Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hold signs during an event on health care September 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Sen. Sanders held an event to introduce the Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders Thanks Koch Brothers for 'Accidentally Making the Case for Medicare for All'

"I suspect that that is not what the Koch brothers intended to do, but that is what's in the study of the Mercatus Center."

Jake Johnson

After a study by the Koch Brothers-funded Mercatus Center that was clearly designed as a deceptive attack on Medicare for All inadvertently bolstered the economic case for single-payer—which is rapidly growing in popularity among the public and U.S. lawmakers—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday released a video thanking Charles and David Koch for backing an analysis showing that his plan for universal coverage would save $2 trillion over ten years.

"Let me thank the Koch brothers, of all people, for sponsoring a study that shows that Medicare for All would save the American people $2 trillion dollars," Sanders said. "I suspect that that is not what the Koch brothers intended to do, but that is what's in the study of the Mercatus Center."

"At a time when the United States spends far more per capita on healthcare than any other country on Earth, almost 18 percent of our GDP, a Medicare for All healthcare system would save the average family significant sums of money," the Vermont senator added.

Watch:

Speaking to The Intercept on Monday, health policy experts and co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler argued that even the "whopping" $2 trillion in savings projected by the Koch-backed study vastly overstates the costs of implementing Medicare for All and "grossly" understates the savings that would result.

"The Mercatus Center's estimate of the cost of implementing Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Act projects outlandish increases in the utilization of medical care, ignores vast savings under single-payer reform, and fails to even mention the extensive and well-documented evidence on single-payer systems in other nations—which all spend far less per person on health care than we do," Himmelstein and Woolhandler said. 

According to an analysis by David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler viewed by The Intercept's Ryan Grim and Zaid Jilani, the Mercatus Center's "report undercounts administrative savings by more than $8.3 trillion over 10 years. Taking those savings into account would lower Blahous's estimate from $32.6 trillion to $24.3 trillion."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'This Is on You!' Beto Interrupts Abbott Press Conference on Texas Massacre

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke accused Texas' GOP leaders of "doing nothing and offering us nothing" in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School.

Jake Johnson ·


'You'll Learn Why': GOP Lawmaker Threatens Biden If Democrats Try to Take Away Guns

"Just another day in Florida with Randy Fine threatening the President of the United States after children and adults were shot and murdered at a school in Texas."

Jon Queally ·


Progressives in Congress Push Google to Stop Collecting Abortion Patients' Location Data

Lawmakers worry the tech giant's practices "will allow it to become a tool for far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive healthcare."

Jessica Corbett ·


Nurse From Liberia Holds 'Clap for Pharma Profits' Protest at Davos

"Me and my frontline colleagues saw pain, misery, death," said George Poe Williams. "Bourla and the other pharma executives here in Davos saw a chance to pump up profits."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Too Little, Too Late,' Campaigners Say as Pfizer Pledges Lower Vaccine Costs for Poor Nations

"We shouldn't hail pandemic profiteers as heroes, even when they make qualified gestures like this," said an adviser at the People's Vaccine Alliance.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo