Offbeat Democrats seize on cherry-picked claim that ‘Medicare-for-all’ would save $2 trillion

15:30  07 august  2018
15:30  07 august  2018 Source:   msn.com

Bernie Sanders’s $32 trillion Medicare-for-all plan is actually kind of a bargain

  Bernie Sanders’s $32 trillion Medicare-for-all plan is actually kind of a bargain The federal government would spend a lot more money on health care, but overall US health spending would be about the same as otherwise projected.That is how much federal spending would increase over 10 years under Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill, according to a brand-new estimate from the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

A new study from a libertarian think tank admits that Medicare for All would save a whopping $ 2 trillion https As outlined in the study's assumptions, to save money, Medicare For All requires private insurance for none. Rising liberal Democrat star on West Coast fundraising swing.

Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) widely popular Medicare for All plan would cost .6 trillion over the next decade was conducted by an official “The claim that ‘even the Koch organizations say it will save money while covering everyone’ provides a useful bit of rhetoric for proponents of the policy,” he adds.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum speaks to the media after a debate ahead of the Democratic primary for governor on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. © AP Photo/Brynn Anderson Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum speaks to the media after a debate ahead of the Democratic primary for governor on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“We know that Medicaid expansion and Medicare-for-all actually save this state and this nation $2 trillion if it were fully implemented.”

— Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for Florida governor, in a primary debate, Aug. 2, 2018

As our colleague David Weigel reported, Democrats have latched onto the catchy idea of “Medicare-for-all” (also known as M4A) as a way of expressing their support for universal health care.

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Related: How Democrats learned to stop worrying and love ' Medicare for all '. Businesses, meanwhile, would save more than ,400 annually since they would no longer have to pick up their share of workers' health insurance premiums.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats would only "evaluate" Medicare for All proposals if they take back News That Matters. Hit Piece Backfires: Shows Medicare for All Would Save 'Whopping $ 2 Trillion ' Over Ten Years While Covering Everybody.

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On July 30, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University released a working paper on the 10-year fiscal impact of the Medicare-for-all plan sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The report was written by Charles Blahous, a former economic adviser to George W. Bush and a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare from 2010 through 2015.

Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, was quoted in Weigel’s article as having touted, during a debate, a $2 trillion cost-savings figure that is in the report. Sanders, too, has tweeted about this $2 trillion number, sarcastically thanking the conservative Koch brothers, whose foundation has contributed to Mercatus.

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President Donald Trump's decision late Friday to block a memo by House Democrats —which rebuts a " cherry - picked " document released last week that's News That Matters. Hit Piece Backfires: Shows Medicare for All Would Save 'Whopping $ 2 Trillion ' Over Ten Years While Covering Everybody.

Even saving $ 2 trillion over the next decade would still leave our costs much higher than Switzerland’s. But after that, the push towards Medicare for All seems virtually inevitable, and the framing in terms of The question is: Can Democrats seize the advantage for themselves?

But Blahous is crying foul, saying Democrats are misrepresenting his findings. Let’s take a look.

The facts

We often warn readers that you can’t get something for nothing. In the health-care realm, even relatively small shifts can lead to major dislocation and changes; President Barack Obama discovered that, to his chagrin. As former Lyndon Johnson White House aide Joseph A. Califano Jr. once noted, congressional dealmaking during the passage of Medicaid unexpectedly led to one-third of the Medicaid budget going to nursing homes — an industry that was literally built on Medicaid funding.

In doing his research, Blahous decided to follow the text of the Sanders plan and assume that providers — doctors, hospitals, drug companies and the like — would face an immediate cut of 40 percent in their payments. That in theory would reduce the country’s overall level of health expenditures by $2 trillion from 2022 to 2031. But he makes clear that it’s a pretty unrealistic assumption.

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Friedman says his analysis shows that a nonprofit single-payer system based on the principles of the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, H.R. 676, introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and co-sponsored by 45 other lawmakers, would save an estimated 2 billion in 2014.

Where’s $ 2 trillion from? Jeffries’ spokesperson did not get back to us with information supporting his claim . "For example, Medicare currently pays medical residents in the United States – not just those who serve the elderly, but all residents," Goldwein said.

In the fourth sentence of the report’s abstract, Blahous wrote, “It is likely that the actual cost of M4A would be substantially greater than these estimates, which assume significant administrative and drug cost savings under the plan, and also assume that healthcare providers operating under M4A will be reimbursed at rates more than 40 percent lower than those currently paid by private health insurance.”

Under an alternative scenario, which assumes these cuts cannot be achieved, national health spending rises even faster than under current law because health-care demand would increase.

“To lend credibility to the $2 trillion savings number, one would have to argue that we can cut payments to providers by about 40 percent at the same time as increasing demand by about 11 percent,” Blahous said.

The main point of his study is being ignored by Democrats — that even by generously accepting Sanders’s assumptions that he could squeeze providers so much, the plan would still raise government expenditures by $32.6 trillion. This is in line with a 2016 estimate by the left-leaning Urban Institute of an earlier version of the M4A plan — that it would cause federal expenditures to increase by $32 trillion. (Without the provider cuts, Blahaus estimated  the additional federal budget cost at nearly $40 trillion over 10 years.)

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Going on a Medicare - for - All system is the most cost-neutral approach. Я говорю что думаю. #uniteblue #connecttheleft #feelthebern #liberal # democrat #blogger #graduate from @SFSU.

President Trump on Twitter Saturday morning suggested congressional Democrats are to blame for his administration's policy of separating children from "Let me thank the Koch brothers, of all people, for sponsoring a study that shows that Medicare for All would save the American people $ 2 trillion

Sanders has said his plan would cost $1.38 trillion a year, paid for in part with new taxes on employers and an income-based premium, but under Blahaus’s analysis it would be closer to $3.3 trillion.

“For perspective on these figures, consider that doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to finance the added federal costs of the plan,” Blahous wrote. (He’s referring only to income tax collection, not existing Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.)

Blahous told the Fact Checker: “Every table in the study (Tables 1-5) is very explicit that the additional costs arising from higher demand are substantially higher than the potential administrative efficiencies of going to a centralized national health insurance system. So whenever proponents argue that eliminating private sector insurance profits and overhead would enable us to cover more people for less money, that conflicts with the findings of the study.”

Congress has a long history of passing cuts to health-care providers that do not come to fruition. The 1997 balanced-budget agreement between President Bill Clinton and the GOP-led Congress included cuts that Congress deferred for 17 years with an annual provision known as the “doc fix.” It was finally eliminated under a deal Obama reached with Congress in 2015, or else providers would have faced a cut of 21 percent.

AP FACT CHECK: Sanders spins savings in Medicare plan

  AP FACT CHECK: Sanders spins savings in Medicare plan Sen. Bernie Sanders is skimming over the facts in claiming that his "Medicare for all" plan will lead to big reductions in what Americans spend for health care.In a recent tweet, the Vermont independent insists the plan will cut $2 trillion from the nation's health care bill.But that's based on a scenario in which hospitals and doctors accept significantly lower payments for many patients. It's a big asterisk, and one that Sanders fails to disclose.A look at the claim:SANDERS: "Medicare for All will lead to a $2 TRILLION REDUCTION in national health expenditures over 10 years." — July 30 tweet.

The Trillion -Dollar Miscalculation. The Washington Post editorial board took a harder line than Krugman, weighing Actually, it’s an easy sell: I can save you thousands of dollars a year by replacing a terrible system with a much better one. People say Medicare for all is “politically unfeasible.”

It has been the goal of Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a universal health care We need a system that works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us. This plan has been estimated to save the American people and businesses over trillion over the next decade.

In 2012, Blahous wrote a study questioning the budget assumptions in the Affordable Care Act, such as the political prospects for a tax on “Cadillac” health plans. He turned out to be right: The tax keeps getting pushed off and weakened.

For the record, Blahous says the Kochs had nothing to do with his research. “It’s academic research, it goes through a blind review process, and it represents my own work,” he said. “I choose my own research subjects and follow the facts where they lead. You’d have to ask someone else about where funding comes from, I don’t follow that and it doesn’t affect me.”

We shared Blahous’s concerns with Gillum’s campaign, which confirmed that he relied on the Mercatus study, and received this response: “The Mayor’s a proud supporter of Medicare-for-All and this study shows the potential for significant savings,” said communications director Geoff Burgan. “It would be a strong improvement over the Republicans’ attempts to destroy our current system and rip health care away from people.”

The Pinocchio Test

We don’t intend to pick on Gillum, who appears to have picked up a talking point that is circulating among Democrats. But we do want to lay down a marker because this goes too far.

All too often, politicians mischaracterize conclusions that are contained in academic or think tank studies. At the Fact Checker, we rely heavily on how a study’s author says the data should be presented. In this case, it’s clear that Blahous bent over backward  to accept Sanders’s assumptions, only to find they did not add up. Democrats cannot seize on one cherry-picked fact without acknowledging the broader implications of Blahous’s research.

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John Stossel: Social Security is going broke .
Social Security is running out of money. You may not believe that, but it’s a fact.That FICA money taken from your paycheck was not saved for you in a “trust fund.” Politicians misled us. They spent every penny the moment it came in.This started as soon as they created Social Security. They assumed that FICA payments from young workers would cover the cost of sending checks to older people. After all, at the time, most Americans died before they reached 65.Now, however, people keep living longer. There just aren’t enough young people to cover my Social Security checks.

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