Boston University’s economics program apparently never included a biology requirement — or math, for that matter. BU’s most notable graduate these days, Democratic Socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tried explaining to CNN’s Chris Cuomo last night why people shouldn’t have “sticker shock” over the price tag of her core agenda item, Medicare for All. Emphasis on tried, as Ocasio-Cortez’ answer would have some thinking that Medicare for All would end death as we know it:
Ocasio-Cortez: Socialized medicine is cheap because people will no longer have to pay for funerals pic.twitter.com/36rJRWFF0H
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) August 9, 2018
Let’s take the nonsense in bite-sized chunks, shall we? First up, Ocasio-Cortez seems to have forgotten what additional costs means from the Mercatus study by Charles Blahous:
You know in a Koch Brothers-funded, you know, study, if any study’s going to try to be a little bit slanted, it would be one funded by the Koch brothers. It shows that Medicare for all is actually much more — is actually much cheaper than the current system that we pay right now.
First, the study itself wasn’t “Koch-funded,” although Mercatus gets funding from the Kochs. Second and more importantly, the study says the exact opposite — that Medicare for All would add $32.6 trillion in spending to existing levels in its first decade (and $218 trillion over 30 years), even after a questionable saving of $2 trillion in the first decade. And it would have to do so, since we’d be adding hundreds of millions of Americans to Medicare coverage.
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler gave similar claims from other Democrats three Pinocchios earlier this week.
And let’s not forget that the reason that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is because they ruled that each of these monthly payments that everyday American make is a tax. And so, while it may not seem like we pay that tax on April 15th, we pay it every single month or we do pay at tax season if we don’t buy, you know, these plans off of the exchange.
This is nonsense on stilts. The premium payments aren’t the tax, which should be obvious, because they don’t go to the government. The Supreme Court ruled that the penalties for non-coverage collected by the IRS was a tax, which is why they upheld the individual mandate. Most people didn’t pay it when the individual mandate was still in effect, and now no one is paying it. But even when it was being collected, it was collected once a year in the tax process.
So, we’re paying for this system. We — Americans have the sticker shock of healthcare as it is, and what we’re also not talking about is, why aren’t we incorporating the cost of all the funeral expenses of those who died because they can’t afford access to healthcare? That is part of the cost of our system.
Er … who wants to tell her? We’re all going to generate funeral expenses at some point, because we’re all going to die, regardless of how we pay for health care. We don’t incorporate funeral expenses in studies like Blahous’ or the left-leaning Urban Institute because they’re not avoidable costs. Although., it wouldn’t be the first time a snake-oil salesman tried selling immortality through the use of Other People’s Money.
Why don’t we talk about the cost of reduced productivity because of people who need to go on disability, because of people who are not able to participate in our economy because they have — because they are having issues like diabetes or they don’t have access to the healthcare that they need?
Perhaps we can factor that into our thinking, just as long as we factor in the long wait times and rationing that will take place in Ocasio-Cortez’ government-run system, too. How much productivity has been lost at the VA, for instance, and how many people died waiting for care in that existing single-payer system? What’s the track record like at the Indian Health Service for dealing with acute and chronic diseases for providing “access to the healthcare they need”?
I think at the end of the day, we see that this is not a pipedream. Every other developed nation in the world does this, why can’t America? And that is the question that we need to ask.
The question we need to ask is how a person with this much economic ignorance managed to get an economics degree from Boston University. Final question: How did Cuomo keep a straight face through this?