Back on January 20 I read a summary of the Sanders Medicare for all plan and I wrote this; Old Bernie’s health care plan is a joke, no; beyond that, it’s a farce
I don’t claim to be a health policy expert, an economist or a Nobel prize winner. I do, however, lay claim to a modicum of common sense and I have a pretty good understanding of how health care and insurance works. Perhaps that’s why it took me about sixty seconds to figure out the Sanders plan was a joke without crunching the numbers or calling in the experts.
Unless you believe you can have it all for less, you would come to the same conclusion.
But unlike the economists, my other concern about Sanders and his plethora of free stuff and never ending higher taxes is his lack of coordination among his spending proposals and failure to address existing issues like the funding shortfall for Social Security and Medicare and tax reform before heading off on the road to Shangri-La.
For future note; unless you dramatically reduce the amount of health care received by Americans, a single-payer system will not save money. I’ll leave it to you to ponder how that will be accomplished.
Paul Krugman – New York Times Blog
Single Payer Trouble
A week ago I worried about the Sanders health plan; it looked as if he was low-balling costs in an effort to obscure how hard making such a plan would be, and how many currently well-insured people would end up being losers.
Now Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy expert (and a long-term supporter of health reform who believes that single payer would be a good thing if politically feasible) has tried to crunch the numbers, and it really doesn’t look good. Thorpe estimates that the plan would actually require about twice as much new revenue as Sanders claims.
The Sanders campaign is calling this a “hatchet job”; but as Jonathan Cohn says, Thorpe’s assumptions are broadly consistent with what most health policy experts believe.
Or as Ezra Klein puts it,
the gap between Thorpe and Sanders is the gap between an economist who is optimistic that single-payer can save some money and a campaign optimistic that it can save a huge amount of money.
And it’s not good to see the campaign basically responding to questions about its numbers by attacking the motives of someone who should be on their side.