Mercatus Center scholar Charles Blahous said Tuesday that Medicare for All would cost over $60 trillion over the next decade.
Blahous testified before the House Rules Committee’s hearing on Medicare for All, which serves as the first congressional hearing on Medicare for All.
The scholar previously released a study which detailed $32 trillion over the next ten years. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed that this study would save the federal government money; however, Blahous emphasized Tuesday that his study found that the $32 trillion price tag means net new federal spending on health care.
The hearing covers Reps. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) and Debbie Dingell’s (D-MA) Medicare for All legislation, which Blahous suggests would cost more than Sanders’ bill because it includes provisions on long-term care benefits.
Blahous said that the $32 trillion price tag was too conservative and that given historical spending levels on health care, net new federal spending would likely increase spending by $38.8 trillion over the next ten years and would increase federal healthcare spending to 13 to 15 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Mercatus scholar also noted that the Medicare for All’s total federal spending price over the next ten years would amount to between $54.6 trillion and $60.7 trillion.
Blahous mentioned that “doubling individual and corporate income taxes would be insufficient to finance even the lower bound” of the $32.6 trillion in new federal spending.
The Democrats’ hearing on Medicare for All arises as less than one-third of Americans, or 31 percent, said that implementing a Medicare for All-style plan would amount to a “top priority.” Forty-seven percent of Democrats said that single-payer healthcare was a “top priority,” whereas only 26 percent of Independents and 14 percent of Republicans said that this policy was critical.
Further, a majority of Americans would oppose a Medicare for All proposal if it were to:
- Eliminate private health insurance (58 percent)
- Require most Americans to pay more in taxes (60 percent)
- Harm Medicare (60 percent)
- Lead to delays in medical tests and treatments (70 percent)