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Posts Tagged ‘universal health care’

Currently, the United States has the least efficient health care system with the highest per capita health care costs in the developed world. That makes it very profitable for the shareholders of the 1 percent.

As for the non-health care sector of the US economy, businesses are the biggest source of health care coverage, but they could completely exit the business of providing health care, if national or even statewide single-payer coverage ever happens. That could make U.S. businesses more competitive globally and leave a lot more profits for shareholders in the form of higher dividends and rising share prices. Any savings would not likely go to employees anymore than is currently the case.

A new analysis by Charles Blahous of the libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that single-payer health care for all Americans would cost at least $32.6 trillion during the first decade, or $3.3 trillion per year. Total federal spending now amounts to $4.2 trillion per year, so adding Medicare for all spending to that tally would nearly double federal outlays, except it won’t.

A Bernie Sanders-style single-payer system would transfer all health care spending to the federal government. “I’m scoring the federal cost here, and it’s enormous,” Blahous told Yahoo Finance. “The other side of the coin is businesses, individuals, states and others are not going to be paying these costs. They’re going to be given to the federal government.”

On the whole, the Blahous analysis finds that total health spending would actually decline under the Sanders plan, compared with the status quo, with the feds paying a lot more, but everybody else paying nothing. And more people would have health coverage since everybody would be eligible.

And it would be less expensive than what the US has now, which is the most expensive per capita in the world. As the only buyer of health care, the government would have the power to demand deep discounts, and there would be lower overhead costs because there would only be one administrative structure. Of course, we’d all have to get care through the government and deal with the pitfalls that would entail.

Still, the tradeoffs for businesses could be attractive. Federal tax revenue from individuals and businesses will total about $3 trillion this year. So taxes would need to more than double to cover a giant new health care plan. Doubling everybody’s taxes sounds like a death wish for politicians. But it might not be as crazy as it sounds.

Businesses pay about $1.2 trillion in health care costs every year providing coverage for 49 percent of the United States. Federal income tax payments by businesses will total about $243 billion this year. So U.S. businesses pay five times as much for health care benefits as they pay in US taxes. If you tripled or even quadrupled corporate income taxes, while eliminating all their spending on health care, it would still amount to a net savings for businesses.

New Libertarian Study Shows Bernie Sanders Medicare for All Would Save Corporations Trillions of Dollars–Yahoo

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