D.C. – Providing the $3 trillion in annual federal funding for the “Medicare
For All” type programs Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders support won’t
come cheap, and the wealthy taxpayers they claim they would hit hard to pay for
it don’t have enough cash, says the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
known for their bipartisan leadership team of leading budget experts and former
heads of House and Senate Budget Committees, says their preliminary analysis of
funding such proposals show there is no easy way to do it and that financing
the scheme with taxes on the wealthy would require “impossibly” high tax rates.
In fact, the
CRFB says that a 100% income tax on every American in the top two tax brackets
would not cover the cost.
Some of the
other options the CRFB says would need to be undertaken include:
national sales tax. This would be on top of the existing 5.5% state sales tax
Mainers already pay.
payroll tax. You and your employer already split a 15.3% payroll tax, so double
A 25% income
surtax. CRFC says that means the bottom federal income tax rate would more than
triple, from 10% to 35%. All other rates would have to dramatically increase as
double all individual and corporate tax rates. Everyone shares the pain. But the
federal government would still likely be $3 to $8 trillion short per year.
spending not related to health care by 80%. The CFRB says that would mean
programs like Social Security would have to be cut dramatically. They say someone
receiving an annual benefit of $18,000 per year would see their benefit cut to
double the national debt, which would eventually create large budget problems
when the cost to pay the interest on the debt grows out of control.
appeal of not ‘paying for’ Medicare for all now is likely high for a lot of
supporters, CRFB says in the report, “Deficit-financing Medicare for All would
be far more damaging to the economy. Assuming that such a massive increase in
the debt would not roil financial markets or lead to high inflation, we
estimate that a 108 percent of GDP increase in the federal debt would shrink
the size of the economy by roughly 5 percent in 2030 – the equivalent of a
$4,500 reduction in per-person income – and far more in the following years.”
committee says they will be releasing detailed policy analysis of all the financing
options in the future.
All has been a centerpiece of the Democratic Presidential Primary contest.
Senator Bernie Sanders has gone on the record to admit that he would have to
raise taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for the program.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, another supporter of Medicare For All, has taken withering criticism for her refusal to provide details on how she would pay for Medicare For All. She has said she would not raise taxes on middle class Americans to pay for it but has so far been unable to produce a plan showing how she would do so.