Bernie Sanders single-payer health care plan would raise U.S. health expenditures by billions of dollars, according to the Urban Institute.

Bernie Sanders single-payer health care plan would raise U.S. health expenditures by billions of dollars, according to the Urban Institute. (Darron Cummings, The Associated Press)

There is an elephant in the room that few like to mention when the high cost of U.S. health care comes up — especially in relation to what citizens in other countries pay. But thanks to Bernie Sanders’ proposal for a single-payer government-run plan, the elephant is finally getting some attention.

Expert analysts who look at the Sanders plan have mostly concluded it would cost a great deal of money, and much more than Sanders insists.

One reason, to be sure, is his plan offers extravagant benefits compared to typical insurance coverage here and abroad. As The New York Times’ Margot Sanger-Katz explains, “The Sanders plan would charge no premiums, require no out-of-pocket spending and would pay for services like dental care and long-term nursing home stays.”

As a result, according to the Urban Institute for example, “National health expenditures [under Sanders’ plan] would increase by $6.6 trillion between 2017 and 2026, while federal expenditures would increase by $32.0 trillion over that period” — way more than Sanders’ campaign has projected.

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