The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Medicare for All Act can’t last

James Simpson

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Vermont’s beloved Sen. Bernie Sanders has once again introduced a Medicare for All Act with the hopes of expanding healthcare access to every American.

While bringing affordable healthcare to all Americans is a noble cause, a single-payer system is not the way to go.

Under a single-payer system, healthcare services are paid for by the government through taxation.

Vermont passed a single-payer healthcare law in 2011, but three years after the governor signed it into law, it was abandoned.

Former Gov. Peter Shumlin ended the initiative in 2014. He said in a public statement in the Statehouse that an 11.5 percent payroll tax and 9.5 percent income tax would “hurt Vermont’s economy.”

“If cobalt blue Vermont couldn’t find a way to make single-payer happen, then it’s very unlikely that any other state will,” said Jack Mozloom of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The California Legislature also abandoned a single-payer bill in May after failing to come up with a way to pay the high costs the bill would impose.

California’s proposed single-payer system would have cost $400 billion per year. To put that into perspective, the entire California state budget for the coming year is $183.25 billion according to an LA Times article from June.

Even considering the $200 billion California gets from the federal government to help pay for health care costs, the state would still need to double its annual budget to pay for the bill.

Universal healthcare would require massive tax hikes on every American, even after the savings in private insurance costs are taken into account.

Putting the monetary costs of universal health care aside, such a plan would dramatically increase wait times for health procedures.

Canadians, who live under a single-payer system, wait 11 weeks on average for an MRI, according to the Fraser Institute.

The average wait time to get an MRI in the U.S. is two weeks.

The healthcare system in the U.S. is not perfect, and there are improvements that can be made. But the costs of single-payer outweigh the benefits.

Enacting such a policy here in the U.S. would be a mistake.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Medicare for All Act can’t last”

  1. steve l on November 5th, 2017 5:16 am

    Complete and total utter nonsense! Typical out of context, incomplete half-truths and patent lies. Anybody that does even a cursory review of healthcare systems understands that startup costs are always front loaded and as pent up demand for services recedes costs level out. Keeping people healthy is much more cost efficient than constantly treating the sick.

    Single payer systems in this country are judged to be the best form of healthcare by those who use them everyday. Medicare, Medicaid and the VA system have the lowest costs and highest quality service of any healthcare system anywhere. The primary problem with the VA system is that we continue to create horribly damaged veterans on a daily basis. The same people who say a single payer healthcare system won’t work are the ones who happily send our young men and women into harms way only to come out the other end of the meat grinder with physical and mental injuries that require a lifetime of costly medical care.

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  2. Lutz Kaelber on November 5th, 2017 9:33 pm

    oh my – all these Canadians waiting in line to get an MRI, while the waiting time in the U.S. is so much shorter! Alas, there is no waiting at all for some Americans because they don’t get in line in the first place when they don’t have health insurance. And some of those who do get an M.R.I. – what again was the most common reason for declaring personal bankruptcy in the U.S. in 2007 – medical debt? And also, giving all this waiting by the Canadians, why does the average Canadian outlive the average American by more than three years? Is it perhaps of Canadians’ better genes, or fewer hamburgers? Or might be it be due to the fact that Canadians have a better health care system, single-payer and all?

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
Medicare for All Act can’t last