Joe Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) threw cold water on the radical ‘Medicare for All’ proposals being pushed by Democrats while speaking at The Hill’s Future of Healthcare Summit. Manchin acknowledged that socialized medicine where government is the single payer, which the left calls ‘Medicare for All’ is far too costly, eliminates choice, and goes against traditional free-market American principles. 

“We can’t even pay for Medicare for some and to go Medicare for All, we can’t take care of those who are depending on it right now,” Manchin said.  

The moderate Senator’s concerns are well founded. A study conducted by the Mercatus Center estimates the cost for Medicare for All to round out at $32 trillion in a decade. That bill would undoubtedly be footed by taxpayers, with estimates showing the program could raise taxes by $26,000 per household per year.  

Bernie Sanders’ campaign recently released a list of enormous tax hike “options” in an attempt to pay for a single-payer system. Among these are new 4% employee and 7% employer payroll taxes added to the current rates, a repeal of health care savings accounts utilized by tens of millions of Americans, a 70% top personal income and capital gains rate, and more. 

Manchin also called out the anti-free market nature of a government-run healthcare system. “We’re kind of conditioned to want what you want, when you want it. If you’re willing to pay for it, make that sacrifice, then by God, in a capitalist society, you should be able to buy it,” said Manchin.  

The current Medicare for All proposals totally eliminates choice and competition from the free market. The Senate bill makes it illegal for private insurance companies to offer coverage that competes with the government’s program. The Democrat’s current proposal goes even further left than most foreign versions of socialized medicine. Canada, for example, has about 30% of its healthcare spending coming from the private insurance market; the Democrat’s bill would have none. Medicare for All promises to eliminate the employer-based coverage which more than 180 million Americans rely on, even with about 70% of those people being satisfied with their coverage. 

Countries which have gone down a path of government control and socialized medicine haven’t just seen higher costs; they’ve seen longer waits and dangerously poor care. Last year, the UK’s National Health System (NHS) cut or restricted access to 17 medical operations which they deemed ‘unnecessary’ in order to cut costs. In every country where it’s been tried, a single-payer system eliminates choice and gives government the power to make healthcare decisions for regular people, often to their detriment.  

“Now, they’re talking in their grand plan of what they want to do. But then it has to come to fiscal responsibilities. How do you do it? Because those are major changes,” the Senator continued. 

In fact, this “grand plan” of socialized medicine would hurt current Medicare recipients. Experts have been warning of the looming funding crisis for Medicare for some time now, with reports showing that the trust fund could run out as early as 2026. Manchin’s statement also parrots arguments made by many Republicans, including President Trump, who cite the danger Medicare for All would pose to current Medicare recipients. Single-payer would rob from seniors to stuff the pockets of Washington bureaucrats. 

Joe Manchin is stating the obvious when he calls out Medicare for All as a dangerous, anti-American proposal. Single payer healthcare mandates a one size fits all government policy for a diverse and innovative country. It raises taxes, eliminates choice, forces long wait lines, and reduces quality of care. Despite these facts, Democrats are relentlessly pushing for Medicare for All, and it is quickly becoming the party line.