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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/19/19

How to fund Medicare for All: Slash the Pentagon!

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The October 17th New York Times published a new analysis by the National Priorities Project, "We Don't Need to Raise Taxes to Have Medicare for All".

Debates over how to fund ambitious progressive policy proposals often emphasize their hefty price tag. And proposals for funding them tend to focus on raising taxes, particularly on the wealthiest.

But there's another huge source of funds, too: the Pentagon. See Lindsay Koshgarian's article "We Don't Need to Raise Taxes to Have Medicare for All", and its interactive illustrations on finding the funding.

And please read her message below, click the link, and share it widely!

Sincerely, Henry Lowendorf, U.S. Peace Council.

*

A Message from Lindsay Koshgarian, National Peace Project director:

We've identified more than $300 billion in annual military savings alone that we could better invest in priorities like Medicare for All, working with a national grassroots movement called Poor People's Campaign.

Cutting military spending this way presents its own tremendous obstacles. Yet the exercise, however aspirational it may seem, also shows how ambitious proposals are still within reach if we make different choices.

Less than half the Pentagon's current budget can cover the $300 billion over the current system that universal healthcare would cost per year. First, we must tame the American war machine, bring the troops home and close foreign bases, and banish nuclear weapons. Next, we can cut the bloat and pork, lose Trumpian vanity boondoggles like the Space Force, and fold military health care into a Medicare for All system for everyone.

Cost isn't an issue, on healthcare or any other part of a moral agenda. Our research analyst Ashik Siddique recently published a piece in Buzzfeed making the case for cutting the Pentagon to fund a Green New Deal against the climate crisis. With just over 10% of a single year's military spending, we could build out enough wind and solar energy to power every household in the United States.

Our scholarship couldn't come at a better political moment. NPP's coalition allies just released a new poll data showing that a majority of Americans now support shifting money from the Pentagon to domestic needs like health care, education, and environmental protection.

The time is ripe for all of us to keep pressing for the moral agenda our country needs. Let's keep advocating and organizing together to seize the moment.

P.S. NPP runs on readers like you.

[Ms. Koshgarian directs the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She co-edited the I.P.S.-Poor People's Campaign report, "A Poor People's Moral Budget."]


 

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A long-term peace activist, I am co-chair of the Greater New Haven (CT) Peace Council.


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