Socialist Ocasio-Cortez: Funeral Expenses Should Be Included in Cost of Current Health Care System

By Susan Jones | August 9, 2018 | 7:20am EDT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic-Socialist, defeated long-time Rep. Joe Crowley (D) in their primary race and is now viewed by some as the new face of the Democrat Party. (Photo: Screen capture/campaign website)

( - According to some estimates, a Medicare-for-all health care system would cost taxpayers $32 trillion over the next decade, so the question repeatedly asked of Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is -- how would you pay for it?

Ocasio-Cortez is running for Congress on a platform of Medicare-for-all, tuition-free public college, forgiveness of student loan debt and more -- what she calls “a great new deal.”

CNN's Chris Cuomo asked her again Wednesday night about the pay-for question, noting that even the ultra-liberals in Vermont voted down a single-payer health system "because of how expensive it was."


Ocasio-Cortez was ready with her answer, saying the price tag assigned to the current system should be much higher than it is, because it should include the funeral costs of those who die for lack of health care.

Here's her answer:

So first of all, the thing that we need to realize is people talk about the sticker shock of Medicare-for-all. They do not talk about the sticker shock of the cost of our existing system. You know, in a Koch brothers-funded study -- if any study's going to try to be a little bit slanted it would be one funded by the Koch brothers -- it shows that Medicare-for-all is actually much more -- is actually much cheaper than the current system that we pay right now.

And let's not forget that the reason that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is because they ruled that each of these monthly payments that everyday Americans make is a tax. And so while it may not seem like a tax that we pay on April 15th, we pay it every single month and we do pay it in tax season if we don't buy these plans off the exchange. So we're paying for this system. Americans have the sticker shock of health care as it is.

And what we're also not talking about is why aren't we incorporating the cost of all the funeral expenses of those who die because they can't afford access to health care? That is part of the cost of our system. Why don't we talk about the cost of reduced productivity because of people who need to go on disability, because of people who are not able to participate in our economy, because they -- because they're having issues like diabetes or they don't have access to the health care that they need.

I think at the end of day, we see that this is not a pipe dream. Every other developed nation in the world does this. Why can't America? And that is the question that we need to ask. We have done these things before. We write unlimited blank checks for war... We just wrote a $2 trillion check for that tax cut, the GOP tax cut. And nobody asked those folks how are they are going to pay for it.

So my question is, why is it that our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and health care for our kids? Why are our pockets only empty when we talk about 100 percent renewable energy that is going to save this planet and allow our children to thrive? We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do. But when it comes to tax cuts for billionaires and when it comes to unlimited war, we seem be to be able to invent that money very easily. And to me it belies a lack of moral priorities that people have right now, especially the Republican Party.

"And that's why there are elections," Cuomo said, ending the interview.


Also See:
Democratic-Socialist Explains How She'll Raise a Trillion Here, A Trillion There


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