Thursday, September 14, 2017


Here it comes:
Barrasso Requests CBO Score on Sanders’ Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) called on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide a full cost estimate of Senator Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) single-payer health care bill, S. 1804.

In a letter to CBO Director Keith Hall, Barrasso highlights how Senator Sanders’ bill is not only a government takeover of health care, but would also put financial burdens on the American people.

“It is being sold as a new health system paid for completely by the government, with no restrictions and at no cost to the patient. Of course, such a system would be anything but free for the American taxpayer... As the country engages in a serious debate about how best to reform our health care system, it is imperative that the public understand the cost of Senator Sanders’ Medicare-for-All proposal,” wrote Barrasso.
This morning, the Republican Party tweeted this:

That number appeared in a Washington Post editorial a couple of months ago:
... the government’s price tag would be astonishing. When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed a “Medicare for all” health plan in his presidential campaign, the nonpartisan Urban Institute figured that it would raise government spending by $32 trillion over 10 years, requiring a tax increase so huge that even the democratic socialist Mr. Sanders did not propose anything close to it.
Can Sanders rebut this? Can Democrats? We didn't have to find out in 2016 -- but if Sanders had won the Democratic presidential nomination, we would have found out.

Polls showed that Sanders had a double-digit lead over Donald Trump in 2016, and a lot of people think that's all you need to know to decide who should have been the Democrats' nominee. But we never heard any of the GOP's attacks on Sanders in 2016. As I've said before, I think a lot of them would have fallen flat. (He honeymooned in the Soviet Union? No voter under the age of 40 ever lived as an adult in a world that contained the Soviet Union.) This? I don't know. I don't know how good proponents will be in single payer/MfA's defense.

We'll see more attacks like this in 2018, and we'll find out how voters react to them. If they cut into support for single payer or Medicare for All, and if they hurt Democratic candidates in 2018, then we'll know that we can't assume Sanders would have coasted.

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