Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday was joined by prominent Democrats to announce his “Medicare for all” bill, or single-payer healthcare.
Healthcare for everyone! Sounds great, right? But how much will it cost? It seems Sanders doesn’t even really know.
The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner says the current system is “running some $58 trillion in the red, after totaling all projected future liabilities.” The U.S. national debt passed the $20 trillion this week.
I’m not a mathematician, but those numbers don’t seem to work.
Thirty years ago, Bernie Sanders agreed.
In 1987, as seen in a video posted by the NTK Network, as the mayor of Burlington, Vt., Sanders claimed that while he supported universal healthcare, trying to put all Americans on Medicaid (both Medicaid and Medicare costs states and the federal government about a half trillion annually) would “bankrupt the nation.”
Younger Sanders opined, “But I think what we understand is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanism in this country to do that.”
“For example, if we expanded Medicaid [to] everybody,” Sanders continued. “Give everybody a Medicaid card — we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation.”
In 1987, when Sanders was certain it would be far too expensive for Medicaid to be provided for all, the national debt was less than $3 trillion.
Has math changed in the last 30 years?
The Democratic Party has. In fact, so many Democrats have signed on to Sanders’ plan, Rare’s Matt Purple observed Thursday, “Remarkably, more than one third of the Senate Democratic caucus is currently on board with this.”
“That’s a surge in support compared to Sanders’ last shot at universal coverage back in 2013, when not a single Democratic senator backed his efforts,” Purple adds.
He’s right. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris — virtually every current potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate except Joe Biden — is supporting Bernie’s latest bid. It’s a left coup.
Bernie Sanders himself is also on that potential presidential nominee list. Thanks to his efforts, full-bore, single-payer healthcare seems to have really taken hold in Democratic Party.
But math? Not so much.