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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/19/15

The Wall Street Journal's Attempt to Take Down Bernie Sanders Backfired

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Professor Friedman saw the Wall Street Journal's piece and responded in the Huffington Post with "An Open Letter to the Wall Street Journal on Its Bernie Sanders Hit Piece."

He writes that the Journal wasn't completely wrong: the program would involve spending 15 trillion dollars over a decade. But they left out the key detail: that it would actually save the country a total $5 trillion over those 10 years.

We'd see those savings in reduced administrative waste, lower pharmaceutical and device prices, and by decreasing the rate of medical inflation.

Because the simple fact is: We -- as a people -- are going to spend that $15 trillion on health care anyway.

The difference is that under the current model, we pay that money to private insurance companies. And those private companies have much higher levels of administrative costs, fraud and general waste than Medicare does.

Another difference is that the government would be negotiating drug prices - making drugs more affordable for everyone.

And who would see that $5 trillion in savings?

Businesses for one. Along with state and local governments. Because they wouldn't have to pay for their employees' insurance -- who'd be covered by Medicare for All.

And individuals, like you and me, wouldn't have to worry about co-payments and deductibles. Or worse, finding that the "affordable plan" that we choose doesn't cover a necessary procedure.

You see, as Bruh1 points out over at DailyKos, The Wall Street Journal presented government spending in a fundamentally dishonest way.

Because what we spend can't be separated from what we'd save by going with different policies.

Take Bruh1's example of shopping for a car: "You don't buy a car by saying 'well it would cost me 10,000 here, but the same car would cost me 7,000 there, so the price tag on the 7,000 car is too expensive.' You say 'it saves me 3,000 to buy from the other guy."

And that's the point -- it's not 15 trillion dollars that Bernie's plan would cost the country -- because we as a people will spend that amount -- and more -- on health-care costs anyway.

It's 5 trillion dollars that we the people will save with Bernie's plan -- and get back -- by adopting an efficient -- and affordable -- single payer health-care for all system.

And that would be good for everyone -- and the economy as a whole.

Unfortunately The Wall Street Journal's analysis of Bernie's proposals isn't just another routine example of shoddy corporate journalism.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)
 

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