Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) posted a video to his official Twitter account this Monday, thanking conservative mega-donors the Koch Brothers for “accidentally making the case” for Medicare for all.
Sanders was referring to a study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, an institution subsidized by the Kochs.
The study found that Sanders’ single-payer health health care plan would raise federal health-care spending by about $32.6 trillion between 2022 and 2031. The same study also found that federal health-care spending would drop overall by just more than $2 trillion.
“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 over a 10-year period,” Sanders says in the video.
As various reports point out, the numbers in the study are still somewhat inconclusive, but Sanders ran with the perceived vindication anyway.
Thank you, Koch brothers, for accidentally making the case for Medicare for All! pic.twitter.com/speuEL6ETC
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 30, 2018
Sanders still wasn’t letting the Kochs off easy, however.
“The insurance companies, the drug companies, Wall Street, and the Koch brothers are devoting a lot of money to lobbying, campaign contributions, and television ads to defeat this proposal,” he said.
“But they are on the wrong side of history.”
Republicans found things to tote about the study as well.
“$32.6 trillion dollars. That’s how much Washington Democrats’ single-payer healthcare proposal would cost over 10 years,” House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted. “Even doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes wouldn’t cover this cost. It is just absurd.”
But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.
From Business Insider:
According to the Mercatus model, total health spending wouldactually come in about $303 billion lower in 2031 than under current projections, with $7.35 trillion going to healthcare that year versus $7.65 trillion expected now. Total national health spending would be $2 trillion lower from 2022 to 2031 under the plan, the report found.
While the price tag for the federal government would increase significantly, decreased spending by other groups would lower total healthcare spending over that 10-year period. Meanwhile, the model also assumes that 30 million more people would get access to healthcare, and many people would get more robust services.
Ultimately, the Mercatus study shows that Sanders’ plan would give tens of millions of Americans access to healthcare with the U.S. as a whole spending less than expected.
Featured image via screen grab