Oct 29, 2019

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

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"

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Elizabeth Warren's "Medicare for All" requires another $20.5 trillion of federal spending

Elizabeth Warren at a rally. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released her long-awaited plan to pay for "Medicare for All," which she says will put the $11 trillion that would be spent out-of-pocket on health care over 10 years "back in the pockets of American families."

The bottom line: This will be paid for "with targeted spending cuts, new taxes on giant corporations and the richest 1% of Americans, and by cracking down on tax evasion and fraud. Not one penny in middle-class tax increases," the plan states.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

How middle class workers will pay for Medicare for All

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's newly released plan to pay for Medicare for All leaves the middle class financially better off than they are today, but it's not true to say that they won't pay for it at all, experts say.

Between the lines: Employers will directly pay for Medicare for All, and economists predict that this will get passed onto workers through reduced wages — just as employers' costs for private health insurance are passed on today.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

Medicare for All's popularity may have peaked

Adapted from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Public support for Medicare for All might have peaked, but it’s still a powerful idea among many Democrats.

By the numbers: Support for the national health plan rose from around 40% in 2000 to a high of 59% in March of 2018, but had slipped back to 51% by October of this year.

Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019