Medicare For All Would Wipe Out Jobs, Pensions and 401(k)s

Donald Trump famously made “You’re fired!” a household catchphrase. It may re-enter the American vernacular if the likes of Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Kamala Harris take the White House.

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That’s because Sanders, Warren, and Harris — along with Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, who are also competing for the Democratic presidential nomination — all support a brand of health reform that would wipe out millions of jobs. And that’s Medicare for All.

Sanders introduced a new iteration of his Medicare for All bill earlier this year; Warren, Harris, Gillibrand, and Booker have signed on as co-sponsors. The bill would abolish private health insurance and enroll all Americans in a single, government-run health plan.

A single government-run plan can in theory drive a harder bargain with doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. Medicare for All envisions paying providers at Medicare’s rates, which are generally lower than those paid by private insurance.

But Medicare doesn’t pay hospitals enough to cover the cost of existing beneficiaries’ care. For every dollar hospitals spend on Medicare beneficiaries, they receive just 87 cents from the government.

Healthcare providers currently make up the difference by charging private insurers more. Medicare for All would abolish them, of course. To balance their books, providers would have little choice but to reduce their costs.

That means layoffs — or closing up shop altogether. According to a new report from JAMA, a medical journal, hospitals would eliminate up to 1.5 million clinical and administrative employees under Medicare for All. Dozens of hospitals, especially those in rural areas, would shut down. That would remove the biggest employer from scores of communities across the United States.

The effects would ripple through local economies. All the firms that counted on those hospitals as clients — construction firms, purveyors of cleaning products, food-service operators — would take a hit.

Then there are the hundreds of thousands of people employed by private health insurers whom Medicare for All makes no bones about throwing out of work. Health insurers employ more than half a million people directly, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The industry also supports hundreds of thousands of brokers and third-party administrators.

These jobs pay well — an average salary of $70,000. Medicare for All would destroy almost all of them.

At least Medicare for All’s supporters acknowledge as much. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has sponsored Medicare for All legislation in the House, recently said, “There’s about a million people we think will be displaced if Medicare for All happens.”

Even those with no apparent connection to the private health insurance industry would be collateral damage.

Many pension plans, mutual funds, and retirement accounts hold health insurance company stocks. CalPERS, the giant California public pension system, owns 2.8 million shares of UnitedHealth Group and more than 1 million shares of Anthem. The current value of those two holdings exceeds $900 million. The New York State Common Retirement Fund — the third-largest pension plan in the nation — owns more than 1 million shares of Cigna, worth more than $150 million.

If Medicare for All puts those companies out of business, then the retirement savings of millions of people could lose billions of dollars in value in short order.

“You’re fired” used to be confined to reality TV. If Medicare for All comes about, that line may become a grim reality for millions of Americans.

This article was originally published by


  1. Morons who were elected by morons!
    Need I say more?

  2. Brenda Torres says

    And Quality Health Care, not to say anything about how long you would have to wait in line to get it…!!!

    • No longer than you wait now. Not at all if it’s urgent.

    • So what your saying Brenda is that only people that have the money shouldn’t have to wait to get equal healthcare? That’s quite elitist.

    • Gerald M badalamento says

      This what happens whenyou vote dumbocrat

    • Joe Baker says

      We have to wait now but the cost would be so reduced with the tax for it would be much lower than what we pay for insurance now.

    • Go look at the top ten countries with best healthcare… They are all socialized Healthcare systems. But if our country was stupid enough to elect trump why would we be smart enough to replicate the best in the world

      • Funny,
        Jake why don’t you do yourself a favor and go live in Cuba /Venezuela/China – enjoy socialism there and please don’t come back – let Americans live their lives the way the want to here.

  3. The Captive says

    Just think that no one would care who you are because the line is so long. The doctor might not see you as often because there are so many ILLEGALS WAITING booked ahead of you on your dime. If you die waiting well that’s just too bad too.

    • If the lines get that long,it would mean there is a lot of people doing without health care now. As for medical insurance Co.profits and employee s that would be a huge savings for medical costs.

    • Gerald M badalamento says

      This is the dumbocrat way this is why i am for trump repuplician more jobs employment is at ots lowest. And no bull with russia north korea and china . we dont budge for anyone .we are and should be first.

  4. The author ignores the many jobs that would be created if medicare was expanded to everybody. He also ignores the problem of Americans being stuck in a job they don’t like and stay only because it has medical benefits.

    Plus the concept of health insurance is a horrible idea. Claims are far too frequent compared to auto and fire insurance for it to be workable. Plus the health insurance lobby buys off politicians to maintain the status qup of a costly and broken system. They definitely are not on the American people’s side. There’s also no popular support for health insurance. They charge too much, and don’t cover enough and Americans are still stuck paying high out of pocket costs. No one here will dispute any of this.

  5. Bonnie Kostantacos says

    Then we need to put The Affordable Care Act back in place. Along with just Medicare and Medicaid that’s already implemented into the Affordable Care Act. Just like the Alaskans did. They knew how to put and keep the cost down along with their medications. They are paying for their healthcare costs and premiums at 7 percent.

  6. Christopher Noel says

    Currently waits are long and bankruptcy too frequent. If you don’t have a plan that will drastically drop costs and provide universal coverage then STFU.

  7. Maybe a hybrid plan would work better and ween our outrageously expensive healthcare system from the teet of U.S. family dollars. We can’t control this monster without a little pain. Sorry folks…

  8. Yes some 1 million will loose their jobs that they have now. But it will also create millions of more jobs, good paying jobs , to accommodate some 44 million who do not have insurance today and some 38 Million who do not have enough insurance. It would stop the issues of folks not paying medical bills which would put money into the institutions so no need to charge some more to compensate. I do not think most people realize how overpriced medication and supplies effect costs…with medicare for all we also would have the ability to lower drug costs and supply costs significantly! About the 401ks…well let’s see…healthcare insurance companies are not the only stock options available last time I looked…so unless they are complete morons controlling those finacials I am sure they will adjust their investment strategy. When large corps shut their doors people loose jobs…but there is almost always jobs created by the influx if new companies…healthcare has a sure bet to gain 10s of millions of New customers…and 10s of millions of existing customers who can finally afford to have procedures done. It will improve our economy and our way of life as a whole.

  9. Do you care about facts or do you only spread propaganda? Change is hard and this country needs some change for the good. Healthcare that covers everyone will eventually become the norm and no one will want to go back.

  10. Fear tactics to steer voters from the current crap show in US health care insurance provision. Aetna: 2017 Compensation For CEO Bertolini Neared $59 Million. Mark Bertolini, chief executive officer of Aetna Inc., received compensation in 2017 of nearly $59 million, much of it in stocks and options he exercised during the year, the health insurer said Friday in a regulatory filing.Apr 7, 2018

  11. 1,000+ hospitals closed between 2009-18. #AHC was a money grab. The insurance causing inferior or no care was predictable and this angers me. Doctors often don’t see you but a assistant. Fix #AHC and get money from that top 1% of taxpayers.

  12. Dustin DelRio says

    Big insurance did this to themselves. Hard working folks are one bad health scare away from total financial ruin because giants like United Health and Blue Cross refuse to pay on benefits people have worked for and earned. Democrat or Republican, the first candidate that gets serious about universal health care has my vote.

  13. 28 million people are still uninsured. Unbelievable that the US is so far behind other countries with respect to this “issue.” Won’t vote for a republican until everyone is covered!

  14. Leslie D. says

    You lie!

  15. Dan Paul says

    Every advanced country in the world has universal health care, including Australia,Canada, China,Russia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Israel. France…basically every country in the world. Expect for countries like Afghanistan, Haiti,Syria and the United States. How the hell is America on this list???

    • Every advanced country does not do this through central command single payer. Germany, Switzerland, Japan and several others use health insurance along with government support. They are not central command single payer countries. It is a myth that universal health care requires single payer. I lived in single payer for a while and I left swearing never to let severe single payer take hold in the U.S. I will protect rights to private health care but support the Affordable Care Act subsidies with some improvements. The US exceeds the world in innovations. We invest the resources and all these countries gain the benefit.

  16. I’d check the math on that because they’re going to be things going back and forth that change the economy that we haven’t even thought of yet due to unintended consequences positive and negative. Then on the other hand everyone will have medical insurance and we will have a healthier population so I think people having health insurance is a much better deal. Those people made redundant can retrain. If they were smart enough to get a medical job in the first place so they shouldn’t have a problem retraining to another medical or similar type job. Things change constantly. Sometimes you win…

  17. Works in other countries. I’m not sure why Americans think we are so exceptional that it couldn’t work for us. Also, the average life of expectancy has declined for three years in a row and we have the highest infant mortality rate of western world, yet we pay way more for healthcare than anyone else. I’d say the system is broken, but you are right why try to change anything?

  18. Rolling Eyes says

    Fear mongering. Gotta love it. It’s amazing how our seniors don’t wait for surgery or treatment of illness, yet one of the your key positions is that it is wait in line medicine. Likewise, the premise that millions of jobs will be lost is laughable… Claims processing still happens. It doesn’t magically vanish because it’s a government sponsored health plan. Get your facts straight, then write an article with depth. For now, it seems your out of your depth.

  19. Don’t so naively buy into this article people.
    Regardless of who gets elected, Medicare for All would never become law, at least as it’s portrayed here. There will continue to be private employer sponsored health insurance. Insurance companies will continue to build some of the largest and ostentatious buildings in their corporate cities and our retirement funds will not be affected as described. Quite watching so much Trump TV and reading this kind of drivel.

  20. Rolling Eyes says

    And the moderator keeps the comments biased. Somehow not surprised. Clearly an indefensible article if the only response is to discard any view that does not support your own.

  21. John Sands says

    VOTE TRUMP 2020

  22. Bull crap…why does it work in every other developed country in the world. Even Nicaragua has it. Try looking at the $ hospitals pay for the repetition of work mcfa would eliminate. How a out the billions lost by hospitals on no pay clients, those with no insurance. It would eliminate people using very expensive ED as primary care. This is paid for by the insurance industry who lives their billions a year profits

  23. Brian Mcgraw says

    I guess if it fits you’r narrative right?

  24. Doctors would give up alot of their practices and move to better paying jobs. They’re not going to be told by the government “we’re paying you $20.00 per patient”. Millions more would look to use the health care system “because it’s free (lol)”. So you’d have stronger demand and less doctors, meaning long waiting periods and less time the doctors would spend with you. It would create sub-par health care for everyone but the very rich who would pay significant higher rates out of their pocket. Because of the shortage of doctors, the governments answer would be to allow thousands of doctors from countries like India, Pakistan to come treat patients in the US. These doctors would jump at the opportunity for US citizenship and would have no issue with being told “how much you’ll be paid by the government”. It would be a major disaster. But the left will never succeed in “Medicare For All” and doing away with private insurance. Way too many lobbyists from all sorts of health care groups with bottomless pockets luckily. This is a LOSER for the left, along with their reparations, free college, and student loan forgiveness. These may be popular with their hard core base, but all these positions are way out of line with most Americans. The left will get Trump a second term running on these entitlements. Mark my words. This “Medicare For All” is an absolute gift to Trump.

  25. Gerald M badalamento says

    Just remember this cone 2020 vote trump unless you want things to go back to the nobsma way. Trader for president gave america away

  26. Gregory R Reed says

    Or, you know, increase Medicare payments by 13%.

  27. What about Medicare for those who take Social Security at age 62. That would free up some jobs. Most that are 62 and older cannot retire due to needing Insurance.

  28. It work’s in all of Western Europe and many Asian countries. Your opinion of Americans must be very low to think we are incapable of providing medical care for all. We can and we will. You anti-American looser.

  29. what a terrible article and ignorant comments to follow. I’m an RN and fully support Medicare for all even if I had to take a pay cut for Christ’s sake. It’s for the common good.

    • Go ahead Eddie – take your pay cut now – why wait? I personally REFUSE to take a pay cut to pay for you – f you – it’s just an American way – I work very, very hard for my money and EVERYTHING what I earned is MINE! NOT YOURS!

  30. Julie Tudie says

    Dear God, it is stories and mindless brainwashing that has Made America Great Again. What is it that people like this like to say? Oh right, anyone can manipulate the facts and what you are saying is only an opinion of the facts? Seriously, is that how it goes because stories like this one change so much that I can’t keep up. What does it matter? This is just more drivel spewed by another talking head who has spent all of ten minutes looking up what ever they can to make a story that is going to enrage their fan base. It is stuff like this that has led to us to not thinking for ourselves anymore. We just ingest junk like this and repost it on our favorite water cooler and hope people think we actually had an original thought. Wake up people! You have a bunch of self absorbed and greedy manipulators who are telling you just enough of what you want to hear so that you will agree with most of the lies and blatent propaganda that are helping them fulfill the desires of their puppeteers. Please, please, for the love of God, start thinking for yourselves and not listen to stories like this.

  31. Poster is a liar

  32. I am so excited about Medicare for all! Americans work hard and deserve to be taken care of. Thank you president Trump for supporting all of America and giving us Medicare for all!

  33. showandtell says

    Bunch of shills on this thread
    Or it might just be one person commenting over and over

  34. Writing as an opponent of both the wrong polarities of full single payer and too much market reliance. Thankful for challenges to single payer supporters, though I do support private/public hybrid which is the most successful and moderate universal health policy position. I support improved revisions of the Affordable Care Act but have ardently debated against single payer extremists. . Many universal Coverage countries such as Germany and Japan use health insurance with government support. I lived in central command simgle payer, and I will never support Medicare for All position as currently described. We should improve the ACA and provide voucher systems for personal choice of plans to reduce costs. When will the other “advanced” countries catch up with us in health care innovations?

  35. Medicare is bloated, inefficient and ineffective since it brazenly creates a new class of the worried-well and treats them like an ATM machine. Then it goes on to waste most of its cash cow revnues on the last six months of life. Meidicare, like all govenrment programs, has beome a vampire sucking cash out for the ersatz providers; but not for any documented patient benefit. Catastropic and/or trauma are legitmate reasons to carry health insurance. Pretending to provide “preventive” care at huge costs is a rip-off. Medicare has become a class one rip off feeding an out of control medical industrial complex. I now see Medicare from the inside and it is the last thing we need to take nation wide.

  36. Funding “health care” (defintion please?) should not be a job creation or job destruction argument. Public sector union employees drive the Democrat Party. Any promise of Medicare for All is not a promise to potential recipients, but a Democrat pay off to the nurses unions and the medical-industrial complex who scoop up “free money” faster than you can blink during a “free” eye exam. Today’s medical industrial complex, which is inceasingly unionized. is now dedicated to find a “disease” to match the size of your insurance plan. It has nothing to do with “health care”.

    Until you can define “health care” and you will need to use the terms rationing and death panels, do not write a blank check to those who feed off this “free money” – the health care unions.

  37. The Captive says

    I remember going through the LIE OF OBAMA un-CARE and that was about making you unsure of what would happen to your healthcare. This new ax in the medical-care wagon will indeed finish it and make the UN-CARE that is offered much more inferior and the services harder to get. You will realize that you will get LESS CARE and people who do not deserve it (ILLEGALS) will get it free and that again the taxpayers get screwed! Those in CA Govt. will skim as much as they can off this tyranny to fill their pockets as well.

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