. And in 2014, Vermont scrapped the single payer bill signed by Governor Shumlin which would have consumed nearly the entire state budget and required new 11.5 percent payroll and 9 percent income taxes.
“Single-payer also has a clear record of delivering horrific care to patients. In Canada, my home country, the median patient wait is five months to receive treatment from a specialist after seeing a general practitioner. Over 50,000 Canadians travel abroad for treatment when they determine the wait for care is too long. As Madam Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court said a few years ago ‘Access to a waiting list is not access to care.’ The Medicare cards that Sanders says will be provided to those under 18 now and others will receive them over a four-year waiting list will not guarantee care. The British Red Cross has declared the country’s National Health Service a ‘humanitarian crisis.’ Bringing this chaos to the United States would be a huge mistake for patients and doctors.”
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