Las Vegas Sun

July 19, 2019

Currently: 102° — Complete forecast

Letter to the editor:

‘Medicare for All’ has untold costs

Unemployment has hit the lowest point since December 1969. However, this could take a dramatic turn should “Medicare for All” come to fruition. It is estimated that 2.5 million health insurance and health care jobs would be eliminated.

This aspect of Medicare for All is scarcely mentioned. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has espoused that Medicare for All would keep Americans from choosing between food and health care. However, for the people who would lose their jobs, putting food on the table would become a colossal concern.

Another consequence is the impact on hospitals. Currently, the losses hospitals incur from lower Medicare payments are offset by higher payments from private insurers. Without private insurance, hospitals would collect only the lower payments. Hospitals would suffer from the financial constraints, leading to reduced wages and closures.

The impact on jobs wouldn’t be contained to just the insurance industry, either. A recent Bloomberg News article quoted Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “Raising the more than $30 trillion needed to fund Sanders’ health plan over a decade would require doubling all personal and corporate income taxes or tripling payroll taxes.” As employers are charged higher payroll taxes, wages and jobs will be cut.

So many Americans — especially those in Nevada — suffered and lost so much during the recession. We cannot afford to go backward. Our health care system needs improving, but Medicare for All is not the answer.

The writer is president and chief operating officer of Branch-Hernandez Consulting & Insurance Services.