Why Sen Sanders concept of health care reinforces all the wrong behaviors 

Here are some key highlights from the Sanders Medicare-for-all plan. In short, it covers virtually every type of health care, including long-term care. It costs the typical worker only 2.2% of taxable income [1] and there are no out-of-pocket costs. 

It also implies all charges will be paid (“no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay charges”). It’s not going anywhere, but the very idea that such grand schemes can be accomplished with no adverse consequences is entertaining. 

Who could oppose such a plan? What better way to reinforce the idea that health care can be free and without restrictions? This is exactly the opposite of what should happen. 

With no cost at the point of service and the 2.2% disappearing into the vast pool of taxes, why should anyone care about the amount of health care they receive or the cost of such care? After all, it’s virtually all somebody else’s money.  I don’t know what he has in mind premium wise for seniors, but 2.2% of taxable income is a fraction of what the average senior pays today for Medicare and supplemental coverage. 

This type of scheme promises the world, but conveniently avoids explaining how costs will be managed in the future. With such open-ended benefits,  serious managing will be very necessary. Such a plan is simply not sustainable without considerable controls on utilization. 

[1] There are other taxes, but of course, only on the “wealthy” who by the way Sanders expects to save Social Security as well. 


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