By Mark Moore
New York Post, January 6, 2019
Rookie Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shot back at critics who say her progressive agenda is too radical and expensive, saying there’s nothing revolutionary about providing people with good jobs, health care and an education.
“When you can’t provide for your kids working a full-time job, working two full-time jobs. When you can’t have health care. That is not dignified,” Ocasio-Cortez told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview that aired Sunday.
The 29-year-old newly minted House member is entering office with an ambitious agenda — including Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, and sweeping environmental protections.
“How are you going to pay for all that?” CBS’ Anderson Cooper asked her.
“No one asks how we’re going to pay for this Space Force. No one asked how we paid for a $2 trillion tax cut,” she said. “We only ask how we pay for it on issues of housing, health care and education. How do we pay for it? With the same exact mechanisms that we pay for military increases for this Space Force.”
Selected prior analyses of single payer financing proposals:
By Don McCanne, M.D.
We tend to try to provide an overly detailed answer when people ask how we would pay for health care for everyone through a single payer Medicare for All program. The appropriate answer in most circumstances is that we would pay for it like we do for all other publicly-financed programs – through equitable tax policies which would be affordable for each of us, less than most of us are paying now.
For more specific details, over the past three decades many single payer financing proposals have been analyzed (see link above). The recent Pollin PERI study is another example. They all show that the single payer model covers everyone while making health care affordable for each of us. That is what people need to know. Inevitably, opponents ferret out isolated details, which vary in each proposal, that are used to claim that the system is unaffordable while they fail to mention details of the fundamental design that, in fact, show that health care actually would be affordable for all.
Regardless, we should avoid dead end arguments over the specific details of these reports. We should hold firm on the general position that the efficiencies of a single payer system would offset the additional costs of covering everyone, and that it would be affordable for each of us through equitable public financing. Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says, “we pay for it with the same exact mechanisms that we pay for (any other government program).”
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