A game-changing day in U.S. history occurred last week when, on Sept. 13, 2017, “S.1808 – A bill to establish a Medicare-for-all-health insurance program” was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill’s sponsor, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – that independent, socialist, breakout star from the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, though not even a member of the Democratic Party – is now emerging as an influential party leader.
Significant long-term political consequences stemming from Sanders’s “Medicare for All” are inevitable, given that the bill was co-sponsored by 16 Democratic senators, four of whom appear on most lists of potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates – Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
This Senate “gang of four” attaching itself to Sanders’s bill guarantees that “Medicare for All” will become a leftist crusade and a tip-of-the-spear issue in the next presidential election (perhaps in the 2018 mid-term elections as well).
Senators harboring White House dreams must have studied a June Pew Research Center poll finding that “60% of Americans say the federal government is responsible for ensuring health-care coverage for all Americans.” Furthermore, Pew found that “the share saying health coverage is a government responsibility remains at its highest level in nearly a decade.”
With public opinion turning in their favor, the 2020 Democrats’ political muscle behind “Medicare for All” only helps pave the road to U.S. economic ruin, already well underway.
First is the bill’s exorbitant price tag. Back in May 2016, in response to Bernie Sanders campaigning on universal Medicare, the left-leaning Urban Institute issued a comprehensive 34-page report. Their research figured that the increase in federal expenditures for the next ten years of “Medicare for All” would be about “$32.0 trillion (232.7%) between 2017 and 2026.”
At this writing, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has yet to issue their own “Medicare for All” score since Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., asked the CBO to weigh in only a week ago. But one assumes that the CBO score would be catastrophic, proving that the one-third of Senate Democrats who co-sponsored the bill are out of touch with fiscal reality.
Second, and far worse, is when the Urban Institute’s $32 trillion estimate is added to the U.S. government’s $107 trillion worth of currently unfunded liability, defined on the U.S. Debt Clock as “Total U.S. Unfunded Liability includes Social Security, (Medicare, Parts A, B, and D) Federal Debt held by the Public, plus Federal Employee & Veteran Benefits. Source: U.S. Treasury.”
These are payouts the government has already promised to its citizens who are qualified to receive the benefits. But the $107 trillion – an incomprehensible number the government cannot afford to pay– rapidly increases to $129 trillion in 2021. And even more trillions will be added in the later 2020s and 2030s when millions of aging baby boomers will be in their 70s and 80s.
To provide some perspective, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is currently $19.3 trillion, but last week the national debt officially hit $20 trillion with much fanfare – proving our national bottom line is out of whack when GDP is less than the national debt. Then add the big kahuna of $107 trillion in current unfunded liability, and it’s apparent that “Medicare for All” is just a leftist Democratic talking point that will never see the light of day – no matter how popular the concept.
Mountains of red-ink debt reverberate, making it clear our nation can’t handle the truth – fiscally careening out of control with trillions of growing debt and future obligations while leaders of both parties are incapable of stopping the madness.
This harsh reality was only exacerbated last week when Sanders and his team of 16 Senate co-sponsors promised “Medicare for All.” Perhaps going forward they might as well promise “free millions for all” and continue the fantasy.
Cross posted at WND