Medicare for All Could Save the US $2 Trillion

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A recent study said that single payer Medicare for everybody would cost the government A LOT of money. But it would also $2 TRILLION less than the way we do things now.
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72 thoughts on “Medicare for All Could Save the US $2 Trillion

  1. Is it just me or you’re looking sharper than before?
    And by sharper I mean the picture, not your clothes. Though your clothes are perfectly adequate as well.
    Anyway keep up the good work, and I’m so glad YouTube seems to have fixed their recommendations and actually notified me of your video.

  2. I do not understand why you think that we have ideal care now when doctors have high reimbursement rates. The system sucks so bad, it would be very hard for M4A to be worse. Even if reimbursement rates lower, there would be more people actually seeing doctors (do you know how many people are completely uninsured today??) so I am very sure the doctors would come out OK. They always do, it’s the patients that get screwed every which way.

    • Insurance companies don’t directly raise prices. They indirectly raise them by hiding the costs billed from the consumer allowing the prices to be raised to crazy levels. Go back to true insurance not this stupid prepaid health care model that has become standard in the last twenty years.

    • Indeed with M4A the govt could negotiate better prices for doctors, hospitals and resources across the entire country and simplify administration. I would be surprised if 2 trillion is all that was saved when you implement other efficiencies. Although those efficiencies might come at the cost of jobs, jobs that exist now only because of inefficient systems.

    • +Paul Ewing, I have had the experience of going to doctors that are wholly private on wholly private plans and going to public doctors on public plans/programs… including those wholly military medical system (not the VA)…. and wholly government health provider systems where its literally just state agencies handing it out… and out of it all the system I was most impressed with is the pubic side… its more comprehensive, there is more pride, there is more services, and they in my experience tend to be more on the ball and helpful…

      But if a doctor spends the time with you and as a good or excellent bedside manner has little to do with who they work for and a lot more to do with them as a person. I’ve met doctors that their whole goal is to get as many patients through a day, to push out as many drugs, to push out as many tests, and to overly-diagnose as much as possible for the money…. I left that doctor because he seemed to take issue with the fact that I felt I had a private plan and that I went in to get medical advise.. and he would balk and tell me to look it up on google….

      I promise you Paul… the nightmare you dread and peddle of a public system where wait times are high and service is poor just isn’t going to happen…. unless America builds a system like that. I have seen public sponsored programs, this is a Republican state, that has long wait times, but not because of how its setup but because lack of funding… so yeah… Its what you build it to be.

      There is nothing about a private vs public, government vs business, profit vs non-profit, taxes vs out-of-pocket that really changes that dynamic in of itself…

    • As a military Brat, I have been to many militaries (government) ran hospitals. I would go to get a wart removed, the first appointment was to confirm that I had a wart, then I would get a second appointment 2 weeks from my first one to actually have it removed. The government would also save money by not paying for non-essentials, like hot water.

    • Woodchuck, I can tell you that I had a wart on my foot, it seemed minor at first but as it kept coming back I suspected something not so right. I went to the doctor, I got a referral, and then went to a specialist… that whole process took a few weeks (about three, so your adventure was actually shorter than mine). Which is my point. For America (and even for the world) thats super-fast moreover because its not really all that ‘needed’ or even ‘urgent’.

      Want to know how much the whole process of that removal cost me? Not even counting what the insurance cost, just out of pocket pay, that was roughly $400. And all the doctor did was put a lot more potent acid on it to burn it off… its not like it was an involved surgery or procedure.

      Which is also the point… its extremely over-priced. How much did your removal cost to you personally out of pocket? I bet not as much.

    • Unfortunately you are right… which means we have to work extra hard to keep the remaining public informed and motivated to vote.

    • The same way the left dismisses facts like that there’re only 2 genders, or that there’re inherent biological and psychological differences between men and women, or that subjective feelings do not dictate reality.

    • You mean the fact that these leftists are lying all over the place? Because the $2 trillion dollar figure is based on a bullshit assumption that makes no sense.

    • James, thanks for confirming that the Mercatus Center puts out BS. I’ve always thought so. After all, they describe themselves as “The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas…”

    • The only BS here is the notion that you can cut reimbursement of doctors by 40% across the board and only “save money” with no unintended consequences. Not to mention the problem that they themselves mentioned which is that the increase in taxes would be huge. But yeah, clearly *they’re* the ones putting out BS and not the leftists lying about the study results….

  3. I’m sort of surprised that the savings are less than 4%. I’d have thought that streamlining to this degree would save a lot more than that.

    • Sure, but what about the quality of the care? Under a M4A system, all the hospitals and physicians operating in private practice would be reimbursed at fixed rates that would not reflect the cost of the care being provided, as a means of artificially dropping the costs of care. With the demand for healthcare vastly exceeding the supply in the US, this would invariably result in rationing and long waiting lists for treatment. In some cases, this can be deadly. For example, a young girl in Canada actually died from cancer because she was put on a waiting list that was so long that she ended up dying before she could get treatment. Studies have also shown that Canadians suffer needlessly waiting for treatment they would otherwise get much quicker in the US.

      https://globalnews.ca/news/2678113/ontario-teen-who-died-waiting-for-stem-cell-transplant-begged-government-to-cut-wait-list/

      https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/effect-of-wait-times-on-mortality-in-canada.pdf

      Also, the lack of profit motive would stifle innovation, and reduce the quality of care available, as there’d be no incentive at that point. This is one of the biggest problems with Medicare is that the reimbursement it provides does not reflect the market value of that treatment. This is also one of the reasons as to why the number of doctors accepting medicare continues to decrease each year. What are you going to do? Force them to accept reimbursement that’s below what they need to keep their doors open? What’ll happen then is that people will just stop going into medicine all together, thus exacerbating the existing physician shortage and reducing access to treatment. The NHS has this very same issue, with 8000 doctors having exited the UK between 2008 and 2012.

      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/why-british-doctors-do-not-want-to-practice-in-own-country/ “From 2008 to 2012, more than 8,000 doctors left Britain. The Financial Times said that they had grown tired of working “extensive ‘goodwill hours’ and coming in on days off.” Younger doctors were feeling they had been “abused by the long hours” they put in.”

      Another big problem with M4K is that access to medical devices such as MRI scanners would also likely decrease. For example, the US has 9 times the MRI scanners per person than Canada. In fact, there are more MRI scanners in the state of Delaware (the smallest state in the union) than all of Canada combined. Less access to this type of technology, in conjunction with high demand would result in extensive wait lists and rationing that could delay diagnosis and lead to disability and death.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2653696/

      Look, the US healthcare system is indeed in need of reform, but M4K is simply not the answer. It would result in less access to care, long waiting lists for treatment, fewer doctors, less medical innovation and lower quality of care.

    • Chris Lewis wrote, “If you payed attention to the video, the urban institute (a left leaning organization) produced the exact same numbers as the “koch brothers study” as you so lovingly referred to it as.”
      That’s not what Dr. Carroll said and no, the Urban Institute did not produce exactly the same numbers. The Mercatus study found a $2 trillion reduction in spending over 10 years. The Urban Institute found a $21.9 trillion dollar savings over 10 years.
      Of course the important thing is that both studies find significant savings by switching to Medicare 4 All while providing every American with health coverage.

    • steveh46 It will raise government spending by $32 trillion over 10 years, but reduce healthcare total spending by $2/21 trillion dollars. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this math? That kind of spending is unsustainable without significant tax increases (which would be widely unpopular) and the savings are insignificant in comparison to how much it would cost. Aaron even mentions that those costs virtually disappear if you adjust Medicare reimbursement to the same as private insurance, which would be the only way to ensure doctors will even accept Medicare without leaving medicine all together. The only other option would be to force doctors to accept Medicare, which would likely discourage them from practicing medicine, as Medicare does not reimburse enough for doctors to keep their doors open, thus exasperating the physician shortage and reducing access. The numbers from the urban institution are likely being overly generous as 4 states have attempted M4A and the cost ended up being so drastically higher than expected that it would have bankrupted them without tremendous increases in taxes, of which would have negatively impacted their economies. If we can’t make it work at the state level, how do you expect it to work on a national level?

    • steveh46 Also, “health coverage” is not the same as access to healthcare. Given that fewer doctors than ever are accepting new Medicare patients, you’d effectively be giving people worthless health insurance, without improving access. If anything, M4A would reduce access for those who depend on it due to the aforementioned trend of non-participation amongst physicians in the medicare program.

  4. Can you do a more in depth piece on that study? It seemed to vastly underestimate existing federal health spending based on what you’ve previously told us on this channel

  5. If doctors were paid less but a Medicare for all system were able to address their malpractice insurance premiums, the doctors would probably get on board.

    • The same could probably be said with Student Loan Forgiveness, since medical school is getting so much more expensive. Reducing the debt and burdens of being a doctor would easily make a lower pay worthwhile. It would also encourage doctors to setup their own practices, with lower rates, lower debts, and universal access to customers (assuming everyone was forced onto the plan).

  6. I just don’t like the government having the final say about my healthcare. That to me is a burden that should be up to the individual not the collective. More people should be thinking of the long term effects of involving government in everything instead of relying on it because it’s less obstructive.

    • James Adams that’s the same thing I said on my comment. If you have money to pay everything out of pocket you have control. Please read and understand what you’re going to be replying to so you don’t waste peoples time. Also that might be the case in your community and that’s your fault and your communities’ fault then. In many districts including mine a singular vote might not be as strong but the smart people know that to counter that they need to band together so their votes and opinions are stronger and have more pull. My representatives are pretty well aligned with what my community and I need and want, which is what a majority of people in this country want even thought many of them still vote for people who will not make those things happen

    • You have control either way because even if you can’t afford something, you’re not forced to buy it.

      No, the voting thing is not a matter of one community. It is a universal constant. Your vote does not matter. If you don’t believe me then stay home. After all, if everyone else votes as you already want then you’re literally wasting your time.

    • James Adams Neither Brady nor I were ever talking about wether someone has control because they can chose to buy insurance or not so you’re doing a pretty bad job there deflecting to another area. I also never said that everyone else votes thus I can stay home. I’m actually advocating for people to ban together and become a voting block to have more influence. If I don’t vote then there’s the chance that other use your flawed logic and also don’t go and vote thinking that others will do the job for them.

      I don’t know how you’re jumping so hard to those conclusions. I once again have to state that you are just pulling all of this from thin air because you don’t seem to understand and/or read properly the comments you are replying to. So good luck staying misinformed.

  7. 0:09 – Yes it would bankrupt your country but not because you couldn’t pay for it. The real problem is your country is already bankrupt, you just don’t realize it yet.

    • TL;DR – Just like the last one. If all you have is ad hominems I’m not going to bother even reading your stupid comments. Save your mocking and childish name calling until you have sais soemthing.

    • Since I went through each argument you made and replied to it… I accept that as a complete and utter forfeiture.

      You fucking even lied about what I literally fucking wrote word for word… saying I wouldn’t reply again…. Again get fucking help. You are one of the craziest motherfuckers I have seen on YouTube in years.

  8. ok stupid question, whats wrong with doing medicare for all and if you want “extras” you can buy a supplement plan that covers those extras. yes my taxes would go up but if i paid less overall how is that not a good thing? For the record im not sold on medicare for all, But i dont get everyone acting like the world would end? no i dont want to give up my doctor, but if i had to pay a little more per month out of pocket so that other people could see a doctor period whats wrong with that?

    • There are Health business models always in the field, that are rather boutique and operate a nitch health business practice where patience’s are exclusivly the Uber rich, or whom want to have their health service be more like French Cisuine. If you are exuberantly rich those Health Models will always be available to exclusive people like your aunt who is a executive for Bayer, or your uber rich uncle who wants to have a gold plated gernie. There are some very special end of life care that people will always choose to spend their wealth and still manage to fund their children’s life after parting.
      Remember there is freedom for private to compete using rather leveraging the private and public human capitol.
      So the wealthy get to have what they can pay for while also both the rich and the morgage poor will be able to afford more new competitive technology and prices as they and their doctor see fit.
      Just if someone can afford a line item like a cup of orange juice that cost 60$, or a heart stint that cost 200k then it can be available as has been in the past. Not everyone can afford the runaway profit that the CEO’s of hospitals and industry mandate.
      With Healthcare for all the customers are there and the public receives a better cost then when managed profit comes from those who profit off of end of life and health issues of many many people.

    • George Cataloni Don’t get me wrong, personally I want what I described where people can opt in and all that.

      But if you’re going to support that kind of system it behooves you to vote for people with a much more radical opinion. They’ll never get everything that they want, they’re radicals. BUT! They’ll pull more people in that direction and after debating they’ll end up somewhere in the middle where M4A as a public option is.

      So I’m going to support wack jobs (Bernie Sanders isn’t btw) who want something much more radical than what I want. They’ll shoot for the stars, and land on the moon which is where I want to be.

    • Which radicals do you suppose we vote for? The ones that want mandatory insurance, or the ones that don’t want government interference at all? I prefer the latter, but if you want something in the middle, you’ll want the push and the pull. I don’t see how someone like you can pick one radical.

    • George Cataloni I don’t get why YouTube won’t notify me on a timely basis…

      But if you look at the conservative politicians in the country they start at total free market and argue (mostly scream epithets) from there. In world politics, that’s pretty radical.

      So when I go out and bite my lip and vote for someone like… Ocasio-Cortez who is a real socialist and has a platform that is dangerous to our republic (IMO); I know that she isn’t going to implement everything that she wants, and in fact she isn’t going to implement 5% of what she wants. But she will move the Overton window more towards the center and eventually by her moving of the political spectrum she’ll compromise and that compromise will land close to where I stand.

      Don’t worry about choosing the radicals on the other side, the other side will do it for you.

      I know it sounds like I’m playing with fire, but the American political system is so borked that it takes a miracle to get anything truly radical done. Compromise will always happen.

      EDIT: Both options that you stated are what is considered the centrist solution and the radical right solution. I want something more left leaning like M4A/public option. So I would be voting for heavy left wingers. Again, not because I think what they believe is correct, rather because they will pull the conversation in that direction.

    • MERCENARYTAO1, you got some things really wrong.

      Conservatives do favor free markets, but to pin the screaming on them is ignorant of recent and current events. Far-left progressives have more screamers, and a lot more violent protesters than conservatives, or even the far-right.

      Neither of what I stated was supposed to be centrist. They were both supposed to be radical. Maybe you thought I meant the ACA when I said mandatory insurance, but what I meant was universal, single-payer healthcare.

      *”Don’t worry about choosing the radicals on the other side, the other side will do it for you.”*
      In that case, don’t vote for radicals at all, the radicals on both sides will do it for you… Or vote only to keep the radical ratio in equilibrium; just don’t pick only one side, or else you may just get it.

      I’m a radical, though, so I’m gonna keep voting radical.

    • In addition to cutting medical subsidies in lieu of single payer, reducing military spending would fill any gaps (although multiple studies now say we’d save money overall so there is no gap).

    • It would increase spending by $32 trillion dollars over 10 years and if we’re lucky, reduce overall health spending anywhere from $2-21 trillion according to the studies Aaron presents in this video. In other words, it wouldn’t save anything, we’d be running a $11-30 trillion deficit. Aaron further mentions that unless doctors and nurses salaries are reduced, those savings all but disappear. Its unrealistic to think that people are going to work in such a stressful environment for LESS money, they’ll likely just leave medicine all together.

  9. I am sure our very well paid host would not agree but I personally think doctors are paid too much… I can understand he whole needing money to open up practices and paying for the medical education/training… but for a significant number of doctors that isn’t an issue anymore and as doctors age/progress in practice they get paid more (which tends to be when their debt is and/or mostly paid off)… So… the whole ‘boggie man’ of paying doctors more reasonable wages isn’t scary to me… I think its a fantastic idea moving being a doctor to a more civil service minded profession.

    But really the US health care system can be streamlined and cost-optimized in so many ways that wouldn’t affect much of what medical professionals and/or patients see in their normal interactions with the health care system. What people are paid is kinda one sliver of it.

    And considering that most health care is paid for by taxes… through subsidies, tax breaks/credits, tax-funded private plans (like for government employees), the public coverage (medicare), the quasi-public federal-state program (medicaid), and so many others… when you add it all up a rather large chunk of all health care dollars comes from TAXES. So these professionals are working on the public’s dime already… I think its about time we just fully admit to it and do something about that.

    • Such sad defeatism. “The government can’t do anything right ever!”
      – elects people who don’t know what they’re doing and don’t think they can even perform their basic job functions.

      “SEE?!?”

      Some of us haven’t given up on the future yet. We don’t all underestimate humanity and laugh at people who want to make the world better. It’s really sad this is the point of discussion.

      NASA, public roadways, national parks and forests, lead, asbestos, vaccinations, GPS, the very rule of law itself… there are a lot of things we the people do through government that private citizens couldn’t or wouldn’t do on their own.

      I get how cute and edgy it is to be anti-government, but it’s the same as idiots who are ant-corporation or anti-capitalism. You don’t have a solution. You only offer blind criticism. Lend a hand or get out of the way.

    • Doesn’t matter who is elected. It’s not defeatism. It’s realism. Politicians have not, do not, and will not ever be making the world a better place. Doesn’t matter if they are right, left, center or all over the place.

    • Most of people pay insurance premiums and their share for services, there is no choice for majority of people. We need to bring health care cost down and do it cost effective, the only ways I see: 1. eliminate all insurance companies between doctors and patients (single payer system). 2. once we have single payer system we can negotiate fair price with pharmaceutical companies. Some lawmakers want to reduce cost by other way such to permit insurer no to cover pre-existing conditions, remove essential coverage from mandatory list, etc.

      Do you have any other effective ideas how to reduce health care cost? Or all you can do is just criticise and shout “less government”?

  10. I get paid $22.85 per patient from Medicare no matter what I do for them. They won’t even pay for an exam which they require. Tell me how I could make a living on that? You will create a system of state run sick care and boutique practices that take cash only. Unless the govt forces doctors to be in the Medicare system and then the doctor has no agency over what their labor and knowledge is worth, the govt will tell them.

    So all that $2 trillion and then some would probably go towards supplemental insurance. Because…wait for it…Medicare sucks.

    • I think one thing people fail to realize about other universal healthcare systems is that the average technology and quality measures of care that are standard in US hospital and clinics are not available or have long waits to be used in the public options of those countries. Aaron always mentions trade offs, and this is what they are: patient-centered care gets turned into waiting lists and out-dated tech, verifications and red tape at every turn slowing down care, and oversight robbing care providers of their sense of agency. That is for the public option. (Take a look at our own public system, the VA). We must be willing to accept that those of us who cannot afford and/or choose not to pay for private insurance must endure a system that is bloated and filled with providers whose good will and empathy are battered everyday by bureaucracy. We shouldn’t sugar coat it. But in the end, it might be the right call for our horribly broken system. Just don’t belittle the people who have plow through it all and try to provide care in spite of it.

    • Daniel Hoffman
      ” the average technology and quality measures of care that are standard in US hospital and clinics are not available or have long waits to be used in the public options of those countries”

      That’s simply not true. Other countries are able provide an equivalent or higher level of quality healthcare as the US, while the waiting times are not longer than in the US.

      This site compares statistics of the US with some other Western countries:
      https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/quality-u-s-healthcare-system-compare-countries/#item-start

    • I would be more polite about this if we were in person but yes… you are a fucing shitmonger for thinking you have the right to charge people who are sick whatever whim you think meets your feeling of self-worth.

      But on the other end of the spectrum… According to the 2014 CMS physician fee schedule reimbursement ranged from $73 to $108, which has increased since then I just haven’t taken the time to look up the new one.

      So your $22.85 is a joke… either someone is horribly cheating/lying to you… or you are lying to us here.

  11. I read the study myself. With additional personal peer reviews, this is NOT how we interpreted the study. The study CLEARLY states that M4A would almost Double the CURRENT costs. Yes, we would be saving $2 Trillion dollars from certain cuts like drug costs, BUT we would still end up paying double for M4A over the decade. THAT means about $2.8 Trillion dollars in addition to the current $3 Trillion dollars. Please tell me there are viewers who ACTUALLY read the study and let me know plz thank you. I keep hearing back to this study and how it benefits M4A?????? I think this might be the first mistake Healthcare Triage has made.

    • No, it isn’t “very efficient” because people aren’t allowed to not pay for it and most of its users aren’t currently paying for it at all. Workers are extorted. This is a captive market by its very definition, and that isn’t even addressing the huge increases in costs and the share of the federal budget that it consumes.

      I get that you don’t care about these facts and want to push this “government good” bullshit. I get that you hate to actually reference these realities. I get that you won’t acknowledge how government outcomes aren’t better than private insurance ones. My argument is that Medicare as it is working right now is inferior and that you can’t really prove that it’s better. You don’t get that the US government does not work like other governments, but want to insist that with trillions more dollars it will because…because….because….muh leftist talking points! And still not acknowledging the data here in this very study.

    • Considering the cost of health care, quality of care, wait times, and other factors are much better in other nations that spend LESS than the United States, where in some places their citizens pay very little if anything at all… yes it is better.

      Workers being exploited? You know what that sounds like a rallying cry for? Socialism… Not more capitalism. I’m not a fan of ‘socialism’ or ‘democratic socialism’, but I am a social democrat… so I think these kinds of public programs can be very helpful for the public, general, and common good of all.

      The increase in the federal budget would just be the federal government taking on the costs that are ALREADY happening in the market. After several attempts at explaining this to you… I think you are just deliberately being obtuse.

      Medicare costs less and provides for better outcomes, when you adjust for age, since almost all medicare recipients are quite a bit older.

      If you think Medicare doesn’t work… try to get it repealed… good luck avoiding the lynch mob… even the Koch brothers are smart enough not to touch that ****.

      I actually laid out why… the US government does have a pretty good tract record and it does function like many other governments around the world, moreover when it comes to why and how those functions of government operate. You are making the claim that the US government is somehow different… prove it.

      I get that you don’t have an argument at this point and you are just doing a very pathetic trollish ‘no you are’ kind of argument… In this really not an argument though… this is me giving you a swirly in the toilet as you cry.

      The study, as in the article I cited from the Washington Post, everyone agrees… IF you read the study and follow its conclusions… Bernie Sanders’ proposed Medicare for All bill would overall have net savings to Americans and the economy-at-large. No one has demonstrated otherwise… because that IS what the study shows… even though the study is extremely biased against Bernie Sanders’ proposal and makes a lot of very harsh and very worst case assumptions…

      Till you have something better than more words… that is when you have a valid trusted source… I will reply. Till then I will let you cry with your toilet water head.

    • James it sounds like your blind rage against anything related to the government has made your judgement quite poor and full of emotion. Maybe let America progress as it always has done when it embraces progressive policies.

    • No, dumbass, I’m using basic ethical principles. You should try them some time. Government isn’t progress and “progressive” policies are tyranny. Not that you’d care because you named yourself after a dumbass cartoon character that spewed leftist talking points.

  12. Seeing how I have always know the government to do things on time and under budget, them saving money on healthcare seems like the most plausible answer.

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