Economists Tout Medicare for All Cost Savings; Advocates Fight Back Against Corporate Talking Points; New Polling

ECONOMISTS LAYOUT COST-SAVING BENEFITS OF MEDICARE FOR ALL

As various studies continue to come out about the cost-saving benefits of Medicare for All, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers.

In a telephone press conference Monday, four prominent economists detailed how Medicare for All would reduce overall health care costs and save middle-class Americans money. Speakers included Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez, economics professors at the University of California, Berkeley; Jeffrey Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University; and Jeannette Wicks-Lim, economics research professor at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), lead co-sponsor of the Medicare for All legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, also was on the call and discussed legislative efforts behind Medicare for All.

Quotes from the press conference and an audio recording are available here.

To date, more than 250 economists have signed a public statement supporting Medicare for All, noting that “health care is not a service that follows standard market rules” and that “public financing for health is not a matter of raising new money for health care, but of reducing total health care outlays and distributing payments more equitably and efficiently.”

ADVOCATES FIGHT BACK AGAINST INDUSTRY CLAIMS

Health insurance corporations, Big Pharma and the politicians they bankroll are continuing their crusade in the media against health care for all, peddling lies in op-eds and editorials. But supporters aren’t having any of it.

“Clearly, the ‘solutions’ coming from Congress and the president aren’t working,” wrote Bob Karsen, regional coordinator of Single Payer Action Network Ohio, in an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch. “They are helping boost profits for insurance and drug companies rather than ensuring patients get the care they need.”

“Small reforms aimed at billing and ‘secret’ payments will not deliver the change we need,” Eagan Kemp, Public Citizen’s health care advocate, said in a letter to editor of the Los Angeles Times. “The problem isn’t that the for-profit health care system needs an overhaul; the problem is that it exists at all.”

The American people aren’t believing corporate propaganda either.

A new opinion poll commissioned by Public Citizen and Bold Progressives found that not only did two-thirds of respondents support Medicare for All, but that the policy received majority support even when respondents were presented with common attacks. Furthermore, when respondents were presented with clear rebuttals to those attacks, two-thirds of voters continued to support the policy.

The poll also found that respondents were more likely to support Medicare for All when they were informed about the policy’s details.

REMINDER: The American health care system is broken.

About 40% of Americans who get their insurance through their work had difficulty affording care or covering their medical costs in the past 12 months, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

Drug pricing is also out of control. Between January and July 2019, the prices for 3,400 drugs had increased an average five times higher than inflation while Big Pharma executives continue to rake in millions in compensation.

To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about Public Citizen’s work, please contact Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.