VIEWPONT: Who says we can’t afford Medicare for All? Gerald Friedman, Daily Hampshire Gazette

By Gerald Friedman, Feb 4, 2019

Richard Fein’s Jan. 28 column raises important questions about Medicare for All in Massachusetts. It is unfortunate, however, that my colleague failed to consult much of the relevant documentation addressing many of the questions.

To begin with, the central question is not whether we can afford a better and cheaper health care system, but whether we can continue to pay for the current system with all its inefficiencies and inequities. A raft of studies from scholars on the political right and center have shown that a Medicare for All system would cost less than the current fragmented insurance system even while providing universal coverage to every resident. It is not just proponents of Medicare for All who believe that billions can be saved. The right-wing, Koch-brothers-funded Mercatus Center found a Medicare for All system would over 10 years lower health care spending by over 3 percent, $2 trillion in savings, even while covering every American without co-pays or deductibles. The RAND Corporation studied a proposed single-payer system for New York state and supported my findings that it would lower spending even while providing universal access and universal coverage, and dramatically increasing employment and economic activity in the state. Studies have similarly concluded that single-payer systems would save money even while providing better health care in Oregon (RAND), Ohio (Friedman), Washington (Friedman), California (PERI), among many others. No serious study has ever found that single-payer would raise total costs....

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