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Sanders' Medicare Plan Could Cost $32.6 Trillion

From the WebMD Archives

Juy 31, 2018 -- U.S. government health care spending would rise by $32.6 trillion over 10 years under the "Medicare for all" plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to an analysis from a conservative-funded policy center.

Under Sanders' plan, all U.S. residents would have health coverage, with no copays or deductibles, and private insurers would be restricted to a minor role, the Associated Press reported.

The plan would lead to significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased use of health care would lead to a sharp rise in government spending, according to an analysis being released Monday by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia.

"Enacting something like 'Medicare for all' would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government," according to analysis author Charles Blahous.

He was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration, the AP reported.

Sanders noted that the Mercatus Center receives funding from the conservative Koch brothers, and that Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch is on the center's board.

"If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same," Sanders said in a statement, the AP reported.

"This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a 'Medicare for all' program," Sanders said.

His office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said. The figures in the Mercatus analysis are in the range of other cost estimates for Sanders' 2016 plan, the AP reported.