CAGW: Bernie Sanders’ Single Payer Plan is an ‘Astronomically’ Bad Idea

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

September 14, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz released the following statement after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) again introduced legislation that would impose socialized medicine on the American people:

“Sen. Sanders’ single payer proposal is unaffordable, unworkable, and unwanted.  It fails to pass basic tests of math, economics, and reason, and he was named CAGW Porker of the Month in June 2017 for his decades-long quest for the measure. 

“The plan’s first fault is that the math does not even come close to adding up.  Ironically, this point was made by Sen. Sanders himself in a 1987 interview, when he stated that the ‘astronomical’ cost of single payer would, ‘bankrupt the nation.’  Estimates put the cost of single payer at a whopping $32 trillion over 10 years.  To attempt to pay for it, Sen. Sanders would need to not only raise taxes on his fabled ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ but also dramatically hike tax rates on regular middle-class families.  Worse yet, Sen. Sanders’ plan relies on expanding Medicare, which will be insolvent by 2029. 

“Sen. Sanders also ignores the mountain of evidence showing the devastating non-financial consequences of single payer.  Countries with socialized healthcare systems like Canada and Great Britain have appalling quality and timeliness issues.  In January 2017, the British Red Cross dubbed the UK’s National Health Service a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in need of major reform.  In 2016, ‘3.4 million Brits were stuck on waiting lists — a 36 percent uptick since 2010.  Last year, about a million people had to wait more than four months to get treatment.  Almost 300,000 waited at least six months.’

“The situation is no better in Canada, as 52,000 Canadians flee to the United States every year for medical treatment.  In 2014, the Commonwealth Fund ranked Canada tenth out of eleven prosperous nations in healthcare quality, as well as last in terms of timeliness of care.

“Sen. Sanders’ plan to unleash an army of federal bureaucrats to control every aspect of every citizens’ healthcare is costly and doomed to failure.  Taxpayers should reject the idea that their healthcare decisions should be subject to the whims of a government administrator.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  

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