Wall Street Journal
, perhaps fearing Bernie Sanders working his way up in the polls, does some good old-fashioned fearmongering
Tuesday, with a story claiming that Sander's proposals will cost the nation $18 trillion over the next decade. Hogwash, says
Sanders. And he's right.
"That is not the reality, and we will be responding to the Wall Street Journal on that. I think most of the expense that they put in there, the expenditures, have to do with a single-payer health care system," the independent Vermont senator said in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.
Sanders said the WSJ had "significantly exaggerated" those costs, and hadn't accounted for the benefits of "eliminating the cost that you incur with private health insurance." […]
"The truth of the matter right now is that as a nation, we spend far far more on health care per person than the people of any other nation. And yet we continue to have about 30 million people who have no health insurance, many more who are underinsured and we pay, again, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," Sanders said. "No question to my mind that moving toward a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program is the most cost-effective way to provide health care to all of our people." […]
"Second point, which they really didn't get into, is: We are going to demand that the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country do start paying their fair share of taxes," Sanders said. "When we have massive income and wealth inequality—when 58 percent of all income is going to the top 1 percent, when you have major corporations in a given year paying zero in federal income taxes, yes we need real tax reform to bring in substantially more revenue."
Apparently the WSJ
thought that attacking him on his tax plan was going to make their motives just a little too transparent. And, as Greg Sargent points out
, they weren't even really looking at a Sanders' healthcare plan, because he hasn't released one yet. They were using another single-payer plan that's been introduced in the Senate and has a $15 trillion price tag, so they just used it.
Here's what they ignored: "At the moment, total health care spending in the United States runs over $3 trillion a year; according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over the next decade (from 2015-2024), America will spend a total of $42 trillion on health care." That's a lot more than $15 trillion! Here's how it works—the money that we wouldn't be spending on healthcare premiums to private insurance will be going to the government to pay for health insurance for everyone. Except that those tax payments would be progressive—the lower income people wouldn't have to be paying as much as the rich. The majority wouldn't have to be paying as much in taxes as they are now for health insurance and everybody would have coverage. That's also been proven to save a lot of money in every other developed nation in the world that has some form of a single-payer plan to provide universal health care. That's a just a minor fact that the big economic brains of the WSJ overlooked in this article.
Sanders, though, should be flattered and heartened. The WSJ is scared enough of him to start attacking.
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