The Cost of Free Health Care

Discussion in 'Budget & Taxes' started by Seth Bullock, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Getting a refund on your federal taxes does not mean that you also get a refund on your Payroll taxes. They are two different things. Payroll taxes cover Medicare contributions.
     
  2. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Nope!

    The working poor will pay exactly the same percentage of their income as everyone else.

    Someone who is poor and healthy won't get any benefit out of Medicare. Someone who is middle class and sick will get the benefit of Medicare.

    In essence everyone who is healthy "gets screwed" to pay for those who are sick. That is what the term insurance means. Since no one can predict who will get sick everyone pays Medicare insurance and only those who need it are the beneficiaries.

    Which would you rather be?

    Healthy?

    Sick and receiving Medicare?

    Sick no healthcare whatsoever?

    Think about it.
     
  3. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    The obvious answer to the first part is that all would prefer to be Healthy. Relating to that which followed, I would prefer to be left free to make my own choice of purchasing insurance or paying the costs as the need arises.
     
  4. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    Have we become a Collective?
     
  5. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    The concept of general welfare is part of the social contract that We the People agreed upon in order to form a more perfect union.

    If we want the benefits of living in this society everyone has share the burden for those benefits. There is no "free lunch".

    We the People have an obligation to each other and yes, that includes our general welfare. We swear a pledge of allegiance to the Constitution which specifically includes the general welfare of our fellow citizens.

    So as Americans we need to step up to do our duty towards our fellow Americans. None us get to "opt out" of our duty as citizens.
     
  6. Reinvention

    Reinvention New Member

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    Healthcare is certainly important to every person. That said, so is food. I would argue that food is even more important!

    Did you know that the average food cost of a restaurant is only 30% of the price of the item or that the net profit average about 10%. These mark-ups are much higher than that of health insurance companies and food is much more of a basic right then even healthcare.

    Some people can't afford food so I propose that a small payroll deduction from everyone's pay-check ensures that getting food is free at the point of use. This way the profits of these evil restaurants and grocery stores will be regulated and no one will go hungry.

    Horrible idea? Yes it is. Anyone can see that if food was free at every restaurant and grocery store no one would pay any mind to the cost of goods that they are consuming. Not a single person would check the price per pound of an item or compare values of products. Who wouldn’t go for another round of drinks, order an appetizer or finish with dessert? Why buy basic staples like flour, milk and eggs to make things at home, everything is free anyway. Why concern yourself with running out of anything, just pack your fridge and cabinets with everything you want. Who cares if it goes bad, there is no incentive to reduce waste. Just think what you would throw in your cart or order at restaurants if money was no object.

    And yet there’s the free healthcare idea............................
     
  7. Greenbeard

    Greenbeard Active Member

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    That's the problem with the assumption that single-payer here could replicate nearly instantaneously what other countries have achieved over a period of decades. You can't just eliminate overnight a big chunk of the revenue flowing into health care providers. Health care is a labor-heavy industry, and it's often the largest employer in an area (hospital/health systems are big employers). You can't just reset their cost structures tomorrow by slashing their reimbursements. It has to be an evolutionary process, going from where we are today.
     
  8. Mircea

    Mircea Well-Known Member

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    No, they're quite reasonable.

    One thing that you have to bear in mind is that 81,369,745 is the number of American wage earners earning less than $30,000 annually, representing 51.44% of all American wage earners.

    A 12% payroll tax is a huge chunk of money for the majority of Americans.
     
  9. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You're darn right, it's a huge chunk! And that's only the individual part. The other 12% is paid by employers. And can you imagine if, out of compassion, we exempted those 81,369,745 wage earners (or taxed them at a much lower rate)? Then, those of us who do pay would be paying even more. A lot more!
     
  10. Mircea

    Mircea Well-Known Member

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    $123,463,543,695 is the estimated amount based on 12% for those 81.3 Million.

    $123.5 Billion isn't that much.
     
  11. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    :roflol: Did you really say that? :roflol:

    Reminds me of whoever that politician was who said: "A hundred billion here and a hundred billion there, and, after a while, we're talking about some real money!"

    Humor aside, I understand what you're saying, Mircea. You're saying that the underclass would be hurt by such high taxes on their income, and I agree. And you're suggesting that the middle and upper classes could pick up the slack for them.

    But however we sliced it up, I think I made a pretty fair point (even if my figures aren't perfect) that "Medicare for all" would be hugely expensive. I wanted to show that "free health care" isn't "free". It isn't free in other countries, and it wouldn't be free in our country. Not only for individuals, but business too. How could business deal with this?

    Thanks for the feedback, Mircea.
     
  12. Vegas giants

    Vegas giants Banned

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    There is nothing more costly than dying and lack of health insurance kills thousands.
     
  13. Mircea

    Mircea Well-Known Member

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    One weakness is that you failed to include the uninsured. In spite of Obamacare, there are still some 30 Million Americans without insurance. The demand they would create would increase the total cost of health care.

    These are the driving factors in the cost of health care:

    1] Technology up to 65%
    2] Consumer Demand up to 36%
    3] Expanding Health Benefits or Insuring more people up to 13%
    4] Healthcare Price Inflation up to 19% (caused by Consumer Demand and insuring more people)
    5] Administrative Costs up to 13% (caused by Technology, Consumer Demand and Regulations)
    6] Aging/Elderly up to 7%

    Source: United States Government General Accounting Office GAO-13-281 PPACA and the Long-Term Fiscal Outlook, January 2013 pp 31-36
     
  14. Phoebe Bump

    Phoebe Bump New Member

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    I don't think anybody really believes there is such a thing as "free" health care but how close it gets to "free" depends on our priorities, and who pays for it also depends on our priorities. For example, I don't like the idea of business paying for any of it except for the taxes on the income the owners take. My priority would be to see that everybody is covered and that the entire bill is paid for out of payroll taxes. Then I'd double the number of medical schools and put some real downward pressure on fees, especially in the specialties. Jaysus, I know opthalmologists who only do retinas two days/week. There are pharmaceutical companies paying generic manufactures $billions to NOT manufacture drugs when patents expire. Those $billions are then added to the price of pharmaceutical you take. There are docs referring patients to imaging centers THEY OWN and other docs referring patients to surgi-centers THEY OWN. Hospitals are charging patients for unused beds because of excess capacity. At one point in my town, EMTs could treat on the scene but they couldn't transport because the ambulance companies wanted those fees (god, at least that has been cleaned up). Shee-yat, there are tons of things that could be changed overnight to bring costs way down. All this goes to show what kind of a market system you get when you let the private sector in.
     
  15. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    Actually this goes to show what kind of market system you get when government becomes the source of payment.

    Many years ago, my Grandfather after being hospitalized for the first time in his life and covered by Medicare saw the bill which was being paid by Medicare. It included daily charges for Oxygen which he did not require or receive, so he complained to Medicare that they were being overcharged and was told not to worry Medicare was paying the bill. Essentially, he was told that Medicare did not care so don't make trouble.

    When something is provided for free to the consumer, why should the consumer care what it costs, government agencies don't.
     
  16. Phoebe Bump

    Phoebe Bump New Member

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    Either way, when you try to mix the private and public sectors, I'm convinced you end up with a 1+1=5 situation every time. And you can't just let the private sector pick the profitable cherries (as they have with the postal and rail systems) or the unprofitable cherries fall on the taxpayers and people wonder why we keep getting more billionaires AND more taxes.
     
  17. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    with food, at least you can cook your own - but as for health issues, you cannot work your own miracles - when sick you need to go to a doctor and that is what ACA provides which Republican care did not and this resulted in the needless death of 45,000 Americans every year
     
  18. Deckel

    Deckel Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    We should give volunteer tax credits to medical professionals who volunteer at local clinics and such and increase the availability of those. We should give those to lawyers who donate services to legal aid organizations as well.
     
  19. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't cost anything to die; preventing death is where the cost occurs.
     
  20. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunatly that same issue applies to healthcare provided by insurance companies and corporations . The only people who really pay attention to healthcare cost is those who pay out of pocket.
     
  21. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    Insurance companies are more likely to take some action against those who abuse the system.
     
  22. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    There is no evidence I Am aware of to support that position.
     
  23. Vegas giants

    Vegas giants Banned

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    If the government pays for anything with our taxes the highest priority should be preventing our deaths
     
  24. Ndividual

    Ndividual Well-Known Member

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    You jest, of course.
     
  25. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    No actually I don't. Please provide any evidence that private insurance has a better record on preventing fraud than say Medicare. Should be simple if your position is correct. Or perhaps you can provide evidence that fraud in the US is lower than in Canada or England or France or any other country with single payer health insurance.

    Will await your data with great enthusiasm.
     

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