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How Warren’s 'Medicare for All' Plan Hurts the Cause

It isn’t clear from your statement if your friends feel better if everyone pays their share as a fixed price (Warren) or as a percentage of their income or salary (Sanders). A self interested only rich person obviously prefers the former (I realize the Warren plan has other taxes on the very rich).

As with most things Bernie vs Warren, I prefer Bernie’s way. But in fact I’m against using payroll taxes at all. I say entirely income tax (and capital gains moving to the same rate) and rasing the rate not a flat 6% rate or something, but raising it at all levels but maybe only a few percent down low and 10% or more up high.


Seeing as any employer-side tax ultimately comes out of workers’ potential earnings, …

It has been a while since my econ classes but this statement is in my opinion misleading. Depending on the labor market, a wage is adjusted until supply and demand meet (there are other factors, but this is one of the biggest - if you aren’t getting the people you want because they are taking other offers, you aren’t paying enough). So in a scenario where an employer’s tax burden goes up, they may just past the costs onto the consumer or absorb it in other departments as opposed to an attempt to reduce compensation. Now if they were already paying pivate insurance on the same order and now they pay the government instead of the prviate company, then it is a wash and no changes to compensation would be expected. (I think this is one of Warren’s points).

I have a lot of issues in general with Warren and this plan is no different. In addition to my preferring progressive taxes to flat taxes and flat taxes to fixed fees, I don’t at all approve of small employers or contractors not needing to be included. No it’s everyobdy in - and if we are paying via the employer side (I say no as I mention in my comment above), then everybody in means all the employers are in too - I don’t care if it is only 1 employee even.


This is common sense, I believe.
It’s my understanding that in both Canada and England, two nations whose national health coverage that I would like the US to adopt, the wealthiest still can purchase private health insurance. Am I wrong?
It must make them feel better that they can still have a luxury insurance that most others can’t afford or don’t want.
I trust Bernie will lead us in working out the details.

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those preferring Sanders (or Warren) on this issue are taking these details far too seriously, Congress will substantially change whatever either proposes as they have done with Trump, Obama, Clinton… They (S & W) want to greatly expand access to medical care is the only takeaway I have from all this, everything else is a meaningless debating point with little basis in reality.

I remember when your senator ran with the stink of Jimmy Carter still on him against a popular incumbent. Is your party going to pretend it’s 1984 until doomsday?

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You are wrong in the case of Canada - unless you are only speaking of supplemental insurance (that would be allowed here too). https://thinkprogress.org/can-canadians-purchase-private-health-insurance-coverage-ed7a25f9c602/

I think it’s true of England. Canada has the better idea on this though I like the overall doctors employed by govt idea in England better.

I rather doubt a Democratic Congress will fundamentally rewrite M4A and twist it into Pretzels For All. Consistent & adequate funding is the cornerstone of M4A being successful. It can’t be budgeted like a foreign aid appropriation, subject to the whims of a Trumpster, Nixon or Reagan ideologue with nefarious intentions. Sociopaths, and other Neo-Fascists of our recent history in the Republican Party, can’t be allowed to " go rogue " with our healthcare.

In addition to the technical pluses and minuses noted by Tim Higginbotham concerning Elizabeth Warren’s funding of her Medicare For All (MFA) plan. David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect, has also given an informative, objective analysis of Warren’s MFA funding plan.


One can quibble and find gaps in parts of Elizabeth Warren’s and Bernie Sanders’ MFA plans and funding of same. Their universal single-payer plans also have a lot in common. Warren’s plan will eliminate premiums, deductibles, and copays amounting to $11 trillion in savings for the middle class. Unlike Sanders’ plan, there will be no more new taxes for the average family household under Warren’s plan.

David Dayen concludes that Warrren explains more precisely how to realize the significant cost savings of a universal single-payer plan for all. For example: how to deal with very high provider prices by making changes to the reimbursement of doctors and hospitals; how to reduce brand-name drug prices 70% and generic drugs 30%; how to vastly reduce administration costs not only by eliminating insurer profits but also making much simpler administration processes much simpler; how to handle the existing state and local share of funding for Medicaid and CHIP; how to end the huge geographic provider cost differences where wildly varying rates for same treatments are charged by hospitals and doctors (stemming in part from highly concentrated hospital market, group purchasing organizations, out-patient clinics).

A concern I have (as does Tim Higginbotham) is that under Warren’s MFA plan middle class families will pay no more new taxes than the current taxes they now pay on Medicare and taxes to fund a state’s share of health programs. I would like to see what the figures would look like, e.g., under Warren’s and Sanders plans, if all taxpayers contributed a modest added new tax on a progressive scale of, for example, 3% up to 5% or 6% of gross income.

This is because offering a MFA plan 100% free of any new taxes for middle class families (that make up over 75% of our population) has a real risk of encouraging a gross misuse and/or unnecessary resort to far better medical coverage a MFA plan will (and must) have. Bernie’s plan gives some protection against this risk.

It would be extremely helpful if experts translated Bernie’s and Elizabeth’s MFA plans into a SIMPLE OVERVIEW chart - illustrating the effect on a family household (or individual) earning annually, e.g., a gross income of less than $100,000, of $100,001 to $250,000, of $250,001 to $1 million, and more than $1 million. What does the wiping away of premiums, deductibles, copays - replaced by a small new progressive tax increase in Bernie’s plan and no new middle class taxes under Elizabeth’s plan (where new revenues come mostly from employers, corporations, investors, banks, the wealthy) - do to the pocket of an average family household assuming a gross income range along lines noted above?

Another concern about the MFA plans of Bernie and Elizabeth is that EU countries have universal health care plans at HALF the cost of the U.S. for far better medical coverage for relatively small country populations varying from 10 milllion to 80 million. Is it impossible for us to do the same with a phase one optional MFA plan approach where 120 million or more are initially MFA insured out of our 325 million people?

Our for-profit-powered health care system over 50 states is a complete MESS with its complex, immense fragmentation and non-standardization of plans making it an ideal playing field for corruption and insurance plan manipulation for provider and insurer profit mazimization. Why not first introduce an optional phase 1 MFA plan aimed at the self-insured private health care market of over 70 million households (or ± 200 million people).

The MFA insured households would make a committment to stay with the optional MFA plan for at least three years. Eventually, proven success in terms of quality, coverage and cost will stir many if not most to join the MFA plan. This will in turn provide ever larger economies of scale for greater system efficiencies, purchasing leverage, innovation and extended coverage for 90% of normal health issues.(California Free Press - Is Bernie’s & Elizabeth’s Universal Medicare Plan Better Done in Phases? by Frank Thomas, Oct. 21, 2019)

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Ask for pie in the sky and you get what you want, ask for a compromise and you get Obama.

The old Conyers plan (now a dead letter, I believe) did include a plan to address that critical point, although a weak one as I recall it.

That could also have been said of the Declaration of Independence.

The involvement of employers in the financing of health care is one of its greatest problems, and has been obsolete for decades.

Any employee that has been with a company for more than three months would be considered a full time employee for tax purposes and health coverage purposes.

Who cares what it costs over 10 years? It means nothing because it’s totally random.

I personally don’t like this idea of reporting 10 year totals at all, I was only explaining for the benefit of others. I would prefer only yearly numbers with some growth forecasts on the side.

I don’t know what you mean by random. The reason anyone uses 10 year numbers is the have data (e.g. an aging population) they want to forecast. There is nothing random about it though of course there is prediction error.