Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) said Wednesday during a House Ways and Means hearing on universal health coverage that he was concerned about the lack of “pay-fors” in Medicare for All.
The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing Wednesday on “pathways to universal coverage,” mainly focusing on the single-payer proposal known as Medicare for All.
Schneider said that health care is a “right” and that “all Democrats are unified in support of universal coverage.”
“That was the goal when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act,” the Illinois Democrat said, although Schneider later admitted that 30 million Americans do not have health insurance years after former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law.
Rep. Schneider then admitted that Obamacare still has “many problems,” although he countered by saying that many of these problems arose from the “deliberate sabotage” of the Donald Trump administration.
Congressman Schneider then turned his attention to Dr. Donald Berwick, a senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, asking how Congress can pay for Medicare for All.
Addressing Berwick, Schneider asked, “I want to give you the opportunity to respond to some of the concerns, many, including myself, have about the proposal. My biggest question at the moment is the lack of pay-fors in Medicare for all.”
Paying for Medicare for All has served as a daunting task for many Democrats. During a House Rules Committee hearing on Medicare for All in April, Mercatus Center scholar Charles Blahous said that Medicare for All would cost $60 trillion over the next ten years, up to $38.8 trillion of which would amount to net new federal spending.
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 a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 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)
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.