A team of University of Massachusetts economists analyzed Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) Medicare for All Act of 2017 and found the plan not only economically feasible but that it “could actually reduce health consumption expenditures by about 9.6 percent while also providing decent health care coverage for all Americans,” according to Common Dreams.
In a nearly 200-page report released at the Sanders Institute Gathering, the first major event hosted by the think tank founded by Jane O’Meara Sanders and David Driscoll, the senator’s wife and son, the economists outline seven major aspects of transforming the U.S. health care system, detailing step-by-step the actions needed to be taken to achieve truly universal health care and its potential impacts on individuals, families, businesses and government. The analysis, which was in development for 18 months, has received praise from 11 distinguished experts in the fields of economics and health care studies who have rigorously reviewed the researchers’ findings.
“The most fundamental goals of Medicare for All are to significantly improve health care outcomes for everyone living in the United States while also establishing effective cost controls throughout the health care system. These two purposes are both achievable,” says lead author Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics at UMass Amherst and co-director of [the Political Economy Research Institute]. “As of 2017, the U.S. was spending about $3.24 trillion on personal health care—about 17 percent of total GDP. Meanwhile, 9 percent of U.S. residents have no insurance and 26 percent are underinsured—they are unable to access needed care because of prohibitively high costs. Other high-income countries spend an average of about 40 percent less per person and produce better health outcomes. Medicare for All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. by nearly 10 percent, to $2.93 trillion, while creating stable access to good care for all U.S. residents.”
The PERI research team of Pollin, James Heintz, Peter Arno, Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Michael Ash, found that Medicare for All would reduce annual health care spending to $2.93 trillion from the current level of $3.24 trillion. Public health care revenue sources that presently provide about 60 percent of all U.S. health care financing, including funding for Medicare and Medicaid, would provide $1.88 trillion of financing for the new system. Removing the other costs attributed with the current system would leave a gap of $1.05 trillion, which the economists suggest could be raised with a set of four proposals that will generate enough revenue to create a surplus of 1 percent for the system.