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Editorial on Bernie Sanders’ single-payer plan tells only half the story

Your Tuesday editorial “Trillion, with a ‘t’” left out some key facts about the study recently published by the Mercatus Center on the Medicare-for-all plan being promoted by Bernie Sanders and others. The Mercatus Center study itself showed that Medicare for all would save the country $2 trillion over the same 10 years.

That study showed the U.S. is currently projected to spend $34 trillion over the same 10 years. When you add up all the insurance premiums paid by employers, employees and individuals, payments for prescriptions, doctor visits and medical procedures by insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. — everything we spend on health care in this country — it will be $2 trillion more than what is estimated for Sen. Sanders’ plan. And the Mercatus Center came up with the exact same number and overall economic effect as the left-leaning Urban Institute did in 2016.

No one is saying it’s “free.” It would shift a large amount of costs currently paid to and by private insurance to the federal government, paid through taxes. A lot of analysis and reasoned debate need to go into this before any such change. But don’t cut it short by telling half of the story.

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