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The New Dem Litmus Test? $25 Trillion Medicare-for-All

The Democratic Party has thrown litmus test after litmus test at lawmakers and candidates in 2017. The latest, from pro-Bernie forces? A $25 trillion Medicare-for-all plan.

The latest progressive litmus test for Democrats running in 2018 is a Medicare-for-all plan that could cost the country up to $25 trillion over 10 years, according to a new report from Politico.

Politico‘s Elena Schneider wrote on Tuesday that although some Democrats are still wary of “Medicare for all” or single-payer health care, forces who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) last year are pushing the issue in 2018:

Our Revolution, the nonprofit outside group founded by Sanders, said Medicare for all is going to be a “litmus test” for endorsing House candidates, as it will also be for the “voters who came in with the Bernie Sanders movement,” said Larry Cohen, the group’s chairman and the former president of the Communications Workers of America.

“It’s a key box for candidates to check to get our support, and it’s very unlikely we’ll get involved in a House race without the candidate supporting it,” Cohen said. “If we’re going to pour our hearts into you, send you thousands of volunteers and get middle-class people to donate to you, then you have to support it.”

What Sanders and his forces don’t talk about as often is the cost of this plan. Sanders’ estimate, a liberal guess, puts the cost of Sanders’ single-payer plan at $13.8 trillion over 10 years. Sanders pays for his plan with a new 6.2 percent tax on employers, a new 2.2 percent tax on households, and a series of other tax increases.

An alternate estimate by Kenneth Thorpe, dubbed a “health expert” by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), put the cost of Sanders’ plan at a staggering $24.7 trillion over 10 years.

How many Democrats will sign up for Sanders’ $25 trillion plan in 2018?