Democrats rightly attack Republicans when
they promise their math-defying tax-cut plans will slash government revenue but somehow
not balloon deficits. Well, what tax cuts are to Republicans, single-payer
health care seems to be for Democrats: a populist policy idea that’s far more attractive in
theory than practice.
Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan is the perfect example: Recall that economists
sharply criticized his presidential campaign’s health-care plan for severely underestimating
the costs of the benefits it offered. It turned out the taxes needed to pay for
BernieCare were twice as high as estimated.
His plan would also phase out employer-provided health care, even though some 70 percent of
workers in those plans say they’re satisfied with their coverage. In other words, the Sanders plan fails to
recognize either economic or political reality, similar to many Republican tax cut promises. The economy is doing pretty well right now. Now is hardly time to gamble on ill-considered
populist schemes from the left or right.
How about this instead: Stabilize ObamaCare. Reform the tax code to encourage more domestic
investment. And do both in a bipartisan, fiscally responsible