California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, will soon be considered by the full Senate. ATR urges a NO vote and may include this vote in its annual scorecard.
Becerra has voiced his support for expanding government healthcare and Medicare For All several times in the past. These reforms would lead to extensive middle-class tax hikes.
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. Becerra’s leadership of the HHS could push the U.S. towards socialized healthcare, which would result in tax hikes for American middle-class families, kill jobs across the country, and would cause shortages of quality care.
“Biden’s presidential campaign told America he would not raise any tax on middle income Americans, would not take away their health insurance and not bankrupt America with a Green New Deal,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “His cabinet picks — now including Becerra — shout loudly that he does want to take away your health insurance and replace it with a top down, one size fits all government program, burden middle class Americans with an energy tax and spend without limit in the name of a Green New Deal.”
When asked on October 22, 2017 if he supports Medicare for All, Becerra said “Absolutely. “I’ve been a supporter of Medicare for All for the 24 years that I was in Congress.”
Socialized healthcare would kick 180 million American families off their healthcare plan. According to a recent study, 81 percent of Americans are satisfied with their employer-provided care.
It would result in trillions of dollars in middle class 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. 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.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the bill’s author, acknowledged that Americans making more than $29,000 per year would pay more in taxes under Medicare For All. Needless to say, this plan would violate Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000.
This government healthcare plan would also kill millions of jobs, as noted by a report from the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). The study noted that 1.8 million health care jobs would be eliminated if Medicare for All become law. Healthcare workers like nurses and doctors will experience lower wages under Medicare For All, discouraging thousands of workers from staying or entering a career in healthcare.
Medicare For All would also restrict access to care. The combination of price controls and a reduction of payments for hospitals and doctors would create healthcare shortages and lead to a rationing of care. This situation already 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.
Becerra is an advocate for expanding the size of government, one size fits all healthcare, and higher taxes. This is not the moderate administration Americans were told they were voting for.
ATR urges all members of the U.S. Senate to reject Xavier Becerra’s confirmation to lead the HHS.