Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California and President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, is an advocate for socialist healthcare and Medicare for All.
Confirming Becerra would be a step toward radical, government-controlled healthcare. These policies would end current health care plans for 180 million Americans, result in tax hikes for every American, and restrict access to quality care.
Biden campaigned as a moderate who opposed Medicare for All, yet his pick to lead the administration on healthcare policies is a self-described single-payer advocate. “For me, health care is a right,” Becerra told Kaiser Health News in February 2019. “I’ve been a single-payer advocate all my life.”
Medicare for All would result in trillions of dollars in tax increases. A study by the Urban Institute and the Commonwealth Fund Medicare estimated that Medicare for All will require between $29 trillion and $35 trillion in higher taxes.
While some on the left claim that middle class families will be better off under this plan, the reality is that they will pay significantly higher taxes. Taxes which target the “rich” like a wealth tax, a financial transactions tax, a 10 percent surtax on “the wealthy,” a 70 percent top income tax rate, and doubling the tax rate on capital gains would only pay for about 20 percent of the cost of Medicare for All, according to the best-case scenario estimates by the left. Clearly, taxing “the rich” will not come close to paying the full cost of Medicare for All.
The existing Medicare for All proposal released by socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) already calls for trillions of dollars in higher taxes on the middle class, including a $3.9 trillion 4 percent payroll tax on workers. This proposal raises less than half of the full $32 to $36 trillion cost of socialized healthcare, so additional taxes on middle class American families will, inevitably, be needed.
Even Joe Biden has admitted government healthcare will require significant tax increases on the middle class. As he tweeted:
“Let’s put this in perspective: if you eliminate every single solitary soldier, tank, satellite, nuclear weapon, eliminate the Pentagon and it would only pay for 4 months of Medicare for All. 4 months.
Where do the other 8 months come from? Your paycheck.”
Needless to say, this plan would also violate Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000.
In addition to harming American families through higher taxes, socialized healthcare would also lead to a rationing of care through a combination of price controls and a reduction of payments for doctors and hospitals. This rationing of care exists in countries that already utilize government healthcare. For instance, in Canada, patients reportedly wait over 20 weeks on average to receive treatment from a specialist. At any one time, over one million Canadians are waiting for a procedure. It is even worse in the United Kingdom where patients often wait over six months to receive treatment.
A single payer healthcare system would end private, quality health insurance for 180 million American families. Most Americans are satisfied with their health insurance plans and wish to keep them. According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates, 81 percent of Americans were satisfied with their employer provided care including 51 percent of Americans “very or extremely satisfied” and 30 percent “somewhat satisfied.”
President Biden’s pick of Becerra is more proof that Biden will push progressive policies. If confirmed to lead HHS, Becerra will be an advocate for socialized healthcare which will end private health insurance for Americans across the country, force rationing of care, and increase taxes on the middle class.