It is time we join our first world peer nations with a universal healthcare system that covers all Americans, legislation that would benefit our citizens and the economy.
Every year, it is estimated that 32,000-69,000 Americans die due to a lack of access to affordable healthcare. Those Americans, tragically, do not seek medical intervention at the onset of a medical condition due to the financial stress it can cause themselves or their family. If the condition progresses and becomes too much to ignore, it can sometimes be too late. This should not be happening in the wealthiest nation in history. Famed investor Warren Buffett has referred to medical costs in the United States as, “the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness.” Private, for-profit health insurance is leaving an inordinate number of Americans behind while costing individuals, families, and businesses twice as much per capita as all our peer nations. Tens of millions of Americans have no health insurance while tens of millions more are under-insured facing climbing monthly premiums with steep deductibles.
It is time that we expand Medicare to cover all Americans.
In July of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law. Medicare provides healthcare to the members of our population that need it the most and does so extremely well. Consistently, Medicare operates at 3% overhead, while private health insurance runs over 30%. Expanding Medicare to all Americans will greatly increase freedom in healthcare for both doctors and patients. No longer will medical professionals and patients spend hours grappling with insurance companies to cover what what they believe is right for their care. The days of “out of network” care will be behind us. If someone loses their job or starts a business, they and their family’s healthcare coverage will not be at risk. Medicare as a single payer would result in the largest take-home pay increase for Americans in over a generation while bringing peace of mind. There will no longer be a need to re-enroll with private health insurance every year and no anxiety regarding how much your premium will increase, or the stress of a large deductible resetting annually. Medicare will be there for you and your family when it’s needed.
“How do you pay for it?”
Expanding Medicare is something we can’t afford not to do. Our healthcare system today is estimated to cost fifty trillion dollars each decade. That money comes from the pockets of working families and the business community with every monthly premium and each annual deductible. Medicare as a single payer covers every American at an estimated thirty trillion dollars each decade. As is demonstrated around the globe, a single payer risk pool delivers significant savings per capita. Expanding Medicare would bring with it significant savings for the American people. Today, Medicare is funded through a 3% payroll tax split 1.5% between employer and employee. In order to expand coverage to the American people, the Medicare tax would increase to an estimated 8%, split 4% between employer and employee. That contribution to Medicare would pay for any healthcare needs that may arise for all Americans regardless of income or occupation.