New Democratic Rep Refutes Ocasio-Cortez: Country Not Ready for ‘Expensive’ Single-Payer Health Care

While appearing on CNN on Monday, Rep.-elect Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) seemed to highlight the trouble the Democratic caucus might have in finding unity with its newfound House majority.

Wexton discounted the ability to implement single-payer health care, a centralized form of health care in European countries and proposed as Medicare for All by politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

CNN host Poppy Harlow specifically asked Wexton what she thought of newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) and others’ call for a single-payer system.

“Are you concerned that your fellow incoming Democrats — like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or others who support it — do not have a good enough answer when it comes to how will you pay for it without raising taxes?” Harlow asked.

Watch the video below:

Wexton responded by calling Medicare for All an “expensive proposition” that the country wasn’t ready to implement.

“At this time, I don’t see a way to do it,” she added when Harlow asked about implementing the policy without raising taxes.

The policy proposal caught attention during the midterm election cycle when the Mercatus Center, a libertarian-leaning organization, released a study showing that it would ultimately save money but require higher taxation.

IJR previously outlined the details:

The Mercatus Center study indicates that the implementation of such a plan should be expected to increase federal spending by $32.6 trillion in its first 10 years. Funding this plan, which would increase federal health care costs by 10.7 percent of GDP, requires more than doubling all federal individual and corporate income tax receipts.

For reference, current total federal spending is $4.4 trillion per year, or 21 percent of GDP.

The study also assumes, given all factors, that providers would be required to accept Medicare reimbursement rates for all services. That rate presently affords those providers — hospitals and physicians alike — only about 60 percent of what they receive from private insurance.

The Mercatus study points out that at current reimbursement rates, 80 percent of hospitals will be losing money by 2019 paying Medicare reimbursement rates on existing patients. So, the rates would either have to increase substantially or timely access to care would be subjected to “significant disruptions,” a.k.a. much longer wait times.

Conservatives have long maintained that a single-payer system would both cost an enormous amount and likely result in rationed care.

According to Roll Call, congressional Democrats weren’t too keen on the idea, either. Most Democrats reportedly didn’t think the proposal was ready to face floor consideration and contained politically problematic provisions like the massive tax increases.

What do you think?

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Rocky Drummond
Member

I don’t fully agree with fully publically funded Medicare For All. I favor a single-payer, universal health care system that all working people and/or employers contribute proportionate to our income. How much governments also contribute is open for discussion. That way we all participate and support one system that covers every single person. That releaves the government from fully funding this scheme.

We definitely need a different system, but we need to work out what will work here.

Kenneth Waggoner
Member

Therein lies a problem with the whole medical establishment, should a service that is necessary for the health and well being of a person be subject to capitalism? A pill that treats cancer costs $100, but costs the pharmaceutical companies $5, is this right? No but that’s capitalism. A man has migraine headaches but can’t afford the $1000 MRI, (cost to hospital, $200) and dies due to brain cancer that could have been prevented. Is this right? No, but that’s capitalism.

Kevin Mahoney
Member

Anyone, Democrats included, who think Medicare for all is expensive clearly doesn’t understand what it does and what it replaces. It replaces our current healthcare system with a single payer one which will be cheaper. Yes, your taxes will go up, but you will no longer be making any other substantial payment to pay for healthcare, including premiums. It will also be more expansive, give the government bargaining power to lower costs of drugs, and substantially lower overhead costs.

Marco Spinelli
Member
Screwtape
Member

For decades doctors and other healthcare providers have either refused or limited Medicaid/Medicare recipients. It adds to the overhead and at a discount to their usual rates. Bottomline: it’s NOT good business for them. I know at least four physicians who’ve retired as a result of Obozocare.

It’s nice that Rep. Wexton is adult about this and did some math. As did CA.

I’d like to see those supporting “single payer” provide some hard, real #s that make this possible.

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