Just to be clear, I support a financial transaction tax. I support increasing the capital gains tax. I support increasing the estate tax. And I support closing all the loopholes that make the super rich and corporations pay less in taxes than their fair share. MSNBC's Ali Velshi has been going down a list of highly profitable corporations that have not only zero taxes but are getting massive rebates from the government. I don't know how to fix that without hurting some of the smaller companies that are investing in America, but I understand that one size dies not fit all.
I have read very thoroughly the actual bills put forward by Bernie Sanders on his version of Medicare for all and free college tuition. Then I have compared these bills to his campaign rhetoric, and it doesn't match reality. That's my problem. Bernie Sanders has run a less than honest campaign selling the positives of his Medicare for all legislation and ignoring everything else. He even has the gall to compare it to the Canadian health care system. No it is not. Nor is it anyway comparable to traditional Medicare, which I am a beneficiary...and really like it. It would be wonderful for people to buy into it as a public option.
I will fall back on the Colorado experience with a version of Bernie's "Medicare for all". Once the Colorado people fully understood what was in the bill, that they would lose their employee sponsored health care insurance, and that it would cost taxpayers a ton of money, they voted it down, 81-19. Hell, Bernie could not even sell his Medicare for all legislation in his home state of Vermont once people understood what was in it and how it would be funded. Ditto for California.
Bernie seemingly has not learned from those three examples (same ole stump speech again and again), and in a way he's doing a "Trump"...lots of promises and wonderful promotion with beautiful, exciting language, a little hyperbole, and positive media coverage that helps to buy votes, but no plan on how it could realistically be approved in Congress let alone funded.
What does Bernie's plan (link above) say about funding and cost? This is it: "By not later than September 1 of each year, beginning with the year prior to the date on which benefits first become available as described in section 106(a), the Secretary shall establish a national health budget, which specifies the total expenditures to be made for covered health care services under this Act." That's it.
He goes into more detail on the costs associated with the four year transition period when existing policies are phased into "BernieCare", but no costs or funding mechanism once the plan is fully implemented other than the "Secretary shall establish". The devil is in the details, and I would like to more what is in the mind of the "Secretary" before I vote on it.
There are many other versions of "Medicare for all" that are not as far reaching and might garner more support. Even fixing ObamaCare seems like a much better and less costly option...or how about that Swiss version that Zakaria mentioned? Bernie, however, cannot deviate or compromise one iota from the Senate bill S.1804 that he submitted in 2017. He is chained to it.
To his credit, in Sanders College for All Act, he did put the cost in the bill. The total tuition at public colleges and universities amounts to about $70 billion per year. Under Bernie's program, the federal government would cover 67% of this cost, while the states would be responsible for the remaining 33% of the cost. However, his rhetoric again doesn't match what's in the bill. Unless asked, he seldom makes any mention of the $70 billion and that the states would have to cover 1/3 of the cost. Some states like New York might be okay with that, but if you live in a state that is struggling to balance its budget, then the state legislatures (and the people if put to a vote) are less likely to go along with these costs.
Now I fully realize, politicians always make promises that they cannot deliver on. Just look at Trump's wall and that "Mexico is going to pay for it". It helped elect Trump, much the same as his rhetoric in the Rust Belt states about "China and Mexico stealing your jobs," but with no realistic plan to reopen those obsolete factories once elected. Actually Trump and Sanders shared the same rhetoric on "blaming China and Mexico" with no mention of robots stealing jobs, or changing market conditions. That's why so many Bernie supporters in these states voted for Trump. They both were vote pandering to the same demographic with the same language.
So far I am witnessing a rerun of Bernie's 2016 campaign, but now he has Rep Ocasio-Cortez also carrying some of the weight of selling his proposals to the electorate. And some of the candidates have also endorsed Sanders Medicare for All, but I wonder if they have read the bill like I have. Maybe Sanders will even get elected. But what happens next with Mitch McConnell in charge of the Senate? None of his legislation will even get a vote on the Senate floor.
Remember this famous quote that I have used on more than one occasion in this website:
“You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on." – Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal, 1987
It could as well apply to Bernie Sanders campaigns on Medicare for All and free college tuition.