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Sanders vague on details of ‘Medicare for all’

Mark Hemingway of the Federalist contends U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders still hasn’t explained how his “Medicare for all” proposal would work.

Asked about the specifics of his plan, Sanders employed the tried and true three-step explanation for how it works.

Step one, point out that the United States is the only “very highly developed” country without socialized health care and note that U.S. per capita health spending is much higher than that in these other countries. Make sure you do this without noting the problems inherent in the way these other countries ration lifesaving treatments. …

… Step two, elide over all the details of how to implement a socialized system that addresses the size and diversity of American health care, which is radically different than the challenges faced by much smaller and more homogeneous European countries with supposedly superior care. Most importantly, also elide over the fact that the socialized health care system we have that’s supposedly so appealing, Medicare, is a money black hole with trillions in unfunded liabilities that is the single largest driver of our enormous debt that threatens to precipitate a republic-destroying financial crisis.

Step three, after having said nothing particularly illuminating or specific, bask in the glory of being a radical reformer that dares to imagine a future where greedy insurance companies are put out of business by a selfless and incorruptible federal government. …

… But if you were listening, Sanders made some telling admissions. “You’re gonna pay more in taxes but your health care will be cheaper,” he said. For a long time now, Sanders has owed us an actually detailed explanation for how our health care is going to get cheaper under “Medicare for all,” and it hasn’t been forthcoming.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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