There are bills in the House (H.R. 676) and Senate (S.1804), proposed by Democrats, under the banner of "Medicare for All." These bills, if passed would provide Medicare coverage to every "non-elderly" person (the elderly are covered under Medicaid) in the US, without regard to citizenship status. Let me put it into plain language why this would wreck 1) every citizen, 2) the federal government, 3) the healthcare industry and 4) the economy as a whole.
According the The Urban Institute (no right-wingers allowed there), they released a report, The Sanders Single-Payer Health Care Plan.
These are the highlights of their report:
Federal spending will increase about $3.6 Billion a year. This is Table 1 on page 4, "Increase in federal spending ($billions), 2017-2026, $32,003.5" That's $32 Trillion over ten years, or $3.2 Trillion a year.
The entire Federal budget right now is $4.1 Trillion to give you an idea how much the federal spending will increase.
The last bullet point on page 3 reads thusly:
Analysis by the Tax Policy Center indicates that Sanders’s revenue proposals, intended to finance all new health and nonhealth spending, would raise $15.3 trillion in revenue over 2017 to 2026. This amount is approximately $16.6 trillion less than the increased federal cost of his health care plan estimated here. The discrepancy suggests that to fully finance the Sanders approach, additional sources of revenue would have to be identified; that is, the proposed taxes are much too low to fully finance the plan.
Now, the "additional revenue" (that will only be about 45% of what is needed) is made up by:
From the top of page 6: ...[The Sanders Campaign] propose a 2.2 percent income-based premium on households, a 6.2 percent payroll tax imposed on employers, additional revenues from revisions to the estate tax, increases in taxes on capital gains and dividends, new limits on deductions for high-income taxpayers, and increases in income taxes that largely affect high-income people. They anticipate that low-income individuals would save because the amounts they would be required to pay in new taxes would be less than what they are required to pay today in premiums, cost sharing, and other tax payments.
Similarly, employers that now provide coverage would pay less because their obligations under the proposed approach would be limited to the 6.2 percent payroll tax paid by employers. In contrast, across all employers (i.e., including those who offer health insurance and those who do not), employer-paid premiums for health insurance benefits currently average 8.3 percent of total compensation. Higher-income individuals would be expected to pay considerably more toward health expenses than they do today. [Emphasis mine]
So, it's more "soak the rich," but what happens if the rich leave? Seriously, what happens if Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, The Koch Brothers and all the rest of "the rich" get tired of this crap and just take the cash they have in the bank, leave the country and live overseas?
This is a math issue. "Medicare for All" will almost double federal spending. The proposed tax increases will cover half of that. Our current federal government annual deficit is $800 Billion. That's how much we borrow on the "good faith and credit" on the United States, every year. If we were to start this, without any additional taxes or cuts, that annual deficit would jump to $2.4 Trillion a year. Not gonna happen, no way, no how. Our debtors would stop buying our bonds (that's how we borrow money) that day. The federal government would not be able to pay it's bills and it would collapse, likely bringing the entire US economy with it.
The only way I see this happening is we have to increase taxes more and cut payments to providers. That is the only way to bring this into balance.
Here's something you may not know, Medicare only pays between 60% to 75% of what private insurance pays. Let's say my disabled son (who is on Medicare) and I go to our PCP for an exam, get some blood work done, etc. If, between my co-pay and my private insurance pays the doctor $100 for my visit, the doctor only gets between $60 and $75, for the same services. In essence, my visit makes my son's visit profitable for him.
Serious question time: would you have an average of $85 per visit (($100 + $70)/2), or $70 since we would both be on Medicare?
That would be, assuming that the reimbursement rates would be the same. If the federal government was the only payer in town, what would you do if they decided to cut the rates? Go from $70 a visit to $40? If the doctor wanted to stay in business, he would take cash and not Medicare.
What will you do if you have no money because your taxes doubled to pay for Medicare, but your doctor won't accept Medicare? You die, killed by the Democrats.