Whenever Republicans released a healthcare proposal during their ill-fated attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, the plan was immediately frisked by members of the policy community, who pointed out the myriad of problems raised by the various legislative drafts. It’s only fair that we’re just as brutally honest about the latest single-payer proposal from socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Simply put: it is a complete joke.
The Sanders bill would add hundreds of millions of people into an already financially-strapped program while making it more generous — within four years. At no point in the legislation does he describe how he would expect to pay for this ambitious idea or deal with massive disruption it would mean for businesses, workers, and those trying to access care.
Some people who are ideologically sympathetic to Sanders are willing to give him a free pass on the details, arguing that Democrats are not in power and thus his bill is not likely to become law anytime soon. But this is a lousy excuse. Sanders, as he often boasts, has spent decades fighting to make single-payer healthcare a reality. The major challenges of costs and disruption are well known, and have crippled efforts to push single-payer at the federal level and in states such as California and Sanders’ home state of Vermont.