Sen. Bernie Sanders is not ducking the key question constantly posed to Medicare for All supporters by journalists, fellow members of Congress, and critics: "How will you pay for it?"
"'How are you going to pay for it?' That is the question that bookends nearly every media conversation that takes place on Medicare for All. The straightforward answer is, we already are." —Sen. Bernie Sanders' office
After you are done here, go over to YAYHOO! comments and see why it is so terribly wrong for the wealthy to have to foot a large portion of this proposal. And, guess what? MOST of those comments will be made by Dumbf supporters or Rethugs or NEO-libs or “regular working class people”!
And the U.S. populous is NOT PROPAGANDIZED?!
I have a dream… That the entire health insurance industry has a breakthrough unprecedented in human history. They SEE the destruction that their model causes and has a ‘come to Jesus’ moment in which they turn their corporate enterprise to … innovative PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.
I remember in Viet Nam, the US military could never foresee the changes that shaped the trajectory of war. In Fire in the the Lake, Fitzgerald noted that in the I Ching there was something even stronger than a ‘consensus’ pattern when the will of the people, even against the tide, was the image of ‘a fire in the lake’ - ‘the will of heaven’ - and the change took place
So glad Bernie put into print a list of specifics to pay for MFA. I especially like this passage:
It puts into lucid context what all supporters of single payer have been saying, but it just doesn’t seem to sink in with the general public.
As I’ve written elsewhere, there is virtually no such thing as FREE healthcare provided by employers. It may have been true in the distant past, but no longer. Every worker pays at least a part of their premium, not to mention co-pays and deductibles, and other costs devised (in fine print) by our friendly insurance company. So think of that tax on your W-2 beside MFA as your new premium. Bernie’s plan pegs the number at 4%, starting at 29,000 for a family of four (to which I’d add a cap of approx. $5000.00 ). It’s possible you and your family can go a year or longer without needing healthcare or reaching that number. But no matter what system you’re under, the premium still must be paid.
Now here’s the real meat of single payer: No co-pays, no deductibles, no refusal to pay by the insurer and no bankruptcies.
Let me add one more to the latter. We can quantify those poor souls who have actually had to declare bankruptcy. A painful and life-changing event no one should have to endure because of health misfortune. But what about those who are under enormous stress and do pay outrageous bills that cut deeply into savings and a retirement they’ve worked for?
Once single payer is firmly understood by the majority, no amount of insurance industry/big pharma lobbying and their filthy money can stop it.
Let’s do the math. Total annual payroll for the U.S.A. is about $16.5 trillion. A 4% payroll tax (.04 x 16,500 billion) will raise $660 billion annually. It will cost the average family of four who makes about $60,000/year $2,400 dollars annually in new taxes. The average family of four under our current system of for-profit insurance spends $28,000 annually on medical costs—premiums, deductibles, other out-of-pocket costs—a family expense that will go away with Medicare for All. An 8% matching payroll tax paid by employers will raise $1,320 billion annually. It will cost employers $7,200 per year per employee with a $60,000 annual income. Currently the average cost to employers per employee with employer-provided health insurance is $28,000. Together, the 4% employee payroll tax and the 8% employer payroll tax will raise nearly $2 trillion per year, which is more than will be needed to cover the 30 million uninsured and 40 million underinsured, plus the additional health care that will come when people are finally not being denied life-saving health care. This is not rocket science.
Just wanted to say something, in addition to single payer saving so much money. I hate to do it, but technically, the federal government doesn’t fund anything with tax dollars, and the government doesn’t need taxes and it doesn’t need to issue bonds in order to spend. We choose to tax in order to pay for something like single payer to make it revenue neutral, but that isn’t a necessity. Taxes are used by the federal government for things outside of funding most services (some taxes go to specific programs, but even they don’t need to). The government can spend on whatever it wants. So, the question about how we are going to pay for it is stupid and ill-informed on many levels. Stupid because it would save money, lots of it, and stupid because the government would pay for it by paying for it. How are we going to pay for it? Technically, the government decides to pay for it, pretty simple. It is a political issue, just need people in government willing to do it.
But, when the media mentions how we are going to pay for single payer, they are doing so because they don’t want the conversation to progress. It has been answered many times, and journalists should be expected to study the issue and to know basic things. They don’t want the conversation to progress, to say, WHY single payer saves so much money, or the different ways we can tax in order to cover its expenses in a relatively revenue neutral way, because they want to pretend that funding it is actually a question without an answer. They know better. Per usual, it isn’t a question when they ask it, it is rhetorical.
The questions of how to pay for Medicare for All, higher education, proactive responses to the coming climate disasters, etc,. are always accompanied by so much hand-wringing, but mostly overlooked is a wonderful source of money that could be used to support people, not plutocrats. I am referring to the obscenely bloated “defense” budget. If we ever wake up to how we have wasted away trillions of dollars to kill and maim countless innocents, all the while enriching the powerful, we might have the answers to “How Will You Pay for It?”
“A 7.5 percent income-based premium paid by employers, exempting the first $2 million in payroll to protect small businesses”; and
A four percent “income-based premium paid by employees, exempting the first $29,000 in income for a family of four”
Goo. They started getting more realistic. Make that 7-8% for each the employer and the employee starting at $1 and we’ll have Medicaid for all. Cuz i sure hope it’s not Medicare. You gotta pay all sorts of extra for that.
Speaking of small businesses…think about how much small businesses will save by not having to provide and manage medical insurance programs for their employees. If small businesses pay a 7.5% MFA premium it will be a bargain compared to what they are paying for their insurance programs today !
Good point, which was discussed a while back. I thought the same thing. It seems a no-brainer if a large company, competing globally, could wipe present healthcare costs off the books. Some even pay a stipend for retirees until death, like my Mother receives.
Another commenter responded that, as is cited often in these discussions, employers use health care as a hook. Portability is one of the promised tenets of Obamacare that never materialized.
There’s also the unwritten code between mafia capitalists - don’t tread on others’ territory and don’t enable policies which help people see the benefits of socialism.
We should keep pouncing on this question every chance that we get, until others begin to pick up the thought and start relaying it. There should be no defensive posture here. The response to “How are we going to pay for it?” should immediately be, “the same way we pay for our bloated, wasteful, military budget, where trillions of dollars have gone missing.”.