by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Seven in ten registered voters say they support “Medicare for all,” according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll. Progressives believe the COVID-19 pandemic will only send those numbers higher.
But public opinion changes once voters learn about the cost, both human and financial, of socialized medicine.
A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in April found that 54% of people in the United States favor “Medicare for all.” Support dropped to 37% once people were informed that single-payer would require higher taxes. When respondents were told “Medicare for all” would lead to delays in receiving care, support dropped by more than half, to 26%.
Higher taxes and reduced access to care aren’t hypotheticals. They’re part and parcel of single-payer.
Estimates from the left-leaning Urban Institute and the market-oriented Mercatus Center put the cost of “Medicare for all” at well over $32 trillion over 10 years. The Mercatus study says that even doubling all federal individual and corporate income tax receipts would be insufficient to cover that sum.
As for delays, look to Canada. According to the Fraser Institute, Canadians face a median wait for specialist care following referral from a primary care physician of nearly 21 weeks.
“Medicare for all” may seem like a pipe dream these days, given that the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee doesn’t support it. But Joe Biden’s health plan would result in single-payer nonetheless, just on a slower timetable.
He’s proposed lowering Medicare’s eligibility age to 60 and creating a public option anyone could buy into. The government-run plan would have the power to pay healthcare providers below-market rates, just as Medicare does. … The end result? Government-run healthcare for all.
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