Modeling Medicare for All in the United States

Jeremy J Blanchard, Thomas Jefferson University


The United States spends significantly more on health care than any other country. Despite this spending, the US experiences significantly worse outcomes than other developed countries in public health measures including life expectancy, neonatal survival, and maternal mortality. This is thought to be a function of lack of access to health care as the US does not have universally available health insurance. A number of policies have been proposed to implement a single payer health system in the United States, most recently the Medicare for All Act proposed by Senator Bernard Sanders. Early economic analysis of this proposal suggests relative cost savings compared to the current multi-payer system while decreasing attributable mortality associated with lack of access to health care. In order to assess the potential impact of Medicare for All in the United States, we modeled the growth of total health expenditure compared to growth of private health insurance spending. Next, we assessed the potential cost-effectiveness of Medicare for All as well as legal barriers to implementation. Finally, we assessed the potential impact of Medicare for All implementation on health equity and geographic variance of attributable mortality. Our findings suggest that the growth of net cost of private health insurance is a major driver of increased health expenditure, growing at a rate disproportionate to total expenditure. Our findings also suggest that implementation of Medicare for All is cost-effective and would likely reduce racial disparities, gender inequality, and sexual and gender minority health inequality currently present in the United States health care system.

Subject Area

Public health|Information science

Recommended Citation

Blanchard, Jeremy J, "Modeling Medicare for All in the United States" (2022). ETD Collection for Thomas Jefferson University. AAI29325063.