Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 5, 2019
Elizabeth Warren rolled out her $52 trillion Medicare for All plan last week — a proposal almost as big as the Democrat presidential candidate’s delusions.
As Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon (playing the part of Warren) put it in her latest lampoon, “When the numbers are this big they’re just pretend.”
But this Disneyland fantasy would be a nightmare for taxpayers of all types.
Warren insists the uber wealthy, not middle-income earners, will pick up the tab for the $20.5 trillion in new federal spending the health care plan would bring.
Brian Riedl, economic policy expert at the Manhattan Institute, is one of many — on both sides of the aisle — skeptical of Warren’s math.
Promising to shield middle-class families from new taxes, Riedl wrote, forces the candidate to “propose an unrealistic level of health care savings, as well as new taxes on businesses and investors that are nearly unprecedented in the modern economy.”
“A more realistic accounting of this plan likely leaves a substantial funding hole, not to mention questions about how the economy would respond to the avalanche of taxes,” he asserts in an opinion piece at the Manhattan Institute.
Medicare faces a $72 trillion shortfall over the next 30 years, something that isn’t fully accounted for in Warren’s plan. And her savings estimates don’t pass the smell test of what many economists believe would be significantly higher national health spending under such a single-payer plan.
A report by the Committee for Responsible Federal Budgeting notes most independent estimates of Medicare for All show the program would cost the federal government — taxpayers — $25 trillion to $36 trillion over a decade. The Urban Institute has estimated the cost would be about $32 trillion over the period.
“These estimates represent additional costs on top of the $16 trillion the federal government is already projected to spend on major health programs over the next decade,” CRFB notes in its report.
“Tax increases on high earners, corporations, and the financial sector by themselves could not cover much more than one-third of the cost of Medicare for All,” CRFB concludes.
As a Fox News perspective piece points out, total annual corporate profits come in at under $2.1 trillion.
The total value of the U.S. stock market and that of U.S. homes is $32.3 trillion and $33.3 trillion respectively, which would just about cover the federal costs of the socialized health care system over the next decade.
America can’t afford Warren’s “pretend” numbers.