By Robert Pollin, James Heintz, Peter Arno, Jeannette Wicks-Lim, and Michael Ash
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), November 30, 2018
This study by PERI researchers Robert Pollin, James Heintz, Peter Arno, Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Michael Ash presents a comprehensive analysis of the prospects for a Medicare for All health care system in the United States. The most fundamental goals of Medicare for All are to significantly improve health care outcomes for everyone living in the United States while also establishing effective cost controls throughout the health care system. These two purposes are both achievable. As of 2017, the U.S. was spending about $3.24 trillion on personal health care—about 17 percent of total U.S. GDP. Meanwhile, 9 percent of U.S. residents have no insurance and 26 percent are underinsured—they are unable to access needed care because of prohibitively high costs. Other high-income countries spend an average of about 40 percent less per person and produce better health outcomes. Medicare for All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. by nearly 10 percent, to $2.93 trillion, while creating stable access to good care for all U.S. residents.
To access the full 198 page report:
PERI press release:
Reviewer Assessments of Economic Analysis of Medicare for All:
PNHP’s assessment by Steffie Woolhandler, David Himmelstein and Adam Gaffney:
By Don McCanne, M.D.
This is the report that we have been waiting for: an economic analysis of Medicare for All done by the team at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This meticulous report concludes that “Medicare for All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. by nearly 10 percent, to $2.93 trillion, while creating stable access to good care for all U.S. residents.”
Although it is 198 pages long, the initial 3 pages present the highlights, followed by a 13 page summary of the study. For most, that will provide the information you need, but those interested in particular policy details may want to read selected sections of the report. Those of us obsessed with health care justice for all would likely want to read the full report.
Of special note is the “Reviewer Assessments of Economic Analysis of Medicare for All.” It provides critiques by several of the most authoritative policy experts in the nation. Although some of these experts express minor reservations about some of the technical aspects of the report, as should be expected with any study of this magnitude, their overall view confirms the very high credibility of this project. There can be no question about the conclusion. We can have affordable health care for all.
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