Government Bytes


Medicare for All in NTUF's Taxpayer's Tab


Did you miss this week's issue of NTUF's Taxpayer's Tab?  If so, here's a quick recap.


Congressman John Conyers (MI-14) has introduced H.R. 676 to expand health care coverage to all US residents and to move the U.S. to a single-payer health system. Under H.R. 676, Medicare would become the country's only major insurance coverage provider.  Patients would be allowed to choose which doctors and institutions to seek medical care from as long as those providers choose to participate in the program.  Private insurers would be allowed to sell plans for services like cosmetic surgery. Non-profit health plans -- such as HMOs -- would continue to be permitted to operate.

Using the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid's 2012 projections of national health care expenditures, NTUF updated Single Payer Now's 2009 cost estimate for enacting H.R. 676. Total health spending is forecast to reach $2.82 trillion in 2012, with federal and state government's spending $1.28 trillion (under current laws). Sponsors of H.R. 676 claim their program will achieve $387 billion in savings through administrative consolidation and bulk purchases of prescription drugs and medical equipment. The remaining amount of what would otherwise be private health care spending ($1.16 trillion), would become federal outlays under this single-payer program.  With an estimated $1.157 trillion first-year cost, H.R. 676 is the "Most Expensive Bill of the Week."

Other Tab highlights include:  H.R. 59, Sunset All Czars Act, sponsored by Congressman Steve Scalise (LA-1). The Sunset All Czars Act to prohibit the Executive Office of the President from paying any salaries and/or expenses associated with the high-level presidential advisors known as "czars."  While the measure does not reduce spending because it does not rescind any public dollars currently available to the Executive Office, it has 54 cosponsors making it the "Most Friended" bill.  

The "Wildcard" this week is H.R. 2110.  Sponsored by Congressman Timothy Bishop (NY-1), the bill would reauthorize $40 million for Long Island Sound pollution control programs and create a new $225 million program to examine the impact of climate change on the Sound. 

This week's "Least Expensive Bill" is H.R. 1782, a bill to implement the recommendations of the report of the Government Accountability Office entitled "Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue", was sponsored by Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11).  The bill requires that the federal government implement recommendations from GAO to save taxpayers at least $5 billion annually. 


For more details, including NTUF's preliminary cost estimates for each of these bills, read the entire Taxpayer's Tab online.

You can receive your own copy of The Taxpayer's Tab each week via email by signing up here.

Remember, you can support NTUF and its ongoing work by making a tax-deductible contribution here.