No matter how Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren spins it, middle-class taxes will have to go up to fund Medicare for All, an independent non-profit reported Tuesday.
The Committee for a Responsible Budget, a bipartisan think tank in Washington D.C., published a new study this week showing it is mathematically impossible to fund Democrats’ signature health-care program Medicare for All without dramatically raising middle-class taxes. The committee reports that even the most aggressive taxes levied on high-income earners and businesses would only cover 40 percent of the total costs required to fund the proposal.
“There is simply not enough available revenue from high earners and businesses to cover the full cost of eliminating premiums, ending all cost-sharing, and expanding coverage to all Americans and for (virtually) all health services,” the authors wrote.
The committee puts the price tag on the Democrats’ single-payer plan at $30 trillion but shows that even implementing extreme tax rates on high-income families and corporations would only amount to $11 trillion in revenue.
The committee noted that while taxes on the middle class must increase to pay for socialized medicine, some families and individuals might pay less than they used to through shifting more of their health expenses to other Americans, although it depends on the details of the program.
“It is impossible to access whether the middle class is better off or worse off under Medicare for All until all the plan’s details – especially how to pay for Medicare for All – are specified,” reported the committee, though it’s still very likely middle-class families could still end up paying more. Every industrialized nation except South Korea that has socialized medicine requires citizens to pay much higher taxes than the United States currently does.
The committee’s conclusion fits the findings of other budget experts who have studied the costs of proposals being pushed by 2020 Democrats. In August, David Burton, a senior economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, found that even confiscating every dollar Americans earn over $200,000 would only cover half of the leftist agenda of Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, a universal basic income, socialized college, and other programs being proposed.
“The reality is that progressive promises can only be funded by radical tax increases on the middle class, a dramatic increase in annual federal deficits and the national debt, or a combination of the two,” Burton wrote. U.S. federal deficits and debt are already at all-time highs.
The committee’s report comes as Warren faces criticism for dodging questions on whether middle class taxes would have to go up to pay for her health-care plan mirroring 2020 White House rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All. During last week’s debate, Warren repeatedly denied to answer whether she would raise middle class taxes to fund Medicare for All, while Sanders readily admitted the need to do so while maintaining that families would still save on premiums and co-payments.
“I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up,” Sanders said.
Warren declared at an Iowa town hall Sunday that she would unveil a strategy to pay for Medicare for All in the coming weeks. According to experts, it won’t come close to funding Medicare for All if it fails to include higher taxes on the middle class.