Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Single Payer Week: Paying for it

So how much will a single payer system cost us?
Different sources give different numbers, please research several sources before making a decision on it. Also some studies take into account current costs and others don't, which makes a difference in the results.
In 2016 the government spent 1.38 trillion on healthcare, including CHIP, Medicare, Medicaid and VA care, as well as tax deductions and subsidies.
Adding those who are uninsured or have private insurance will obviously increase that cost.
Where does the government get that money?
If my taxes have to go up to cover that dont I lose? Not likely.
Look at how much you spend on medical costs each year, include your insurance cost, deductibles and co-pays. Before I retired I paid as a single person about $80 a check and rarely went to the doctor until the last few years. This was about 6% of my paycheck towards private insurance.
What percentage do you pay? And if you or your family see a doctor that year add those costs to your total.
In my case if I paid 6% in taxes instead of to the insurance company, I broke even. If I actually used a doctor I came out ahead. The Sanders plan would cost 6.2% so I would pay more, most of my coworkers would pay less under his system.
Is that a good deal for me?

  • I pay a little more in years I dont use it but likely save money if I do use it, and save a lot if I used it several times.
  • I save a lot of hassle dealing with choosing a plan each year and if I do get sick a lot of hassle with paperwork and aggravation dealing with the insurance company.
  • Even if I don't use it I get the piece of mind my money is helping other people, including friends, family and coworkers rather than to the profit of an insurance company.
What about my employer? Will they save money or spend more?
According to most estimates employers would pay less than half what they pay now. One example we can see is that our major auto companies pay a lot less in Canada and eagerly embraced their single payer system over the cost of private insurance. 

Wait, if employees pay less and companies pay less, how can this work?

That question is what tripped me up for years and made me leery of this idea. However after some research I changed my mind and now embrace it.
Americans pay more than other countries for the same care. On average we pay twice as much for health care and a LOT higher prices on prescription drug costs.
Medicare pays about 3% on overhead, where insurance companies pay 15% to 25%. Why do they have so much overhead? Aren't private industries supposed to be more efficient? That money is spent on advertising, lobbying, marketing (to companies and doctors) and a complex system designed to make it harder for doctors to get paid. Government health care is aimed at treating patients as efficiently as possible and leave much of that to the doctor. Insurance companies do not want to pay for care so they can keep more of that money. think about your auto or homeowner insurance, they raise your rates if you use it to discourage you from using it.
So single payer will cut the actual money spent on health care in half! Imagine what we could do with all that extra money...

This is America, one of the greatest if not THE greatest countries in the world. Why d we pay more for less than everyone else? Are those who tell you single payer wont work saying our country is not up to the task of doing what almost every other country has been doing successfully for years? Sounds unpatriotic to me.

Some Sources

The Sanders Plan
Politifact review
Physicains for Single Payer Myths and Facts
Health Care Spending per Capita by Country or what your insurance company does not want you to know!

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