Yep, lots of folks think we already HAVE the first socialist president. And if you think THIS is bad, get a load of what Bernie has in mind.
One of the most popular stories in the Wall Street Journal last year put a price tag on the cost of Bernie Sanders’ policy proposals: $18 trillion. The largest component of that $18 trillion was his single payer healthcare plan, which was estimated at $15 trillion.
As it turns out, that figure was a bit too conservative.
As the healthcare analyst Avik Roy outlines in a column at National Review, the Sanders healthcare plan alone would increase Federal spending by at least $28 trillion over the next ten years. That’s more than the current national debt.
Yesterday, the Bernie Sanders campaign put out a fiscal score for Sanders’ plan to replace the entire U.S. health-care system with a government-run single-payer regime. The score was generated by Gerald Friedman, an economist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and it illustrates why Berniecare is an utter fantasy.
If you take Friedman’s rosy scenario for granted, you’re still looking at an astounding 55 percent increase in total federal spending from 2017 to 2026. That’s because under current law, “only” 31 percent of U.S. health-care spending is run through the federal government, while 19 percent goes through state and local governments, 21 percent through businesses, and 29 percent through households. So if the federal government were to assume responsibility for all U.S. health-care spending, even with some rationing and price controls, federal spending would increase by $28 trillion from 2017 to 2026. Of that, $14 trillion would be paid for by taxes, and the rest would increase the deficit.
State and local governments would be relieved of their responsibility to fund health-care programs, but they would not be required to give that money back to their residents in the form of lower taxes. It’s far more likely that they’d spend the money on other priorities. Individuals and employers would, of course, pay far more in taxes to finance Sanders’ plan.
Recently we reported that Bernie’s home state of Vermont had attempted to implement a single payer healthcare system, but were quickly confronted with fiscal reality when they discovered that it would nearly double the size of the State’s budget.
Vermont can’t afford single payer, and neither can the rest of the country.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]