By Haley King, Guest Writer
Now, when I say Medicare For All, what is it you think? Are you somebody who believes that it is simply a means to protect the “lazy,” maybe lead us to an economic downfall if it were to be implemented? Or, are you somebody who preserves the belief that it could be the very thing to fix key aspects of the country’s already-broken healthcare structure? Maybe you’re neither, maybe you’re somebody who believes in a strong amelioration of the Affordable Care Act.
But, what is the truth? Which of these perceptions is the most accurate?
The truth is, Medicare For All is one of the most, if not the most, misconstrued political issues of our time. And it’s also one of the more complicated ones, as its supporters can take a variety of different forms. We have the capitalist-abiding Social Democrats, anti-capitalist Socialists, or the Marx-loving Communists. Supporters of Medicare for All will automatically be labeled as one of these last two.
Medicare For All is accused by opponents by being too far-left. As I previously mentioned, it is automatically associated with Socialism or Communism. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. As a matter of fact, look at countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Nordic states. All of these countries have a form of universal healthcare, and none of them are remotely Socialist. These are highly taxed market economies with large welfare states, as opposed to a planned, controlled, or command economy. These governments do not control the means of production or the distribution of wealth.
Now, here’s a list of misconceptions/questions that often follow Medicare For All, even after you make that distinction. I will also list my responses to each fallacy.
• That it is politically idealistic, illogical, and largely unattainable.
False. The most fundamental goals of Medicare for All are to provide every individual in the United States free healthcare and to establish effective cost controls throughout the healthcare system. These two purposes are both achievable. A study conducted by PERI researchers at the University of Massachusetts supports this. As maintained by these researchers, the U.S. was spending about $3.24 trillion on personal health care. Meanwhile, 9 percent of U.S. residents (about 30 million Americans) have no insurance and 26 percent (85.8 million Americans) are under-insured. Compared to the United States, other high income countries (such as the ones I mentioned before) spend 40 percent less per person and produce better health outcomes. Medicare For All could reduce total health care spending in the U.S. while creating stable access to good care for all U.S. residents.
• That it is unpopular to the general populace.
Again, this is false. 70 percent of Americans support Medicare For All, otherwise known as single-payer health care, according to a 2018 Reuters survey. That includes 85 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans. BUT, it is worth mentioning that polls on Medicare For All have shown that public support varies depending on what the proposal is called and the arguments for or against it. The phraseology of the proposal is essential. Despite this, Medicare For All remains popular to Americans.
• Won’t it raise taxes?
Yes, but the tax increase would replace premiums, co-pays, and deductibles present in our current healthcare system. Yale epidemiologists managed a study regarding this question and found that Medicare For All would save around 68,000 lives a year while reducing U.S. health care spending by around $450 billion a year. That is a 13 percent depletion in spending. Even with the tax increase, 95 percent of Americans will pay less than they do now.
•How are we going to pay for it?
The most popular question is actually the most complex one to answer. Not because there aren’t any good answers but because there are too many answers to the question, all of which are great ways to fund Medicare For All.
Here are some, as listed by David Pakman in his video How Will Liberals Pay For Their Free Stuff?
1.) 7.5 percent employer taxpayer tax but EXEMPT FIRST $2 million in payroll for small businesses. This would save the US about $400 billion and save businesses $9k a year.
2.) 4 percent taxpayer tax on income, exempting the first $29,000 a year. This would raise $350 billion per year AND save families $4,400/year avg, since families are already paying for premiums and copays.
3.) A carbon tax of $73/ton, this would save $300 billion dollars a year
4.) Or a wealth tax, 2 percent above $500 million, 3 percent for those above $1 billion. This would save $275 billion a year.
The information I have just given you has been elucidated clearly by expert economists and researchers. So, what is the purpose for the propaganda against Medicare For All? Why are we still being abused and manipulated by a system that is dubious at best?
America can do better, just as Americans deserve better.