The Lancet: Medicare for All Would Save More Than 68,000 Lives Annually


Bernie Sander's argument for universal health care just got supported by several analyses of American medical claims.

A universal health-care system would save more than 68,000 lives and upwards $450 billion annually, according to the premier British medical journal [The Lancet](

"The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations," the researchers found.

Furthermore, an analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute, which examined medical claims data for roughly 40 million people, found that Americans, on average, spent an all-time high of nearly $6,000 per year.

The price increase is mostly due to the prices for medical services, rather than more people using them, a trend that isn’t expected to reverse any time soon, HCCI president Niall Brennan said.

The analyses mirror Sen. Bernie Sander’s argument for his single-payer health plan in a presidential race where he is continually fending off attacks from his moderate colleagues and opponents on the political right.

Out-of-pocket costs for American workers increased 14.5 percent from 2014 to 2018. Average prices for medical services and products increased 15 percent from 2014 to 2018.

“The average worker in America, their family makes $60,000 a year. That family is now paying $12,000 a year for health care, 20 percent of their income,” Sanders argued at the December debate.

“Under Medicare-for-all, that family will be paying $1,200 a year, because we’re eliminating the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies and ending this byzantine and complex administration of thousands of separate health care plans,” he said.

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Header image: Molly Adams/CC BY 2.0/Flickr


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