On Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC host Ali Velshi talked up the liberal push for a single-payer health insurance system as he discussed the plans proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, touting the "generous" benefits promised, but not dealing with the down sides like the rationing of health care.
He also bolstered the plan by noting that the U.S. fails to have a higher life expectancy than other developed countries in spite of spending more on health care, even though life-style choices like poor diet and drug abuse have been blamed for U.S. life expectancy lagging behind dozens of other countries.
Nearing the end of his MSNBC Live show at 3:54 p.m. Eastern, Velshi noted that the two Democratic candidates "want to create a single government-run insurance plan that covers everyone with no exceptions, eliminating private insurance altogether." He then added:
Now, that would be doctor's visits, lab work, hospital stays, prescription drugs, dental visits, vision care, mental health treatment, and, well, most prescription drug costs would all be covered. Out of pocket costs would be significantly reduced because there would be no deductibles to shell out and no copays to hand over if you want to see a doctor. It's an incredibly generous version of single-payer systems that are found in nearly two dozen nations, including Canada and the United Kingdom. This goes further than both of those plans do.
Velshi was notably born in Canada and has talked up universal health care and other liberal policies on his show before, declaring that they should be called "normal" instead of "progressive." He soon informed viewers of studies finding that a single-payer plan would cost trillions of dollars a year, but suggested it would actually be a bargain for Americans:
And then there is this -- the cost of the issue. Sanders has said that Medicare for All should cost somewhere between 30 and 40 trillion dollars over 10 years. The nonpartisan Urban Institute puts the figure in the 32 to 34 trillion dollar range. Now, according to a study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, this past weekend, researchers say Medicare for All would cost just over $3,000 (meant three trillion dollars as displayed on screen) in 2017 -- more than $450 billion less than the actual total health care spending that year.
He further plugged the proposal:
Researchers also say that Medicare for All would prevent more than 68,000 unnecessary deaths every year. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- the OECD -- the U.S. spent more than $10,000 per person on health care in 2018, contrary to a single-payer health systems spend far less, sometimes all the way down to a third, to have better health outcomes.
But, just a few weeks ago, by contrast, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta cited diet and drug abuse as primary reasons the U.S. fails to rank higher in life expectancy as the January 30 New Day show informed viewers of the latest figures finding U.S. life expectancy has started increasing again after falling for four years. Dr. Gupta explained:
SANJAY GUPTA: Despite the fact that we spend, again, far more on health care than any other country in the world, take a look at the list here. These are the top 10 countries in terms of life expectancy -- Monaco, Japan -- go down to number 45 to get to where we are on that list. So, overall in the world, life expectancy, you know, 45th, we're not where we should be -- we're not where we want to be.
And a lot of it, I will tell you, is self-inflicted. Nearly all of it is self-inflicted. And what I mean by that is if you look at chronic disease in this country, 70 percent of it is likely preventable, and the vast majority of that due to diet, to what we eat. We talk about a lot of the other stuff, but, in terms of chronic disease, it's self-inflicted, and that's bad news, but it's also an opportunity. I mean, we're also starting to see some correction in terms of these overdose deaths, but also in terms of some of the chronic disease as well.