Warren’s $52 trillion Medicare for All plan increases wealth tax

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren announced Friday that she “asked top experts to examine her Medicare for All plan,” who concluded that everyone would be covered under her plan – “and give them vastly better coverage– without a tax increase on middle-class families.”

“In addition to providing coverage for everyone, they concluded that my plan would slightly reduce the amount of money that the United States would otherwise spend on health care over the next 10 years,” Warren said.

Warren’s campaign said her single-payer health plan would cost “just under” $52 trillion over a decade, including $20.5 trillion in new federal spending.

The plan would “cut administrative costs by scrapping private insurers” and tax “the financial sector, large corporations and the top 1 percent of individuals.”

The proposal increases her previously proposed “wealth tax” on individuals whose assets exceed $1 billion to 6 percent instead of the previously proposed 3 percent in her education plan. The increase would raise an additional $1 trillion, the campaign said.

Analysts project her education plan would cost taxpayers $1.25 trillion over a decade.

Warren’s education plan would be financed by a 2 percent tax increase on individuals with a net worth of more than $50 million and a 3 percent tax increase on those worth more than $1 billion. The tax revenue would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years, according to the plan.

study by Charles Blahous at the Foundation for Economic Education found that the costs of Medicare for All would increase federal costs by an unprecedented amount, between $32.6 trillion and $38.8 trillion over ten years.

“Even doubling all projected federal individual and corporate income taxes couldn’t finance it,” Blahous said.

Blahous also points to projections made by multiple experts published by the Urban Institute, who estimate that if Medicare for All payment rates were set higher than current Medicare rates, hospitals at a bare minimum might break even and national health spending would rise, not fall.

According to an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association, hospitals nationwide would lose roughly $150 billion a year through Medicare for All.

The result means that “someone would have to be paid less, and it wouldn’t just be insurance companies: It would be nurses and doctors, therapists and billing specialists, the entire universe of middle-class jobs that America’s health care industry supports,” Peter Suderman, features editor at Reason, argues.

Suderman also says is would result in the closure of multiple hospitals, especially in poor and rural areas.

Warren’s proposal was written by Dr. Donald Berwick, “one of the nation’s top experts in health care improvement who ran the Medicare and Medicaid programs under President Obama,” Warren says, and Simon Johnson, MIT professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said Warren’s campaign was using “mathematical gymnastics” to hide the fact that “it’s impossible to pay for Medicare for All without middle class tax increases.”

This article was first published by The Center Square.

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