The Lancet – a respected family of peer-reviewed publications on science and medicine – has turned the tables on all those “how are you going to pay for it?” skeptics and critics of Medicare for All.
A just-released study conducted by Yale University public health researchers and collaborators calculates an overall 13% savings in medical costs deriving from a switch to the type of single-payer, universal coverage proposed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. That amounts to a round figure of $450 billion (with a “b”) per year.
Further, the savings are not just in dollars, but in lives. The researchers contend that, estimating conservatively, 68,000 unnecessary deaths will be prevented each year when people now without any type of medical insurance can access essential health care. If people who suffer and die because they have inadequate health insurance were included in the calculations, the estimated number of lives saved would be far higher.
The problem is not how to pay for an improved system of health care. The problem is that we cannot sustain the exorbitantly priced and extraordinarily dysfunctional system that we have now – a privatized system of rampant medical industry profiteering that literally lets tens of thousands of Americans die each year for lack of basic health care access.