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The Stakes Are High To Save Health Care From A Government Takeover

- June 26, 2017

Democrats Only Alternative To Obamacare's Failure Is A Single-Payer, Government System That Would Cost Trillions And Raise Taxes


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Democrat bosses and progressive leaders admit Obamacare was a bridge to a European-style health care system with universal coverage.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced a universal health care bill that would cost $32 trillion and be financed on the backs of American taxpayers with significant tax increases across the board.
  • 113 Democrats have signed on to support Sanders' $32 trillion legislation in the House of Representatives, which includes several members of Democrat leadership as co-sponsors.
  • A number of state legislatures have proposed and tried to implement a single-payer health care system, but choose not to after realizing the tremendous costs and tax increases that would accompany such a system.

DEMOCRAT PARTY BOSSES KNEW THAT OBAMACARE WAS A STEP TOWARDS A GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Obamacare Has Been Called "A Bridge To European-Style Universal Coverage" And Has Been Described As A Building Block Or Step In The Right Direction Towards A Single-Payer System

A Single-Payer Health Care System Gives Health Care To All And Is Financed By A Single Entity Like The Federal Government. "Single-payer-or Medicare for All, as it's sometimes referred to in the U.S.-is a system in which all healthcare financing is provided by one entity, such as (but not always) the federal government. All residents receive core coverage regardless of income, occupation, or health status." (Alicia Adamczyk, "What Is Single-Payer Healthcare and Why Is It So Popular?" CNN , 4/13/17)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Has Long Supported A Single-Payer System And Believed That The Affordable Care Act Could Be "A Bridge To European-Style Universal Coverage." "'I supported single-payer since before you were born,' said Pelosi, who has argued since the passage of the Affordable Care Act that it could be a bridge to European-style universal coverage." (David Weigel, "With AHCA Defeat, Some Democrats See Chance To Push For Universal Coverage," The Washington Post , 3/26/17)

Sen. Sanders (I-VT) Wanted To "Build On" Obamacare With His Medicare For All Health Care Plan. "Sanders denied he'd tear down Obamacare [with his Medicare for all plan], noting that he had a role in drafting it and he voted for it. But he said he wants to build on it, and bring down the cost of health care which is still leaving the newly insured with big expenses." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Sanders, Clinton Clash Over His New 'Medicare For All' Plan, Politico , 1/17/16)

  • Sen. Sanders Thinks We Should Be Going Forward With A Medicare For All, Single-Payer Program In the Long-Term. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: "I am going to go forward with a Medicare for all, single-payer program, and I think that is the direction long-term, that we should be going." (MSNBC's, Meet The Press," 6/25/17)

Former Democrat Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) Said That Obamacare Is A "Step In The Right Direction" Towards A Single-Payer National Health Care System. "'What we've done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we're far from having something that's going to work forever,' Reid said. When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: 'Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.' The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill." ("Harry Reid Says Obamacare A Step Toward Single-Payer System," Las Vegas Sun , 8/10/13)

Some Lawmakers Saw The Affordable Care Act "As Little More Than A Pit Stop On The Road" To Single-Payer, Universal Health Care. "Just a few years ago, lawmakers in this left-leaning state [Vermont] viewed President Obama's Affordable Care Act as little more than a pit stop on the road to a far more ambitious goal: single-payer, universal health care for all residents." (Abby Goodnough, "In Vermont, Frustrations Mount Over Affordable Care Act," The New York Times , 6/4/17)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS' FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE SINGLE-PAYER PLAN WOULD COST TRILLIONS, AND BE PAID-FOR BY DRAMATICALLY RAISING TAXES

Sanders' Plan Would Cost $32 Trillion Over Ten Years, Raise Taxes, And Effectively Lower Worker's Wages, While Only Raising Less Than Half Of The Total Cost For His Single-Payer System

Sen. Bernie Sanders Announced He Plans To Introduce A Single-Payer Program Bill In Congress. "'We have got to have the guts to take on the insurance companies and the drug companies and move forward toward a 'Medicare for all,' single-payer program,' Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on MSNBC's 'All In with Chris Hayes' on Friday night. 'And I'll be introducing legislation shortly to do that.'" (Daniel Marans, "Bernie Sanders, Top Progressives Announce New 'Medicare For All' Push," HuffPost , 3/27/17)

During The 2016 Presidential Campaign, Sen. Sanders Released His Single-Payer Health Care Plan. "Bernie Sanders released the details of his 'Medicare for all' single-payer health care plan just two hours before the Democratic debate here on Sunday night, escalating the bitter wrangling over health care with Hillary Clinton." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Sanders, Clinton Clash Over His New 'Medicare For All' Plan, Politico , 1/17/16)

The Urban Institute's Health Policy Center Estimated Sanders' Health Care Plan Would Cost $32 Trillion Over Ten Years. "In total, federal spending would increase by about $2.5 trillion (257.6 percent) in 2017. Federal expenditures would increase by about $32.0 trillion (232.7 percent) between 2017 and 2026..[.]" (John Holahan, et al., "The Sanders Single-Payer HealthCare Plan," The Urban Institute , 5/16)

To Pay For This Plan, Sanders' Proposed A 6.2 Percent Increase On The Payroll Tax That Would "Ultimately Be Shifted Back Onto Employees" Thus Lowering Their Wages." "Their employers, however, would pay a payroll tax of 6.2 percent on their earnings. This would ultimately be shifted back onto employees-including low-income employees-in the form of lower wages." (John Holahan, et al., "The Sanders Single-Payer HealthCare Plan," The Urban Institute , 5/16)

The Plan Would Increase Taxes On Income Affecting Low-Income Individuals, Among Others . "The 2.2 percent income surtax on taxable income would also affect many low-income people, but upper-middle-income and high-income individuals would bear most of the brunt of financing this plan through large tax increases." (John Holahan, et al., "The Sanders Single-Payer HealthCare Plan," The Urban Institute , 5/16)

The Sanders Plan Would Increase Income Taxes To More Than 50 Percent Of Earnings For Some Taxpayers, While Limiting Deductions . "The wealthy, meanwhile, would see their income tax rates raised and their deductions limited. Income above $250,000 would be taxed at rates starting at 37% and topping out at 52% for earnings above $10 million." (Dan Merica and Eric Bradner, "Hours Before Debate, Sanders Releases Medicare-For-All Plan," CNN , 1/17/16)

Sen. Sanders' Plan Also Raises The Tax Rates For Capital Gains And Dividends, With A Top Rate At Over 50 Percent. "Taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income and tax capital gains at death - Currently, long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are taxed at a top rate of 20 percent (plus a 3.8 percent surtax). Sen. Sanders would tax this income the same as earned income for households making above $250,000, resulting in a top rate of 52 percent (plus 10 percent in surtaxes, including the effects of his Social Security plan)." ("Analysis Of The Sanders Single-Payer Offsets," Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget , 2/3/16)

The Plan Would Also "Hike Estate Taxes" On Certain Inheritances. "The plan would also hike estate taxes on inheritances greater than $3.5 million. The current exemption is $5.45 million." (Dan Merica and Eric Bradner, "Hours Before Debate, Sanders Releases Medicare-For-All Plan," CNN , 1/17/16)

Sanders' Plan Only Raises Less Than Half Of The Cost For His Health Care Plan, Leaving $16.6 Trillion Of The Cost To Be Financed Some Other Way. "Analysis by the Tax Policy Center indicates that Sanders's revenue proposals, intended to finance all new health and nonhealth spending, would raise $15.3 trillion in revenue over 2017 to 2026. This amount is approximately $16.6 trillion less than the increased federal cost of his health care plan estimated here." (John Holahan, et al., "The Sanders Single-Payer HealthCare Plan," The Urban Institute , 5/16)

  • Sanders' Proposed Taxes Are "Too Low To Fully Finance The Plan." "The total $15.3 trillion that would be raised is approximately $16.6 trillion less than the increased federal cost of his health care plan estimated here, suggesting that fully financing the Sanders approach would require additional sources of revenue be identified, that is, the proposed taxes appear to be too low to fully finance the plan." (John Holahan, et al., "The Sanders Single-Payer HealthCare Plan," The Urban Institute , 5/16)

MANY DEMOCRATS NOW EMBRACE A GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE

Over A Hundred Democrat Lawmakers Have Signed On To A Bill That Establishes A Medicare For All Program Including Members Of The Democrat Party Leadership

Democrats Have Now Embraced A "Government Takeover Of Health Care." "Now, cast out of power in Washington and most state capitals, Democrats and activist leaders seeking political redemption have embraced an unlikely-seeming cause: an actual government takeover of health care." (Alexander Burns And Jennifer Medina, "The Single-Payer Party? Democrats Shift Left On Health Care," The New York Times , 6/3/17)

"Most House Democrats Have Now Endorsed A Single-Payer Proposal ." "In a sign of shifting sympathies, most House Democrats have now endorsed a single-payer proposal." (Alexander Burns And Jennifer Medina, "The Single-Payer Party? Democrats Shift Left On Health Care," The New York Times , 6/3/17)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) Introduced "H.R.676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act" Which "Establishes A Medicare For All Program." "This bill [H.R. 676] establishes the Medicare for All Program to provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, dietary and nutritional therapies, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care." ("H.R.676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act," Congress.Gov , Accessed 6/25/17)

  • The Bill Has 113 Democratic Co-Sponsors Which Includes Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) And Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). ("H.R.676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act," Congress.Gov , Accessed 6/25/17)
  • Rep. Ellison Is The Deputy Chair Of The DNC. "Tom Perez used his first motion as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Saturday to appoint his top rival for the position, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), as deputy chair of the DNC." (Jesse Byrnes, "Perez Appoints Ellison Deputy DNC Chair," The Hill , 2/25/17)
  • Rep. Clyburn Is The National Mobilization Chair For The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). "The Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn will be National Mobilization Chair." ("Democratic House And Caucus Leadership,"DCCC, Accessed 6/26/17)
  • Rep. Joseph Crowley, "Chairman Of The Democratic Caucus And A Leading Possible Successor For Ms. Pelosi" Has Endorsed The Medicare-For-All Conyer Bill. "In May, the [Conyer] bill won a symbolically telling endorsement from Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, the chairman of the Democratic caucus and a leading possible successor for Ms. Pelosi." (Alexander Burns and Jennifer Medina, "The Single-Payer Party? Democrats Shift Left On Health Care," The New York Times , 6/3/17)

SOME STATE LEGISLATURES, LIKE CALIFORNIA, HAVE SIMILAR SYSTEMS, BUT THE PLANS HAVE ULTIMATELY FAILED

California's System Would Have Cost More Than Twice As Much As The Entire State Budget And Vermont's Was Scrapped Due To High Cost and Tax Increases

California's Single-Payer System Alone Would Cost $400 Billion A Year. "California is undertaking an ambitious bid to establish a single-payer health care system, and now its plan has a price tag: $400 billion a year." (Dylan Scott, "California's Single-Payer Plan Costs $400 Billion - Twice The State's Entire Budget," Vox , 5/22/17)

The Plan Would Cost "Twice As Much As The Entire State Budget." "The plan, according to the estimate by the state Senate's Appropriations Committee, would cost twice as much as the entire state budget that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing for the next fiscal year." (Dylan Scott, "California's Single-Payer Plan Costs $400 Billion - Twice The State's Entire Budget," Vox , 5/22/17)

  • $200 Billion Of The Revenue Would Need To Be Raised From New Taxes. "The additional $200 billion would need to be raised from new taxes." (Dylan Scott, "California's Single-Payer Plan Costs $400 Billion - Twice The State's Entire Budget," Vox , 5/22/17)
  • A 15 Percent Increase To The Payroll Tax For Employers Has Been Suggested As A Pay-For. "Lawmakers have not settled on a plan for paying for the new system, though the analysis released Monday noted a 15 percent payroll tax on employers would cover the increased costs." (Dylan Scott, "California's Single-Payer Plan Costs $400 Billion - Twice The State's Entire Budget," Vox , 5/22/17)

The Proposal Has Been Put On Hold, "All But Ensuring" The Measure Will Not Pass This Year. "A proposal to bring universal health care to California - replacing the private insurance market with a government-run single-payer plan - was abruptly put on hold Friday by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, all but ensuring the nationally touted measure will not pass the Legislature this year." (Katy Murphy, "Single-Payer Health Care Put On Hold In California As Leader Calls Bill 'Woefully Incomplete,'" Mercury News , 6/23/17)

California State Assembly Speaker Rendon (D) Said The Bill Had "Potentially Fatal Flaws" Like How To Address The "Serious Issues" Of Financing And Cost Controls, Among Other Issues. [Assembly Speaker] Rendon said he supported the concept of single-payer health care but called the bill 'woefully incomplete.' 'Even senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill,' he said in a statement issued late Friday afternoon, 'including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls or the realities of needed action by the Trump administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation.'" (Katy Murphy, "Single-Payer Health Care Put On Hold In California As Leader Calls Bill 'Woefully Incomplete,'" Mercury News , 6/23/17)

Single-Payer State Referendums In State Legislatures Have Been Proposed In Ten States Around The Country. "There have been several single-payer state referendums and bills from state legislatures. Bills have been proposed in Vermont, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, and Oregon." (Philip Kotler, Op-Ed, "It's Time For A Single-Payer Healthcare System," HuffPost , 3/25/17)

  • All Have Failed Before Implementation, Except For Vermont, Who Canceled The System Citing "Costs And Tax Increases As Too High To Implement." "All have failed, with the exception of Vermont which canceled its plan in December 2014 for single-payer health care, citing costs and tax increases as too high to implement." (Philip Kotler, Op-Ed, "It's Time For A Single-Payer Healthcare System," HuffPost , 3/25/17)

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