Not Even Doubling All Federal Individual and Corporate Incomes Taxes Would Fully Fund the Proposal

A “Medicare for all” proposal would cost the federal government more than $32 trillion over the course of ten years. That’s according to a new study by Charles Blahous, Mercatus Center senior research strategist and former public trustee for Social Security and Medicare.

Dr. Blahous analyzed the “Medicare for All Act” (M4A), legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) last September, in an effort to determine how much such a proposal would cost the federal government.

Here are the numbers:

  • M4A total cost over its first ten years: $32.6 trillion
  • Federal spending on healthcare by 2031: 12.7 percent of all economic activity in the United States

Other studies aimed at estimating the cost of providing Medicare-like coverage to all Americans had similar findings.

  • A 2016 Center for Health and Economy (CHE) study of the same proposal estimated more than $27 trillion more in federal budget deficits
  • Kenneth Thorpe, a professor with Emory University, also estimated that the proposal would require nearly $25 trillion in federal financing
  • If you consider the same time frame and the same set of benefits, the estimates in these studies are similar to Dr. Blahous’s results

Financing such a massive cost increase would be extremely challenging. Even doubling all federal individual and corporate income tax collections would fall short of fully funding the plan.

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