Nothing terribly new here, except for the fact that leftists can’t dishonestly dismiss out of hand these cost projections for single-payer healthcare. Previous, similar estimates were lazily derided as Koch-funded — which does not seriously attempt to grapple with the calculations themselves — but nobody can remotely accuse the left-leaning Urban Institute of being some right-wing front. They’d already put out an astronomical number on the ten-year price tag of single-payer healthcare, but updated figures further underscore how enormous the expenditure would be, via The Atlantic:
The Urban Institute, a center-left think tank highly respected among Democrats, is projecting that a plan similar to what Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders are pushing would require $34 trillion in additional federal spending over its first decade in operation. That’s more than the federal government’s total cost over the coming decade for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections…In recent history, only during the height of World War II has the federal government tried to increase taxes, as a share of the economy, as fast as would be required to offset the cost of a single-payer plan, federal figures show. There are “no analogous peacetime tax increases,” says Leonard Burman, a public-administration professor at Syracuse University and a former top tax official in both the Bill Clinton administration and at the CBO. Raising that much more tax revenue “is plausible in the sense that it is theoretically possible,” Burman told me. “But the revolution that would come along with it would get in the way.
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