Wall Street Journal Vastly Distorts Cost of Sanders’ Health Care Plan

A WSJ article yesterday by Laura Meckler, a Washington-based political reporter, claimed that over the next ten years, Bernie Sanders’s proposals would cost $18 trillion – $15 trillion of that cost would purportedly be from Sanders’ plan to provide healthcare coverage for all Americans.

That’s an average of $1.5 trillion a year – an approximate one-third increase in a $3.9 trillion Federal budget.


Well, as it turns out … No.

The $15 trillion figure is based on a study by Gerald Friedman of the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. However, the Executive Summary of that report states a single-payer healthcare system actually results in a net savings to the economy:

“[a single-payer system] could save an estimated $592 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry ($476 billion) and reducing pharmaceutical prices to European levels ($116 billion). In 2014, the savings would be enough to cover all 44 million uninsured and upgrade benefits for everyone else. No other plan can achieve this magnitude of savings on health care.”

Where did the author come up with the $15 trillion estimate? According to the Meckler:


Wow, a $15 trillion verbal estimate? One that appears to contradict the main report the article is relying on? At best, Meckler is guilty of oversimplifying a complex issue. At worst …. well, let’s not go there.

If only the WSJ had similarly fact-checked how much the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would cost when George W. Bush ran for President in 2000.