The features of a single-payer or a Medicare-for-all (M4A) health care system would provide economic benefits for individuals, families, doctors, hospitals and the nation. For most households, M4A saves money and provides more disposable income. Gerald Friedman, PhD and Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, has studied M4A for many years. He estimates that a M4A system financed by progressive taxes would cover more and cost less for 95 percent of U.S. households than our current health care system. Further, he estimates that a family of four with an income of $50,000 would save more than $5,800.
Opponents have made the claim that M4A is too expensive. They say that over 10 years we would need to pay $32 trillion in extra taxes, our current expenditure on health care multiplied by 10. This assessment implies that we need to increase taxes and still spend just as much on insurance premiums and deductibles. That claim is disingenuous.
First, insurance is not used in a M4A system, so there are no premiums. Friedman’s data showed that the family of four that had an income of $50,000 would save $6,273 in insurance premiums and deductibles that are no longer collected. The family would pay an extra $466 in taxes for a net gain in disposable income of $5,807. Again, 95 percent of households would save money.