New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a quick answer when asked how Americans would pay for the 'Medicare for all' plan she and other socialist-leaning Democrats favor: "Just pay for it."
In an interview with Jorge Ramos last week, Ocasio-Cortez was asked how she would pay for the multibillion-dollar health care plan promoted by liberal lawmakers like Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Ramos noted critics say the program would be "more expensive" than the current system, to which she answered that people would "just pay for it."
“People often say, like, how are you going to pay for it and I find the question so puzzling because ‘How do you pay for something that’s more affordable? How do you pay for cheaper rent?’ You just pay for it,” she said. “We’re paying more now.”
According to recent studies, the program, first introduced by Sanders over the summer, would increase government health spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years.
The spending hikes would allow the government to replace what employers and consumers currently pay for health care — delivering significant savings on administrative and drug costs, but increasing demand for care that would drive up spending, according to a study released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University over the summer. The study estimated that doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes would not fully cover the additional costs for the program.
But under the plan, all Americans would gain access to government insurance with no copays or deductibles for medical services.
The insurance industry would be relegated to a minor role in the system. Supporters argue that other developed countries already have implemented systems like this, and America’s private insurance-centered model continues to leave some families with crushing costs.
“In a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person should be too poor to live,” Ocasio-Cortez told Ramos. “We should treat healthcare, housing, and education as rights.”
She added: “I believe we should guarantee a basic level of human dignity in America.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated long-time incumbent Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., is the front-runner in her midterm race Tuesday against her Republican opponent Anthony Pappas.