Bernie Sanders is calling for an honest health policy discussion. The right wing attacks on Medicare for All (M4A) are completely misleading in claiming there would be increased spending or rising costs on the middle class. The truth is the opposite.

It’s wrong to believe the myth that M4A would increase health spending. If we continue the same, Americans will end up spending $45 trillion in health spending in the next 10 years. Implementation decisions of M4A, including payment rates to hospitals and doctors, details of a total benefit package, price regulations, drug company negotiations, must be finalized. With wise choices in design, according to health economists, it is certain that M4A would save trillions of dollars over a decade compared with our current projected healthcare spending.

The belief that taxes would increase on middle-class families must be corrected. The huge savings from the reduced administration costs, with elimination of premiums, deductibles and co-pays more than cancel out transition to M4A costs. It is true that progressive taxes would increase minimally, but the savings from not paying premiums and out of pocket costs combined with the huge savings in administration more than cover any modest tax on families.

So there is a shift in costs. It is deeply misleading to pretend that this shift is an increase in family health care costs. It is not. The nation deserves the truth about health care policy and M4A. Americans should not be misled about how public financing would affect them. M4A is the best option to get health care costs and quality care back on track.

Richard A. Damon, MD

Bozeman