Paying for Medicare For All

Bernie has proposed a bill in the Senate, and damn near every Democrat who hopes to run for president next time around has jumped on to support it. The ones with anything to lose have been a little more cautious, but they all agree this proposal is a great way to start a conversation. And that is certainly true.

Among Democrats, support for the idea is very strong until the idea of increased taxes to pay for it is mentioned. Because let’s face it, taxes would have to go up to pay for it.

But consider this: My health plan is already taxpayer-subsidized. If you have a company health plan, you are taxpayer-subsidized as well. Your employer doesn’t pay taxes on your benefit. That’s money out of the government coffers to make your health care cheaper. The ones who need support the least benefit the most.

That’s bogus, even though I benefit. It’s backwards from the ethic I embrace, that those doing well look out for those who need a leg up. I am embarrassed that my health care is subsidized while others go without any care at all. You should be, too.

So when people ask, “how do we pay for it?” — a legitimate question — point out that the government is already subsidizing health care for everyone with a job. The ones who need it least.


2 thoughts on “Paying for Medicare For All

  1. “Because let’s face it, taxes would have to go up to pay for it.”

    Perhaps. But isn’t it curious that everybody seems to have that opinion, while not considering that the average annual $5,000 or more paid by a family for insurance premiums would stop? So, just for discussion sake, let’s balance a decrease of $5,000 premium payment, against a … oh, what? A $4,000 annual tax increase? Seems like the family would be $1,000 ahead?
    Oh, but I can hear it now. The uproar over the huge tax increase.
    Ignore facts, facts don’t matter. It’s far, far better to pay twice as much, on average, than any other nation for health care… as long as we avoid any public healthcare system such as those employed by all those other nations.
    In America, access to health care is a privilege, not a right.

    • I considered going into the argument about total out-of-pocket costs going down even if taxes go up, but I decided, uncharacteristically, to focus on my original point.

      The polls I was obliquely referencing probably could be criticized for the way they asked the question. A better version might be: Would you be willing to pay higher taxes if you didn’t have to pay for health care?

      I suspect that even with lower outlay factored in, I will be paying more, because right now I get a totally unfair bullshit subsidy. I wanted this episode to focus on that.

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