Medicare For All Would Save Trillions, Koch Brothers Find By Accident, Whoops!

United Workers on Flickr

What if the Koch Brothers funded a big ol' report scoring the costs of Medicare for All, and it accidentally revealed US of America would save two trillion dollars with a T? Would that be bad? Well, sure it would, if their press outreach didn't fix it by focusing only on VERY LOUD NOISES MEDICARE FOR ALL COSTS BIG NUMBERS OF MONEY ... and leaving the two-trillion MORE our healthcare already costs in the equivalent of a FISA application footnote.

The LOLibertarians analysis is by Matt Breunig, president of the People's Policy Center. Breunig explains the methodology used by Mercatus Center author Charles Blahous. Blahous looks at the projected cost of healthcare in the USA between 2022 and 2031, applies the savings that would come from Medicare for All, and estimates the overall savings would be in the ballpark of $2 trillion. That's with a T.

Mercatus focuses on HOLY SHIT MEDICARE FOR ALL WILL COST ALL THE WORLD'S MONEY -- instead of that it would be $2 trillion less -- because otherwise they might lose their hack license; the total cost of healthcare in the USA is already HUGE, and instead of being paid out by our existing cat's cradle of private insurance, government programs at the state and federal level, and people paying out of pocket, the whole shebang would be shifted to the federal government and paid for by taxes, like in socialist hellholes like Canada. The total is actually deceptive, because we're already paying that and more through a whole lot of sources, and not everyone is covered, as Breunig explains.

[Federal] health expenditures will necessarily go up a lot, [to] $32.6 trillion over the 10-year period according to Blahous. But this is more of an accounting thing than anything else: rather than paying premiums, deductibles, and copays for health care, people will instead pay a tax that is, on average, a bit less than they currently pay into the healthcare system and, for those on lower incomes, a lot less.

Significant healthcare savings from a single-payer system isn't at all what the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center expected, and was sure to leave a bad taste in mouths of its top funders, the free-market Flavr-Aid sipping Koch family. Clearly, clever spin was called for:

[The] real game here for Mercatus is to bury the money-saving finding in the report's tables while headlining the incomprehensibly large $32.6 trillion number in order to trick dim reporters into splashing that number everywhere and freaking out.

Here's Paul Ryan being helpful:

Your editrix, the jerb creator, would point out that she covers her employees with one of those "high deductible insurance plans" where she pays $10,000 for each employee before insurance covers a single dollar of medical costs. She'd be delighted to pay some of that to the government instead!

Not surprisingly, Ryan's is precisely the approach taken by Fox News, whose article is all about the incredible costs to taxpayers of Bernie Sanders's (and John Conyers's, and John Dingell's, and John Dingell Sr.'s) crazy idea. Oh, sure, Fox mentions the savings, but only generally, and even that's offset by the terrifying news that more people would be covered, OH NO:

The hikes would allow the government to replace what employers and consumers currently pay for health care -- delivering significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased demand for care that would drive up spending, according to the report.

Not stated there: Even with the increased demand, those "increased" costs would still be lower than the price of our current hodgepodge of unsystematic systems that leaves millions with no coverage at all. The Associated Press version -- which Fox News's report draws on -- at least provides more details about the savings, and notes the proposal would cover 30 million people who currently have no coverage, and that the plan would eliminate copays and deductibles, as well as covering dental and vision care.

Nonetheless, the AP headline and lede focus on that great big number, SO SCARY, long before mentioning the savings. You might think the lede could compare the cost of doing nothing -- again, trillions of dollars more, and 30 million uninsured -- to the cost of Medicare for All, huh?

Breunig also points out Blahous may have underestimated the administrative savings that could result from Medicare for All:

He assumes administrative costs will only drop from 13 percent to 6 percent for those currently privately insured. But, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare's administrative costs have consistently been below 2 percent.

In addition, Breunig is skeptical of the report's estimates for higher costs due to increased utilization of healthcare, suggesting the actual amount of increase may be lower. But even if Blahous erred on the conservative side, it's a hell of a sweet deal:

We get to insure every single person in the country, virtually eliminate cost-sharing, and save everyone from the hell of constantly changing health insurance all while saving money. You would have to be a fool to pass that offer up.

But what about the loss of the GOP's Big Fat Tax Cut For Rich Fuckwads? Shouldn't any fair accounting of Medicare for All take into account the disastrous effects on the luxury yacht industry?

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help us radicalize the healthcare debate and own the cons.

[People's Policy Project / Mercatus Center / Fox News / AP / Image by United Workers on Flickr, Creative Commons license 2.0]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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