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Medicare For All Could Save Lives AND Money

Published on March 6th, 2020

The Medicare For All plan would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year and would prevent tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, a new study shows.  The analysis, conducted by researchers at Yale University, the University of Florida and the University of Maryland, found that transitioning the U.S. to a single-payer health care system would actually save an estimated $450 billion each year, with the average American family seeing about $2,400 in annual savings. The research, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet, also found that Medicare For All would prevent about 68,000 unnecessary deaths per year.

The authors also noted that health care expenditures in the U.S. are “higher” per capita “than in any other country.” “The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations,” the authors wrote in the study.

“Our study is actually conservative because it doesn’t factor in the lives saved among underinsured Americans—which includes anyone who nominally has insurance but has postponed or foregone care because they couldn’t afford the copays and deductibles,” Alison Galvani, an author of the study and researcher at the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at the Yale School of Public Health, told Newsweek.

Overall, the new research anticipates annual savings of about 13 percent in national health care costs, while providing better health care access to lower-income families. According to the study, about 37 million Americans do not have health insurance, while an additional 41 million people do not have adequate health care coverage. Taken together, about 24 percent of the total population does not have health care coverage that meets their needs.

“It is worth noting the absolutely staggering differences in prices for health care paid in the U.S. relative to our rich country peers,” Josh Bivens, research director at the Economic Policy Institute, told Newsweek. “Given this, and given that other countries largely control these costs by centralizing them, it seems to me that the by far most-likely development would be for national health costs to fall under a well-managed M4A [Medicare For All] plan,” he said.

 

 

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