Medicare for all is another name for a single-payer system. The healthcare industry would be operated and regulated by the government and eliminate private health insurance companies. Taxpayer money would fund all medical costs in the U.S. to give everyone access to health care.
If you think you pay too much in taxes now, consider how much it would cost the government to provide health care coverage for the entire population of the U.S. (327 million people as of 2018 according to the U.S. Census Bureau).
Bernie Sander’s proposed Medicare-for-all would implement a 2.2% tax on individuals who earn $200,000 or less per year, and families that make $250,000 or less each year. The tax rate would also increase for the higher income earners and bring on a 6.7% payroll tax for employers. Businesses may find themselves struggling with these higher taxes, which could lead to a higher unemployment rate.
Wait times are affected by a single-payer system. The Frasier Institute took a look at wait times in Canada and found that in 2017, the average wait time after getting a referral from your primary care physician to a specialist was about 21.2 weeks. That is weeks not days. If everyone in the U.S. had access to the same health care coverage, you would have more people seeking medical care which would create longer wait times. There are 290 million more people in the United States than in Canada.
A single-payer health care system doesn’t necessarily mean the death of competition, but it would hurt it. Competition and profits are the reason for medical innovations; it is the main reason the U.S. has come so far in terms of science and technology. The private sector has been behind some of the most innovative medical breakthroughs in recent history, and it’s likely we may not see similar advancements without competition and profits.