ACA Unaffordable Now? Just Wait for Single Payer


This week’s health policy news roundup curated by Jane Orient, M.D.

The Sanders repeal-and-replace plan is government healthcare for all. Why have insurance companies as intermediaries, proponents ask.

The Sanders plan would abolish private insurance and cover literally everything: “from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments.”

There would be NO cost sharing and minimal premiums—but massive taxes. Avik Roy estimates that the plan would increase federal spending by $28 trillion (with a “t”: that’s 28,000 billion) from 2017 to 2026. A footnote in a memo by Univ. of Massachusetts economist Gerald Friedman indicates that Berniecare would fail to cover “20% of out-of-pocket spending” because it is “deemed not medically necessary.”

These estimates make the [Un]Affordable Care Act look relatively reasonable. Some ACA costs:

A $1,200 average wage cut to pay for including 26-year-olds on their parents’ policy;

A significant cut in standard of living to pay $12,000 in premiums on a policy with a $13,000 deductible;

For some on ObamaCare plans, a cost of nearly a quarter of their income, even with subsidies.

Would people think ObamaCare was worth it if they knew that it would cost all workers an average $1,200 per year to reduce the uninsured rate among19-25 year olds by a mere 3.2 percentage points, asks Chris Conover. How about investing $8,640 to add 16 days of healthy life expectancy per previously uninsured person?

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