Raising doubts about presidential candidates’ claims on health care

Recent articles by Kaiser Health news and Politifact examined the factual accuracy of recent claims made by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg about health care policy, raising doubts about the men’s statements. Both articles featured input from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers.

The first article, published February 25, focused on an advertisement from Buttigieg’s campaign about his proposed Medicare for All Who Want It health policy. The ad claimed that under Buttigieg’s system, “If you like your private plan, you can keep it.”

Benjamin Sommers, professor of health policy and economics, expressed doubts about the claim. “There’s good reason to think some of the private insurance competition won’t fare well against ‘Medicare for All Who Want It,’”  Sommers said. “You might see some of the private plans dropping out.”

The second article, published February 26, discussed Sanders’ reliance on a study indicating that his Medicare for All policy would save $450 billion a year in health spending. Ellen Meara, professor of health economics and policy, raised concerns about the study’s claims regarding costs savings from avoided hospitalizations and emergency room visits. She said that those costs wouldn’t simply disappear because previously uninsured people who become insured would likely use more preventive care.

Read the Kaiser Health News and Politifact article on Pete Buttigieg:Past As Prologue: Questioning Buttigieg’s Claim About Keeping Your Health Care

Read the Kaiser Health News and Politifact article on Bernie Sanders: Sanders Embraces New Study That Lowers ‘Medicare For All’s’ Cost, But Skepticism Abounds