Last year, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled what would become the signature piece of legislation that he’d build his 2020 presidential run around — the same one he used for his 2016 run: “Medicare for all.”
The plan, which would expand Medicare to the point where it became a single-payer program, was estimated to cost $32 trillion over 10 years.
He’s gone further than that since then, calling for all medical debts to be canceled and to ignore the debt in credit scores.
“We’re addressing it on both ends,” Sanders said on Saturday, according to The New York Times.
“We’re addressing it now by trying to help the people who have past due medical bills. And we’re addressing it by finally creating a health care system that guarantees coverage to people without any premiums, without any deductibles, without any out-of-pocket expenses.”
It doesn’t take much to realize that this isn’t going to work. But don’t just take my word for it.
Take Bernie Sanders’ word back in 1987.
Yes, unbelievably, it seems that Sanders actually had more sense when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and had recently honeymooned in the Soviet Union.
According to The Free Beacon, Sanders was speaking with Dr. Milton Terris’, the editor of the Journal of Public Health Policy, on his public access cable tv show “Bernie Speaks with the Community.”
In a clip from the interview, Sanders can be seen saying that “you want to guarantee that all people have access to health care as you do in Canada.”
However, he then made a prediction his future self probably wishes he hadn’t made.
“But I think what we understand is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanisms in this country to do that — for example, if we expanded Medicaid to everybody, everybody had a Medicaid card, we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation,” he said.
“Maybe you want to talk a little bit about that and why, in Canada, under their national health system, you can have access for all people — and yet, per capita, it is less expensive than in the United States.”
Now, none of the structural problems that Sanders talks about have changed in the intervening years. In fact, care here has gotten more expensive and de facto single-payer healthcare isn’t going to solve that.
Furthermore, keep in mind that Sanders is using Canada as his polestar. I’m fairly certain we’re all familiar with the Canadian system and its attendant problems, but that’s apparently what he wants to emulate. I merely leave that out there for summary judgment.
And keep in mind, Sanders wants to do this on top of everything else he wants to do. He wants to cancel medical debt. He wants to cancel student debt. He wants to launch a more modest version of the Green New Deal.
All of that costs money — money that we don’t have. Something Bernie Sanders knew back in 1987. He knows it now, too — but he’s gotten a lot more cynical over the years.
That’s a very dangerous thing for America and our health care.
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