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Blumenthal Backs Single-Payer, Which May Cost Almost $3 Trillion a Year

September 12, 2017 By Staff
Blumenthal Backs Single-Payer, Which May Cost Almost $3 Trillion a Year

The state's senior senator joined other Senate Democrats in backing socialist Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" bill, which may cost up to $2.8 trillion a year.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the state’s senior senator, is backing the expensive, unpredictable “Medicare for All” bill supported by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Blumenthal said, in a statement that “[a]ccess to affordable healthcare should be a clear right, not an exorbitant luxury.”

However, few Democrats are talking about the cost of single-payer health care. PolitiFact did a good job of summarizing the different estimates earlier this year:

Kenneth Thorpe, a professor of health policy and management at Emory University, put the cost at $2.4 trillion a year. A team from the Urban Institute put the number at $2.5 trillion a year. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget projected $2.8 trillion a year.

To put that in perfect, the entire federal government spend $5.4 trillion in 2014, meaning single-payer health care alone could add trillions to the government’s spending. Without a way to pay for it, this would send the U.S. national debt soaring beyond an already-sky high $20 trillion.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a potential presidential candidate, is not yet behind “Medicare for All,” but has expressed support for the goal:

“Bernie is setting a really important marker for where he and many people in our party think the health care system needs to be,” Murphy — one of the Affordable Care Act’s staunchest defenders since its earliest days — told POLITICO.

But, Murphy added, “We’re not going to pass a single-payer health care bill any time in the next few years. And so we need to have a conversation about how we get there.”

Single-payer health care has become a common position in the Democratic Party.