WASHINGTON — Presidential Hopeful Andrew Yang told PJM that private companies “would be thrilled” if the U.S. adopted a “Medicare for All” health care system.
The Medicare trustees have estimated that the trust fund is going to be depleted in 2026. Yang was asked how he would fund a Medicare for All plan, given the existing program’s struggles.
“It’s an apples to oranges question you are proposing because right now we’re spending 18 percent of GDP on health care and most of that is coming out of private companies’ bottom lines and families’ bottom lines, where if you look at the amount of money that’s going, for example, to each new employee’s health care, it’s thousands and thousands of dollars per employee, which is a real disincentive to hire or a disincentive to make someone a full-time worker and just say, ‘oh, lets make everyone a temp or a gig worker,'” Yang said during an interview after his campaign rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
If the U.S. were to “offload the burden” of providing medical insurance from companies to the government, Yang said that “you would find there are hundreds of billions of dollars in resources to work with” in the system.
“As someone who has run a company, if the government were to come to me and say, ‘hey, great news, I’m going to take over your employees’ health care, I want it, and you just have to give me the money you are already spending, I would have been thrilled because it’s not just the money you are spending as a company but it’s also the fact that you have to go to your workers and constantly say, ‘hey, we’re making an adjustment to your health care plan’ and then the workers have very strong feelings about different plans,” Yang said.
“And so you are like, ‘oh, man, like, there’s nothing I can do that makes you all happy because you are all in different situations.’ And so it puts these companies in very, very difficult situations. It’s even worse than money. And so if you were to say to the companies, ‘look, give us the money and then we’ll take this health care off your hands, companies would be thrilled and we’d end up saving a lot of money because, right now, we have this vast industry of private insurance that’s essentially this profit-taking middle man, which is why we’re spending so much more than other countries [on health care], in part,” he added.