Inconvenient truth for Bernie Sanders: 'Medicare for All' would raise taxes by $16.2 trillion

Feel the Bern? It’s a stark reality: Sooner or later, somebody has to pay for universal health care. Sen. Bernie Sanders must face this reality now that he has introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019 — which is certainly guaranteed to be a big applause point on the presidential campaign trail. But the money has to come from somewhere. That’s the inconvenient truth.

The Democratic socialist from Vermont has a few ideas.

“Rather than including financing mechanisms in the legislation, Sanders released a set of tax hike ‘options’ that would be paired with the proposal. These tax hikes would hit American families at every income level and businesses large and small. The proposal increases taxes by $16.2 trillion over the next decade. This would pay for roughly half of the cost of single payer healthcare, which costs between $32 trillion and $36 trillion according to estimates,” explains a cost evaluation released by Americans for Tax Reform, an advocacy group.

The tax hikes include a 4% employee payroll tax, a 7% employer payroll tax, the elimination of health tax “expenditures,” plus a proposal which would ban employer-provided insurance and repeal the deduction for health care — increasing taxes on businesses by $3 trillion over a decade, the organization said.

Mr. Sanders’ proposal also would repeal health savings accounts, the deduction for cafeteria plans and the medical expense deductions. Then there’s the 70% top tax bracket for ordinary income and capital gains income — burdening the U.S. with the highest income tax rate on the planet.
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