Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

New study: “Medicare For All” would cost $32.6 trillion, but it’s actually more

A Christian friend of mine who is divorced with children surprised me by telling me that she favored single payer health-care. I asked her if she realized that people would have to be taxed to pay for all this free health care, and she seemed to be aware of it. But even I didn’t realize how much it would really cost.

Investor’s Business Daily reports on a couple of recent studies – one from the left, and one from the far-left – that both agreed on the price tag for universal health care.

Excerpt:

Last year, 16 Senators, including three presidential hopefuls, co-sponsored Sanders’ “Medicare for all” bill. And earlier this month, more than 70 Democrats signed on to form a “Medicare for all” caucus. Support for the bill is now something of a litmus test for Democratic hopefuls.

Do they have any idea what they’re endorsing?

A new study out Monday from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center finds that Sanders plan would add to federal spending in its first 10 years, with costs steadily rising from there. That closely matches other studies — including one by the liberal Urban Institute — that looked at Sanders’ plan.

To put this in perspective, “Medicare for all” would the size of the already bloated federal government. Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

Even this is wildly optimistic. To get to this number, author Charles Blahous had to make several completely unrealistic assumptions about savings under Sanders’ hugely disruptive plan.

The first is a massive cut in payments to providers. Sanders wants to apply Medicare’s below-market rates across the board, which would amount to a roughly 40% cut in payments to doctors and hospitals. Blahous figures this will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

But cuts of that magnitude would drive doctors out of medicine and hospitals out of business, since the only way providers can afford Medicare’s cut-rate reimbursements today is by charging private payers more.

The study also assumes that shoving everyone into a government health care plan would cut administrative costs by $1.6 trillion over the next decade and prescription drug costs by $846 billion. Neither of those are likely, and wouldn’t make much of a difference in overall spending anyway. Private insurance overhead accounts for about 6% of national health spending, and drugs less than 10%.

There’s also the fact that every other federal health program has seen costs explode “unexpectedly” after they were enacted. The per-enrollee cost of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, for example, is almost 49% higher than expected. Medicare itself cost nearly 10 times as much as projected in its first 25 years.

The author of the Mercatus study was nominated Barack Obama to be a member of the Board of Trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds. That might explain his questionable assumptions about costs. And the Urban Institute is even further to the left. There can be no doubt that the true cost of the Sanders health care plan would be much higher than what these two studies calculated it to be.

Now, you might think that we can just tax the people who earn the most money to pay for all this spending.

In 2012, John Stossel wrote this in Forbes:

If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion.

In 2011, the Tax Foundation explained that even if you taxed ALL THE DISPOSABLE INCOME from all the people who make $200,000 or more, you would only raise $1.53 trillion dollars:

There’s simply not enough wealth in the community of the rich to erase this country’s problems by waving some magic tax wand.

[…]After everyone making more than $200,000/year has paid taxes, the IRS would need to take every single penny of disposable income they have left. Such an act would raise approximately $1.53 trillion. It may be economically ruinous, but at least this proposal would actually solve the problem.

Taxing the rich isn’t enough to pay for single payer health care. $32.6 trillion over 10 years works out to $3.26 trillion per year. We’re not going to pay that off even with $1.53 trillion a year of additional revenue. And this is assuming that the wealthy would just allow themselves to be made into slaves, and keep working even if the government takes all their money.

Pretty soon, our mandatory expenses will consume all of our tax revenues
Pretty soon, our mandatory expenses will consume all of our tax revenues

Who is going to pay for all the spending we already have scheduled? As the graph above shows, things are going to get worse in the future as the big entitlement programs pay out more than current tax rates take in. I’m sure glad that I’m going to be retiring before 2032, and I’m not going to be stuck with the bill for this. It’s one thing for me to get out of bed every morning to be paid only 75% of what I earn. I certainly wouldn’t want to be working if the tax rates here were more like Europe, so that I’d be taking home less than half of what I earn. No thank you!

By the way, it might be a good idea to think about whether you want to have children or not before you vote. Children are expensive, and if we keep electing the big spenders like Obama, then there isn’t going to be any money left over to run a family and raise kids. Think about it before you vote with your feelings only.

Four Broward county deputies stood outside waiting while Parkland killer shot children

Broward county sheriff Scott Israel and Hillary Clinton
Broward county sheriff Scott Israel and Hillary Clinton

Should we depend on the police to protect us from armed criminals? Broward county sheriff Scott Israel is a well-known Democrat who supports Hillary Clinton. After the Florida shooting, he went on CNN and blamed the law-abiding gun owners for the Florida school shooting. But it was the police officers in his own department who stood around outside the crime scene doing nothing as children were shot by a killer they had visited 45 times.

The Daily Wire reports:

On Thursday night, the American public learned two bombshell pieces of information regarding the Parkland, Florida mass shooting. First, we learned that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was told in November that the Parkland shooter “could be a school shooter in the making” but deputies didn’t bother to write up a report; that report “came just weeks after a relative called urging BSO to seize his weapons.” Then, in even more shocking news, we learned that an armed school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sat outside and waited for four minutes during the six minute attack that ended in the deaths of 17 human beings.

So, here’s what we know.

We know the FBI was warned specifically about the Parkland shooter not once, but twice — and did nothing.

We know the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home of the Parkland shooter at least 39 times since 2010.

We know that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was warned multiple times about the Parkland shooter.

We know that an armed officer was present during the shooting and did nothing — and that JROTC students showed far more courage.

Just to be clear, it’s actually FORTY-FIVE times that the Broward county police had to visit the killer’s home.

Far-left Buzzfeed reports:

Broward County sheriff’s officials said in a statement late Saturday that they responded only to 23 calls involving suspected Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz or his family over the years, but records obtained by BuzzFeed News show at least 45 responses since 2008.

The number of calls made over the years involving Cruz or his family, according to the call records, are nearly twice the number publicly disclosed by the department.

And it’s not just one armed school resource officer who sat around outside doing nothing, it’s FOUR armed policemen who sat around outside doing nothing.

The Daily Wire reports:

On Friday, CNN issued a shock report finding that earlier reports regarding Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson — the armed school safety officer who apparently cowered outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while a mass shooter slaughtered 17 people inside — were accurate, but that Peterson wasn’t the only officer waiting outside. According to CNN:

When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school.
So there were four armed officers outside the school. And none of them did anything, according to CNN. They instead waited for Coral Springs police to lead the charge inside.

What’s more, Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum apparently chewed out Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over that malfeasance on February 15 — more than a week ago. Which means that Israel knew full well that his own office had botched everything dramatically when he stood on stage with CNN’s Jake Tapper and a crowd of angry parents and community members and blamed the National Rifle Association and Dana Loesch for his own horrible failure.

Now, you might think that the sheriff in this case would resign immediately. It would probably be a good idea for him to lose his pension, and face civil and perhaps even criminal charges for criminal negligence. So, what did he do? He went on CNN and howled about how the NRA is to blame for the shooting, and that the answer to the shooting is reduced ownership of firearms by law abiding people. The NRA and the law-abiding gun owners did not visit the suspect’s house 45 times, though.

You see, Sheriff Israel expects law-abiding people to not defend themselves from the fatherless killers produced by the socialist welfare state. He expects us to rely on him and his Broward county police officers. The same police officers who stood around outside doing nothing while children were shot.

It really makes me think about why CNN had this man at a townhall where he could point fingers at the NRA and law-abiding gun owners, when the truth is that his deputies stood around doing nothing while a killer they had visited 45 times murdered innocent children. Seems to me the NRA and the law-abiding people certainly had less to do with this shooting than the Democrat sheriff and his incompetent cowardly deputies.

How well is socialized health care working in Britain?

The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care
The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care

Back in 2009, a radical leftist named Paul Krugman wrote about the health care system in Britain. As a leftist, it’s his view that government-run health care is better than free market health care. Basically, he thinks that people get better health care if it’s run like the US Postal Service is run, instead of how Amazon.com is run.

Let’s see what he says in the far-left extremist New York Times:

In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false. Like every system, the National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do. By the way, our own Veterans Health Administration, which is run somewhat like the British health service, also manages to combine quality care with low costs.

And what about the people who say that the NHS doesn’t provide quality health care, despite getting a huge portion of the all the taxes that are collected in Britain?

At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

Every bad story that you’ve ever heard about socialized health care is a lie, and you’re gullible if you believe those lies.

Well, see, now I’m confused. Because if I turn the page of the New York Times from an editorial to a news story, I read this:

At some emergency wards, patients wait more than 12 hours before they are tended to. Corridors are jammed with beds carrying frail and elderly patients waiting to be admitted to hospital wards. Outpatient appointments were canceled to free up staff members, and by Wednesday morning hospitals had been ordered to postpone nonurgent surgeries until the end of the month.

Cuts to the National Health Service budget in Britain have left hospitals stretched over the winter for years, but this time a flu outbreak, colder weather and high levels of respiratory illnesses have put the N.H.S. under the highest strain in decades.

The situation has become so dire that the head of the health service is warning that the system is overwhelmed.

[…]“The N.H.S. waiting list will grow to five million people by 2021,” Mr. Stevens said in an impassioned speech to health care leaders in November. “That is one million more people, equivalent to one in 10 of us, the highest number ever.”

Over the past week, hospitals have increasingly declared “black alerts,” an admission that they are unable to cope with demand, the health service confirmed, without releasing numbers. Most hospitals have been unable to meet emergency-ward targets of seeing patients within four hours because of a shortage of beds and staff.

Britain spends billions and billions of pounds on health care every year, but it’s never enough. And British citizens already pay far more in taxes than Americans, who get much better care.

Sometimes, statistics are not as good as a good horror story…  On this blog, I’ve written about dozens of NHS horror stories. But Paul Krugman says they are all lies, including this one from the same New York Times article:

“There’s no real system or order; it’s a jungle in here,” said Nancy Harper, who had accompanied her 87-year-old grandmother, who was lying down and complaining of excruciating pain in her lower back.

“It’s been more than five hours,” Ms. Harper said. “We get to the front of the queue and then someone more ill comes in and we get pushed back. It’s outrageous.”

The UK Telegraph had some more information about the NHS health care system:

Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in an unprecedented step by NHS officials.

The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades.

[…]Trusts have also been told they can abandon efforts to house male and female patients in separate wards, in an effort to protect basic safety, as services become overwhelmed.

50,000 scheduled surgeries canceled. If this were private sector health care, then the patients would have some recourse. But when the government is running health care, good luck trying to sue them for pain and suffering. They’ve already got your money from taxes, too – you can’t get it out to go somewhere else for surgery.

Although this seems horrifying to Americans, this is pretty standard all year round for Canadians, who have a true single payer health care system. According to the Fraser Institute, the average Canadian family pays about $12,000 in taxes for their free health care. And when they need things like MRIs or knee replacements, they have to wait for months. The average wait time there for “medically necessary treatment” is 21.2 weeks. Medically  Necessary Treatment. When I ask for an MRI in America, I get in the same week that I call.

When conservatives like me oppose government-run health care, it’s because we have looked carefully at government-run health care as it exists in comparable countries, and we have decided that it does not work. Progressives need to take a look at reality in countries like Britain and Canada. How well does it work? How much does it cost? It’s no good making policy decisions with feelings instead of facts.

Is Bernie Sanders correct to say that Canada has better, lower-cost health care?

Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan
Wall Street Journal calculates cost of Sanders spending plan

He seems to be really passionate about raising taxes on working families, and then giving them “free” health care in return. Let’s see how that’s working out in Canada, where they do have a single-payer health care system.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Waiting times for medically necessary health care services under Canada’s single-payer system have hit a record high, according to a report from the Fraser Institute.

[…]The Fraser Institute found that patients under Canada’s single-payer system this year waited an average of 10.9 weeks—roughly two-and-a-half months—from the time they had a consultation with a specialist to the time at which they received treatment. Physicians consider 7.2 weeks to be a clinically reasonable wait time.

The report also found that patients’ wait for treatment after referral to a specialist by their general practitioner was 21.2 weeks, or longer than four months.

“This year’s wait time—the longest ever recorded in this survey’s history—is 128 percent longer than in 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks,” the report states.

The report, which looks at 10 provinces in Canada, found that there are 1,040,791 patients waiting for procedures. There are also high wait times to receive scans and ultrasounds. Patients waited an average of 10.8 weeks for an MRI scan and 3.9 weeks for an ultrasound.

“Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences,” the report states. “Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish.”

According to the report, patients experience long wait times for surgeries, waiting as long as 41.7 weeks for orthopedic surgery, 32.9 weeks for neurosurgery, and 31.4 weeks for ophthalmology.

“In certain instances, [wait times] can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities,” the report states. “In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general.”

Fraser points out that previous studies have found the lost economic output in waiting for joint replacement surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, MRI scans, and cataract surgery totaled $14.8 billion in 2007.

The report also notes that 46.3 percent of patients would prefer to have their procedure performed within a week if they had the opportunity to do so.

The article also quotes Sally C. Pipes, a Canadian health care expert who knows how much Canadian taxpayers pay for “free” health care.

Pipes also refutes Sanders’s claim that Canada’s system offers relatively the same quality of care at a cheaper cost.

“It isn’t cheaper because Canadians pay for health care through their taxes,” Pipes explains. “The average Canadian family pays anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000 a year in taxes for a system where they have to wait over five months from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist.”

“There’s fewer doctors relative to the population than in all but four other industrialized countries,” she said. “It’s last in terms of acute care hospital beds and there’s doctor shortages, residency spots are down, and waiting times—this is what happens when government controls the health care system, and this is what Bernie Sanders wants for the United States.”

Canadians are also paid less than Americans. Why? Because Canadian employers have to pay a percentage of their employee’s salary to the government for health care. Obviously, the employers are going to take that out of their employee’s salary without telling them.

Finally, it should be obvious that progressive Canadian politicians go South when they’re sick for healthcare. They know that when health care is free, you get the quality you’re paying for.

One thing you need to understand is that if you put health care in the hands of politicians, they they will use it for vote-buying, like they do with any government-run social program. So, if you are young and want an abortion or a sex change, you’re in luck. Because you have a lot of voting ahead of you, and they want to keep you happy with big government. But, if you’re old, and don’t have so much voting left to do, you’re expendable. That’s why countries with big government health care, like the Netherlands and Canada and the UK are always tinkering with euthanasia for the elderly.

Ted Cruz in CNN debate: taxing the rich 100% isn’t enough to pay for socialism

Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code

On CNN, you get anti-conservative propaganda 24 hours a day. The only exception are the policy debates they sometimes air, in which intelligent conservatives get to speak. Past debates have featured Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is the most intelligent conservative debater in the USA. On Tuesday night, Cruz was joined by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, another able conservative. They debated two radical leftists – Bernie Sanders and Maria Cantwell.

The Washington Examiner had an excellent summary.

Excerpt:

Sen. Ted Cruz sniped at Sen. Bernie Sanders’ often-used complaint about “millionaires and billionaires” not paying enough in taxes during the CNN town hall debate on Tuesday, and quipped there aren’t enough of them to “pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”

The comment came as Cruz, R-Texas, took aim at the line of attack favored by Sanders, I-Vt., and the Democrats against the GOP tax reform about how it’s a tax cut for “the rich,” but Cruz said that really means it is a tax cut for “taxpayers.”

“Democrats have one talking point on taxes: It’s a tax cut for the rich,” Cruz began. “And they say it over and over and over again in response to everything. The most important thing for you to know when you’re at home is when they say rich, they mean taxpayer. Every time they say ‘rich’ they mean taxpayers.”

“Why is it? Because the very rich — there aren’t enough of them,” Cruz continued. “Bernie ran for president, he rolled out a tax plan. His tax plan was a massive tax increase. If you took every single person in America making over a million dollars, and you taxed them 100 percent of their income, you took every penny they earned — you came in in jackboots and confiscate it — it would pay 8 percent of the cost of Bernie’s tax plan. You know where they get their money? They get it from you, they get it from the the middle class.”

Cruz went on to cite a quote from his and Bernie’s prior CNN debate in which Sanders, while describing his preferred tax plan, said “everybody will pay some more.”

“You’re a single mom, you’re working, he says you’re going to pay some more,”‘ Cruz said afterwards. “You’re a small business owner, he says you’re going to pay some more. And the reason is, there aren’t not enough millionaires and billionaires to pay for all the socialism that Bernie and the Democrats want to give away.”

[…]”You said we’re going to tax the middle class but then you said, ‘we the Democrats are going to give it back to you. We’re going to give you free stuff, free healthcare, free education,'” Cruz said. “But you know what, it’s going to be Bernie and Maria deciding what you get. Tim and I have a simpler view. You keep your money, you get to decide if you want to invest in your decision.”

Is Ted Cruz correct about this point? Yes.

In 2012, John Stossel wrote this in Forbes:

If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion.

In 2011, the Tax Foundation explained that even if you taxed ALL THE INCOME from all the people who make $200,000 or more, you would only raise $1.53 trillion dollars:

So taking half of the yearly income from every person making between one and ten million dollars would only decrease the nation’s debt by 1%. Even taking every last penny from every individual making more than $10 million per year would only reduce the nation’s deficit by 12 percent and the debt by 2 percent. There’s simply not enough wealth in the community of the rich to erase this country’s problems by waving some magic tax wand.

Finally, to put everything in perspective, think about what would need to be done to erase the federal deficit this year: After everyone making more than $200,000/year has paid taxes, the IRS would need to take every single penny of disposable income they have left. Such an act would raise approximately $1.53 trillion. It may be economically ruinous, but at least this proposal would actually solve the problem.

That’s much less than the $10 trillion that Obama added to the debt in his 8 years in office. And much much less than the current national debt which is over $20 trillion. Taxing the rich isn’t enough to pay for our current spending – we have to cut spending. 

Tax cuts are designed to spur economic growth by putting money into the hands of job-creating entrepreneurs. It’s the entrepreneurs who make inventions like smartphones and online marketplaces and streaming online media which make us all more productive. Competition between entrepreneurs drives quality up, and prices down. That’s why we give tax cuts to entrepreneurs – people and businesses who create economic growth by innovating. Giving taxpayer money to the Department of Motor Vehicles generates ZERO economic growth. Giving money to innovators and job creators is what gets us the new inventions and services that grow the economy. 

As Ted Cruz noted in the debate, we do indeed see increased economic growth and higher tax revenues when we have cut taxes in the past, e.g. – under Ronald Reagan. Not the mention the millions of jobs that are created by putting money back in the hands of entrepreneurs.
According to the radically-leftist communist NPR, Bernie Sanders’ most recent tax proposals would add $18 trillion to the debt over 10 years. That’s $1.8 trillion PER YEAR – much more than the $1.53 trillion you get from taxing the rich. So again, even if we take every penny made by those who earn $200,000 or more per year, we aren’t going to be able to pay for socialism. And those people aren’t going to just keep working if you take everything they earn anyway. They’d either stop working or just leave the country – just like the rich left France when they impose a top tax rate of 75%. This is how the world really works, OK. People don’t work for nothing. They probably wouldn’t even work if the government took half of what they earned. I certainly would not.

Back to the debate…

Here is a clip of Ted Cruz explaining how there isn’t enough money to pay for the Democrat spending platform even if you take every penny earned by the top earners:

Here is my favorite clip of Tim Scottt:

I like this clip of CNN cutting off Ted Cruz when he is presenting evidence, too:

The full video of the CNN debate is here:

And here is the full transcript.