Leading economists warn 'Medicare for All' would trigger shortages, stifle innovation

More than 50 leading U.S. economists and professors have signed an open letter warning that “Medicare for All” would trigger shortages, degrade quality and discourage medical innovation.

More than 50 leading U.S. economists and professors have signed an open letter warning that the proposed “Medicare for All” plans to place Americans on a government-run system would trigger shortages, degrade quality and discourage medical innovation.

“Americans should have access to the health care they need and have insurance protection for medical expenses they cannot afford,” said the letter released last week. “We, the undersigned economists, believe the proposed Medicare for All plans would lead to shortages throughout the health sector that would restrict access to care, undermine quality, lead to innovation-stifling price controls, and adversely impact the economy.”

The 55 signers include Michael Boskin, who chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush; former Office of Management and Budget director James Miller III, and Chapman University professor Vernon L. Smith, a 2002 Nobel Laureate in economic sciences.

Medicare for All, a form of universal health care, has gained popularity with Democratic voters and candidates, although the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, suggested earlier this month that he would veto any such legislation.

In their letter, the economists said that the nation “does not have a properly functioning market in the health sector due in part to the reimburse-the-supplier insurance model, but the solution is not more and bigger government.”

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