A new study by Yale epidemiologists in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal “The Lancet” found that Medicare for All, supported by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, “is likely to lead to a 13% savings in national health care expenditure, equivalent to more than $450 billion annually.” (Quote is from the study, “Improving the prognosis of health care in the USA,” which is available to the public at thelancet.com.)

Alison Galvani, lead author of the study, noted that, in addition to saving $100 billion annually through applying Medicare rates to health care services, “Medicare for All will minimize paperwork and will streamline administration and billing. So, currently, Medicare has an overhead of 2.2%, whereas private insurance, it’s over 12%. So, applying Medicare overhead to the entire country will save us $200 billion.” (From Democracy Now! interview, Feb. 19, 2020.)

By contrast, the so-called “Medicare for All Who Want It” plan is an expensive way to offer health care to the entire country, leaving in place the inefficiencies of the current system and the $100 billion in annual profits of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries — in effect continuing their massive subsidy by the taxpayers and individual policy holders.

It is a sad commentary on our media coverage of this issue that questions are always raised about the cost of Medicare for All, but rarely questions about the cost of the status quo. Could that be because these two industries spend far more on lobbying than any other industry in the country, including banking and fossil fuels?

Renee Cote, Auburn

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