Oct 29, 2019 - Health

Taxes on the wealthy can't entirely pay for Medicare for All

Medicare card on top of a hundred dollar bill

Photo: ATU Images/Getty Images

Financing full-blown, single-payer Medicare for All — which is estimated to cost roughly $30 trillion over a decade — would require aggressive changes in taxes, spending or borrowing, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Between the lines: "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," the report concludes — meaning that the middle class would be forced to shoulder some of the burden.

Yes, but: As with everything, this would create winners and losers. Plenty of people would end up paying less in taxes than they currently pay for private health care.

  • The costs of "Medicare for All" are also scalable, based on how generous the coverage is and how much providers are paid.

Some of the ways to pay for "Medicare for All," per CRFB, include:

  • A new 32% payroll tax on wages
  • An additional 25% income tax
  • A 42% value-added tax on consumption
  • A "public premium" averaging $7,500 per capita – or $12,000 per person who wouldn't otherwise be on public insurance
  • More than doubling all individual and corporate income tax rates
  • Reducing non-health federal spending by 80%
  • More than doubling the national debt

The bottom line: These policies would have massive economic impacts, reverberating far beyond health care.

Go deeper: How your health care would change under "Medicare for All"

Go deeper