Why Medicare for All Would Require Huge Tax Increases

by Hal Snarr

Medicare for All is listed as the top priority of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He describes it as a single-payer system that is “free at the point of service” as there will be no premiums, deductibles, copays, or surprise bills. It will cover more services (dental, hearing, vision, long-term care, substance abuse treatment, etc.) than what the present Medicare system covers. It will also stop the “pharmaceutical industry from ripping off the American people” by capping prescription drug prices.

Medicare for All sounds wonderful until you get into the economic weeds of it.

To understand how Medicare for All is not the utopia it is being sold as, we must first analyze its antithesis, which is modeled below. The state in this model is an observer. It is not a manager, owner, subsidizer, regulator, or licenser of healthcare products or services. Here the exchanges between providers and patients are voluntary and result in twenty-five procedures that cost $1050 each.

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