Koch thinktank inadvertently proves that America would save trillions by switching to socialized medicine

Mercatus (previously) is part of the Koch Brothers' network of thinktanks which allow the billionaires and their cadre of oligarchs to make it appear that their ideas are mainstream by all singing the praises of the wealthy in chorus.

Mercatus's latest research paper is a hit-piece on Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All proposal, in which they use neutral, third-party data to arrive at a total cost for providing every person in America with high-quality health-care for the next decade: $32.6 trillion.

This is a BIG NUMBER, but, as it turns out, it represents more than $2 trillion dollars in savings over the amount that Americans will spend over the same period for partial health care coverage for only some Americans.

This reveals private healthcare for what it is: corruption. Corruption is when a bad system produces privatized, concentrated gains for a small number of people, and broad, socialized losses to a large number of people (not treating my factory's effluent saves me millions of dollars, and I can use that money to lobby for lax environmental regulation; it costs millions of people thousands of dollars each, and though they lose a lot more than I gain, they have to somehow pool the cost of all their losses to thwart me).

In this case, the health care industry uses the billions it earns to deprive Americans of trillions in benefits, including, literally, their lives.

"Even if you take the report's headline figures at face value, the picture it paints is that of an enormous bargain," Bruenig concludes. "We get to insure every single person in the country, virtually eliminate cost-sharing, and save everyone from the hell of constantly changing health insurance all while saving money. You would have to be a fool to pass that offer up."

In 2016, the United States spent $3.4 trillion on healthcare; projected over ten years—and assuming costs don't rise, as they're expected to—that's $34 trillion. By 2025, the current for-profit healthcare system is expected to cost a staggering $5.5 trillion per year.

Additionally, America spends far more on healthcare per capita than other industrialized nations—most of which have some form of government-funded universal healthcare—and achieves worse outcomes.

Koch-Funded Hit Piece Backfires: Shows Medicare for All Would Save 'Whopping $2 Trillion' Over Ten Years While Covering Everybody [Jake Johnson/Commondreams]

(Image: Molly Adams, CC-BY; Gage Skidmore, CC-BY-SA)