Medicare For All, Totally Affordable

Socialized, single payer, government assured, medicare for everyone would spare a lot of needless suffering and death while saving all of us a shit-ton of money and, most importantly, time. It’s a win-win for those of us corporeal humans. Naysayer mouthpieces and witless parrots for corporate entities are wrong.

Some crude numbers and simple math. There are several estimates floating around for how much M4A would cost. They’re all big, scary numbers impossible for any one mere mortal mind to wrap itself around. The biggest estimate is for $34 trillion dollars over 10 years. $34,000,000,000,000 DOLLARS!!! FUCKING TERRIFYINGLY HUGE!!! So let’s kick off with that number, shall we. Americans are already spending over $3.4 trillion a year on healthcare so even with that mind-numbing starting figure, we’re already saving money!

Moving on, there are approximately 330 million people in the USA. Of that, about 200 million are in the work force. The average salary of those workers is around $50 thousand per year. So taken together and in order to make that $3.4 trillion figure, each of those workers would need to invest 34% of their gross annual income.

34 percent. As with the 2.9% medicare withholding we pay now, this percentage would be split between 17% employer and 17% employee. Still a huge chunk of one’s paycheck, no doubt, but compare this to the health insurance premium you pay now and understand that it would also cover all your additional out-of-pocket costs left to you by the overpaid grim reaper at your death panel … er, for-profit insurance company: co-pays, deductibles and prescriptions. People would save time no longer having to sift through a pile of medical bills. And those bills would no longer be factors potentially affecting your credit score. Not to mention, you’d no longer have to navigate the in-or-out of network insurance coverage or wait for these various craven ghouls to negotiate contracts and treatments with your actual healthcare provider; you know, the nice doctor you like who’s familiar with your health and history.

As a government program, M4A costs could be further dispersed across the national budget in a variety of ways and implemented in a progressive manner to shift the financial burden it would be at lower income levels to higher-income earners. Additionally, the government would have significant buying power to negotiate prices with private companies and repatriate many drug and medical patents, the research for which has been funded by our tax dollars, to the public domain and lower costs for us.

Medicare For Most

A government program would probably be the most cost effective implementation of M4A. However, government moves painfully slow when it moves for us at all. And only 70% of the country wants single-payer healthcare.

As a privately implemented enterprise (like most privately owned things), M4A would be much more expensive for the American consumer. Foremost, the full 34% cost per person would probably have to be shouldered entirely by each individual consumer. This unless employers chose to opt in to cover a percentage of their employee costs ( which of course ties the employee to the employer to keep the benefit) or some other cost-mitigating scheme is sustainably implemented for the program to remain solvent as well as affordable.

However, benefits include being able to act more swiftly without being beholden to the shifting whims of a mob of people who don’t want socialized medicine nor to share affordable healthcare with their neighbors for whatever reason. Ideally, such a program would be organized as kind of profit-sharing entity whereby everybody paying in would be the shareholders and rather than receiving dividends paid out they would receive benefits of lowered healthcare costs and more choice. Money could be pooled and allocated not only for healthcare but also for research and technology, cutting out as many middlemen as possible and expanding options internationally. Unfortunately, an army of auditors, attorneys and lobbyists would also have to be hired to protect shareholder interests because rampant fraud, litigious fetishism and legalized bribery is just how we happen to roll in this great and proud nation of rugged individualism.

Reaping What We Sow

So, totally doable. Let’s say it works. And let’s say the 70% who support a medicare for all solution opt in. The other 30% (including nearly 50% of Republicans) are left to the mercy of their for-profit health insurance companies they apparently love inevitably leading to higher rates of bankruptcy and early death — as is their choice and right. Why choose between liberty or death when you can have both!? Fuck ’em!!! With their delusional obstructionism out of the way (either to loss of status or loss of life) it will be much easier then to get a single payer health insurance insurance program passed and implemented at the public, national level.

Not only could we catch up with the rest of the developed world but we could be number one in healthcare with everyone enjoying happier, healthier and longer lives with the people we love. That’s American exceptionalism I can support!

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Escaped Hippie Gamete, Art Geek, Sci-Fantasy Nerd, Political Junkie and Code Monkey.

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