Judging by the headlines alone, it would appear that the newly published study projecting that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders‘ widely popular Medicare for All plan would cost $32.6 trillion over the next decade was conducted by an official, neutral body seeking the facts, not pushing an agenda.
Read a bit further, though, and you’ll discover that the analysis—released Monday morning—was produced by the George Mason University-based Mercatus Center, which has received millions of dollars in funding from the right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have previously expressed support for abolishing Medicare and Medicaid entirely.
But as Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project notes, even the Koch brothers’ numbers, which Sanders says are vastly inflated, demonstrate that the “U.S. could insure 30 million more Americans and virtually eliminate out-of-pocket healthcare expenses” while saving “a whopping $2 trillion” in the process.
He adds, “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.”
Medicare for All is also gaining steam on Capitol Hill, with more than 70 House Democrats joining the newly formed Medicare For All Caucus. In a thank-you video for the Mercatus study, Sanders said, “If every major country on Earth can guarantee healthcare 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.”