Single payer is not a new idea, as you will find out if you do some reading on the above link. Vermont tried to implement it on a statewide basis and failed. Colorado had single payer on the ballot in 2016 and the measure failed. Health care is too expensive to be dealt with at the state level. And with programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration all managed at the federal level, it is too complex to try to move healthcare to a state by state
system without funding from Uncle Sam.
Update: July 23, 2019
"A Public Option" has risen to the top of the list as the public's most popular change desired in the current healthcare system. (Medicare For All is dropping like a rock in terms of popularity).
The public option would presumably allow anyone to "buy in" to medicare and pay a premium directly to the federal government as is the case now with folks on medicare. The advantages of such an option are that folks who do not get coverage through their employer or some other means could simply enroll in medicare without any issues associated with pre-existing conditions and get coverage. Premiums would be based on fewer factors than is the case now with private health insurance. Coverage would be nationwide (unlike with private insurance). You could use it anywhere. Stay tuned as this debate will likely unfold as the 2020 Presidential campaigns get underway.
A Medicare For All plan would involve an increase in the medicare tax which is currently 2.9% of wages and shared equally between employer and employee. As an example, if the tax were tripled to 8.7% of wages, here is the impact on a typical wage earner's paycheck:
Wages $25,000 Current Medicare Tax $362.50 Single Payer Medicare Tax $1,087.50
Wages $50,000 Current Medicare Tax 725.00 Single Payer Medicare Tax 2,175.00
Medicare for all wouldn't be able to pay your first dollar of medical expenses at these low levels of taxation. But it could protect against the catastrophic health care costs that keep everyone up at night. Insurance companies would still be free to offer supplemental insurance programs to employers and employees that would cover "the little stuff". Savvy consumers could forgo the supplemental insurance and pump money into tax free savings accounts that could be used to pay for out of pocket expenses not covered by medicare.
Skyrocketing health care premiums and unimaginable deductibles are crippling our economy.
Employers who provide health insurance face these increasing costs as much as the individual who pays his own premiums. This unpredictable and rapidly increasing component of an organization's budget makes it much more difficult to plan, hire, and give pay increases to the employees.
Folks in the individual market face similar challenges of unpredictability, rapidly rising costs, and unknown out of pocket costs even when they follow the rules and buy coverage.
In the background, we have the federal government subsidizing health care costs for many Americans, but with no money to pay for these costs, the federal debt is simply increased. The can is being kicked down the road. (Obamacare tax increases tied to the Affordable Care Act have caused their own set of challenges and still fail to cover enough of the costs to avoid a continuation of the debt spiral.)
What is the solution?
The solution is a single payer system that looks more like Medicare. A single payer system would be funded with an increased medicare tax and cover basic medical care and protect citizens from catastrophic costs. Individuals would be responsible for out of pocket costs like office co-payments, dental care, eye care, etc much like the current Medicare system.
Insurance companies could continue to offer supplemental health care policies much as they do now and market to the 65+ crowd.
Everyone would be covered.
Everyone would pay medicare tax (higher rate). Health care premiums as we know them today would go away. Employers would be free to operate without a gun to their heads each time their group coverage renews. Individuals could afford to retire early. Individuals could focus on raising children, buying homes, buying cars, and saving for retirement.
Contact your representatives and tell them you want SINGLE PAYER with a medicare tax. The system is already in place!
U.S Senator Al Franken has endorsed the Sanders Single Payer proposal. President Donald Trump
has demonstrated his ability to think outside the traditional political party boundaries and may even consider such a proposal despite what his spokespersons state publicly.
Todd's Tax Service LLC
Health Care Costs are the #1 issue facing most Americans and the Government that serves them.