Do you personally have any doubt that under a European-style single-payer system, the vast majority of Americans would get better care than they do now, for less cost? I mean, that seems incontrovertible.
I don’t know about the “vast majority.” According to NBC news, the latest figures on the uninsured percentage of the population are around 12.3%. Those folks would certainly get better healthcare. The rest of the population may very well do better from a cost perspective and, thus, access the healthcare system more. That would be an improvement too. But there is a downside. I remember a Canadian mother saying that their system is “great if you have a sore throat.” And, indeed, single payer systems provide the cheap and easy very well. It’s the more complicated and expensive stuff where you run into trouble and where you run into the very long waiting times, if you can get the treatment at all. That’s the trade off.
Who says anything about single-payer? Germany has a multi-payer system, universal coverage, and consistently ranked as the best health care system in the world. Oh, yeah, and they’re spending roughly half of what we’re spending, per capita.
The multi-payer universal systems are indeed very good, but one of the problems with implementing a system in the U.S. that relies in any way on the private market is that the idiot Republicans have shut themselves off from supporting it. How? Because a universal system that relies on private payers absolutely needs a strong individual mandate and the Republicans based their opposition to the ACA on the dumb-ass idea that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. So you’d pretty much need to have the Democrats fully driving that ship. I’d love to see it, but it seems like a very big lift.
Arkansans sue to block Medicaid work rule.
The more people you talk to, from all walks of life, the more you run into people who know the system is broken and want it fixed. If, and this will never happen of course, the GOP and Dems could agree on some plan of national health care I think you would see people embrace it. As long as it lowered costs, you could still see your old doctor and taxes weren’t raised to pay for it.
I don’t see how you can have any kind of universal system without raising taxes. The providers need to get paid regardless of who is doing the paying. If you remove the private payers – single payer – then you have to raise taxes to replace what they would have paid. If you go to a multi-payer universal system, like Germany’s for example, and you want it to be truly universal, you need the government to pay for those who can’t afford to pay for a private plan and this is a heftier government amount than you currently have under Medicare/Medicaid. Not nearly as big a tax increase as single payer to be sure, but still some increase would be required.
I agree, you will have to raise taxes to get it done. And you might be able to just raise corporate taxes to do it, or taxes on the uber wealthy. But just like people buy into GOP tax cuts as being great for them they always see tax increases as being bad for them, even when they are not directly targeted by either.
Yes, it comes back into many people not realizing the true cost of their healthcare. How much they are paying, or their jobs aren’t paying, for it.
If, for example, it was done at a corporate level it would probably be best. Because the reality is that if companies could drop paying for health insurance in lieu of paying the tax for it, everyone comes out the same or ahead.
Raising taxes on the uber wealthy won’t generate anywhere near the amount required and raising corporate taxes just encourages more corporations to move offshore.
Telling corporations that they can pay an additional X% tax in return for not having to pay/administer healthcare plans for their employees would almost certainly be jumped at by most, I imagine. I know my company would relish the opportunity to drop all the red tape associated with making sure everyone is covered, trying to find the best deal on coverage, doing all the “open season” work, etc.
Even better if it’s a choice, right? Offer your employees a health plan that meets these parameters, OR pay this amount in taxes per employee work-hour.
The thing about Germany’s model that Obamacare does not copy is that health insurance rates are a percent of income rather than a fixed charge. People with high incomes pay more for health insurance and subsidize the low income earners. In our current model, for Medicare as well as regular health insurance, people with high incomes pay a much lower share of their income for health than people with low incomes.
I feel like what would really help is some kind of law that forced companies to reveal how much they paid for an employee’s health care during the pay period. Put it on the pay stub, alongside the employee’s contribution.
People don’t realize just how much their work health insurance actually costs, and how their employers are covering the costs.
That would also help in some case (in some weird universe) where we do get single-payer health insurance, and then people start wondering why their pay may have went down.
Every company I’ve had health coverage through has done this. Most people outside of upper management or HR still don’t notice or appreciate it.
Yup. Its about the equivalent of a second mortgage for a family of four.
I completely agree that this is desirable. However, it’s very different than simply slapping a higher income tax rate on the wealthy.
It’s also not the end of the world paying higher taxes especially if the return is no longer worrying about health care insurance (or hell, even waiting around for the inevitable bills, often times months and months after a procedure. It’s infuriating.)
Edit: I mean everyone, not just the wealthy.
I have seen the Carpenters Union here in California struggle with health insurance. I am sure most unions would love to get rid of the problems supplying health insurance incurs.