(CNSNews.com) -- Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All Act (M4A) would increase government healthcare spending by an estimated $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a new study by the George Mason University Mercatus Center.
The entire federal budget in fiscal year 2017 was $3.98 trillion, with a $665 billion deficit.
According to the Mercatus report, The Costs of a National Single-Payer Healthcare System, extending Medicare benefits to the entire U.S. population would require a massive tax increase as the federal government would assume the entirety of the health care costs currently born by individuals and families.
Doubling all projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would not be enough to finance the plan, said Mercatus.
“A doubling of all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to finance the added federal costs of the plan,” the study notes.
“Enacting something like ‘Medicare for all’ would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government,” said Charles Blahous, the study’s author.
Responding to the study, “Sanders took aim at the Mercatus Center, which receives funding from the libertarian Koch brothers. Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch is on the center’s board,” reported the Associated Press.
“If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same,” Sanders said in a statement.
“This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a ‘Medicare for all’ program,” said Sanders, a self-described socialist who has praised the communists Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega.
Sanders’ office has not done a cost analysis of Medicare for All, a spokesman said. His 2016 presidential campaign website cites an estimated price tag of $1.38 trillion a year for an earlier version of the plan, but other studies have projected much higher costs.
According to the Associated Press, Sanders’ staff found an error in an initial version of the Mercatus report, which counted a long-term care program that was in the 2016 proposal but not the current one.
Blahous corrected it, reducing his estimate by about $3 trillion over 10 years.