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Experts: Here’s Why Bernie’s ‘Medicare For All’ Won’t Work

“If the Sanders plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Sanders at a hearing

Two policy experts with differing views on health care policy joined forces to publish a New York Times op-ed Tuesday to highlight the many shortcomings of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) single-payer health care plan, Medicare for All.

Micah Weinberg, president of Bay Area Council Economic Institute, and Lanhee Chen, Hoover Institution Fellow and Director of Domestic Policy Studies at Stanford University, identified three main counterpoints to Sanders’ proposal.

Nobody Actually Has Single-Payer

First, a vanishingly small number of countries actually have single-payer systems. In fact, almost all feature some role for private-sector insurance companies and providers.

Single-Payer Doesn’t Control Costs

Second, single-payer countries have also failed to control rising health care costs. This is important, given that Mr. Sanders’s proposal was released without a cost estimate or financing plan.

Single-Payer Won’t Produce Better Care

Third, it is simply untrue that single-payer systems produce a better quality of care across the board. Most health-policy lectures in American universities start with a slide showing that we rank poorly on a broad number of public health measures and outcomes. Yet the United States scores much more highly on different measures, including innovation, patient-centered care and preventive health.

The authors of the op-ed note that they have “widely divergent views on health policy,” and yet they both agree that Medicare for All is not the answer to the United States’ health care problems.

The two conclude their op-ed with an age-old reminder to the American public: “All Americans should bear one important precept in mind: If the Sanders plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”