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Analysis by the libertarian Mercatus Center projects that under Sanders' plan, "federal healthcare commitments would equal approximately 10.7 percent of GDP in 2022" and then rise to almost 12.7 percent of GDP in 2031.

At first glance, it is odd that the Mercatus Center, which is libertarian in its orientation and heavily funded by the libertarian Koch family, would publish a report this positive about Medicare for All.

But the Mercatus report also showed that the national health expenditure - the total amount spent on healthcare in the USA by the federal government, states, businesses, and individuals - would actually come in below current projections under Sanders' plan.

Sanders' plan - if he succeeds in implementing it - will instead "increase the share of that cost paid through taxes, rather than through insurance premiums or out of pocket costs, according to Axios". There won't be an increase in health spending, but "this would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government". Blahous was a senior economic adviser to President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration.

"Let me thank the Koch brothers, of all people, for sponsoring a study that shows that Medicare for All would save the American people $2 trillion dollars", Sanders said.

"At a time when the United States spends far more per capita on health care than any other country on Earth... a Medicare For All health care system would save the average American significant sums of money", he continued.

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"This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a "Medicare for all" programme", the veteran Vermont senator said.

Sanders' staff found an error in an initial version of the Mercatus report, which counted a long-term care program that was in the 2016 proposal but not the current one. Blahous says the report is his own work, not the Koch brothers'. His 2016 presidential campaign website cites an estimated price tag of $1.38 trillion a year for an earlier version of the plan, but other studies have projected much higher costs. "Taking those savings into account would lower Blahous's estimate from $32.6 trillion to $24.3 trillion".

As Common Dreams reported, Medicare for All is also gaining steam on Capitol Hill, with more than 70 House Democrats joining the newly formed Medicare for All Caucus, which will devote significant energy and resources to studying what it would take to implement a single-payer system in the US and guarantee healthcare to all Americans as a right.

Medicare-for-All, also known as single-payer healthcare, has become increasingly popular among Democrats, including progressive candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pulled off a shocking primary upset last month in New York's 14th Congressional District and made the issue a central part of her platform.

Mr Sanders' office has not immediately responded to The Independent's request for comment on the study's projections.

"It's showing that if you are going to go in this direction, it's going to cost the federal government $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion a year in terms of spending", Thorpe said. "Even though people don't pay premiums, the tax increases are going to be enormous". But this is more of an accounting thing than anything else: rather than paying premiums, deductibles, and co-pays for health care, people will instead pay a tax that is, on average, a bit less than they now pay into the health care system and, for those on lower incomes, a lot less. "Even doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes wouldn't cover this cost".


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