If the Feds don’t do it, Wisconsin must!
By Jack E. Lohman
Actually, we can get a “two-fer” by voting in a single-payer Medicare-for-all system. It is both the best health care proposal of them all, and a jobs bill wrapped into one.
So good, in fact, that the US Senate refused to even allow it on the table because the insurance industry objected to the tune of $46 million in campaign bribes. It would eliminate the cash they are now putting into the bank for profits and bonuses.
It’s both funny and sad that you can tell how good a bill is by the amount of political cash needed to block it. But our congress doesn’t come cheap.
Bottom line: For the same amount of dollars we are spending today (17% of GDP) we could provide first-class Cheney-care to 100% of our population. Including those on Medicaid, SCHIP, worker’s comp, and those who are unemployed, uninsured and under-insured.
We’d eliminate the 31% of insurance bureaucracy waste (reduce hospital and clinic billing clerks, eliminate exorbitant CEO salaries and bonuses, actuarial and denial costs, gatekeepers, broker commissions, rising shareholder profits, and even the political contributions that allow the politicians to share in the system).
We’d spend that money on healthcare instead.
Actually, we’d save $400 billion if we did nothing else, but that savings has already been earmarked for expanding the system to include limited vision and dental. Yet it still allows people to buy additional Gap coverage on the outside for things Medicare doesn’t cover, like cosmetic surgery.
We’d pay for the system the same way other countries do, through our national infrastructure… about 2% on individual taxes and 8% on company wages (as opposed to the 15% they pay today for insurance premiums). But other forms can be established, like a value added tax (VAT) on imported product. (How’s that for returning American jobs?)
… it *IS* a jobs bill!
Employers now spend an average 15% of wages on health care benefits, which they pass on to the consumer at the cash register.
But this new Medicare-for-all system benefits only US manufacturers, and makes them more competitive with product from countries already with universal health care. The Big Three already make more cars in Ontario than the US because their health costs are $800 per employee there versus $6500 here.
The 15% of wages saved can instead be spent on adding new technologies and new jobs. Businesses could spend the savings on keeping jobs in the US instead of outsourcing to other countries. That’s a bailout for 100% of our businesses, not just the banks and car manufacturers.
Call it socialized medicine if you will, but it’s not. Medicare is the strongest public-private system ever and uses the same private doctors and hospitals we’ve always used. It’s just a more efficient way of paying them, and it is already in place and we need only merge in the younger and less expensive population.
The problem, of course, is that the expenses and waste that could be and should be cut, are somebody else’s profits. And the politicians don’t like that a bit because they get a piece of them.
Though if Wisconsin must go it alone, with something like Healthy Wisconsin, we’d attract companies and jobs to the state. With $1.5 million per year our politicians get from the insurance industry, however, let’s hope our Pols disregard the dollars for the citizenry.