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Analysis | Would Bernie Sanders?s Medicare-for-all save Americans money?

Fox News
the Congressional Budget Office
the Urban Institute
the Mercatus Center
the University of Massachusetts
Rand Corp.
The University of Massachusetts

Bernie Sanders
Charles Blahous


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New York
the United States

Milliman Medical

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Yes. But at the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people are going to end up paying less for health care because they aren’t paying premiums, co-payments or deductibles.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), remarks during a Fox News town hall, April 15, 2019During a town hall on Fox News, 2020 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said his Medicare-for-all plan would save most Americans money by reducing the cost of health care. But that’s going to be difficult, no matter how you run the numbers.As a reader service, we will identify four aspects of Sanders’s Medicare-for-all proposal — or any health-care proposal, for that matter — that dramatically affect its cost and could make it difficult to deliver the promised savings: provider payments, health-care benefits, cost-sharing and administrative savings from a consolidated system.Provider paymentsContinuing to pay hospitals and doctors at private insurance rates would make Medicare-for-all significantly more expensive than the current system, so Sanders assumes payments would be lower. The University of Massachusetts study assumes significant administrative and pharmaceutical cost savings and uniform Medicare rates for all health providers.Rand examined a plan for single-payer health care in New York state.

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