Lanhee Chen: The Bernie Plan: Too Good to Be True

Senator Bernie Sanders has recently introduced “Medicare for all” legislation, which would enroll all Americans into the nation’s Medicare program within four years. Senator Sanders argues that his proposal would create a system that “works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.”

As Democrats and other policy makers debate the merits of Senator Sanders’s proposal, here are a few important observations about international systems that they ought to consider.

First, a vanishingly small number of countries actually have single-payer systems. In fact, almost all feature some role for private-sector insurance companies and providers.

Second, single-payer countries have also failed to control rising health care costs. This is important, given that Mr. Sanders’s proposal was released without a cost estimate or financing plan.

Third, it is simply untrue that single-payer systems produce a better quality of care across the board.

All Americans should bear one important precept in mind: If the Sanders plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information on why single-payer healthcare would be destructive to the U.S, please read this article, 13 Reasons Why Single-Payer Would Be a Disaster.