Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin isn’t backing away from her support of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan after a new study from a libertarian policy center found it would boost government health spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years.

Still, the Madison Dem’s campaign also stressed that she has supported other measures to rein in health care costs.

GOP rival Leah Vukmir, meanwhile, called the price tag outrageous.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia found Sanders’ plan to cover all U.S. residents through Medicare with no copays and deductibles would require historic tax increases to cover the costs.

Baldwin campaign spokesman Bill Neidhardt noted Baldwin has also backed expansion of Medicare coverage to those in the 55-64 age group and transparency for pharmaceutical corporations that plan to increase drug prices.

Baldwin’s campaign knocked the Mercatus Center, which receives funding from the conservative Koch brothers. They have targeted Baldwin in this year’s Senate race with more than $5 million spent against the Madison Dem by groups associated with the brothers, according to Baldwin’s campaign.

“Powerful special interests like the Koch brothers are spending millions attacking Tammy because they want a bought-and-paid-for politician who will put insurance companies and drug corporations back in control of Wisconsinites’ health care,” Neidhardt said.

The study found U.S. health care spending under the plan would drop over time, including about $300 billion lower in 2031. But those savings could disappear if hospitals and doctors aren’t willing to accept lower fees for patients who are now privately insured.

Vukmir said Wisconsin can’t afford the plan.

“Shifting the burden onto taxpayers does not make healthcare more affordable,” she said. “The Bernie-Baldwin agenda will bankrupt us and undo the economic progress we’re seeing with President Trump.”

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