Tuesday, June 9, 2009

BadTux Lets Loose With the Facts on Medicare-Style Treatment For All

One of the best blogs on the internets is BadTux the Snarky (Economics) Penguin. Today he gives us all the data we need to judge whether or not to switch to the government-run, Medicare-style health insurance for all. And as you can imagine, he takes Harry and Louise to the terminal cleaners.

Government currently provides pays for 55% of the healthcare in the United States, between Medicare, Medicaid, VA, Tricare, state and county hospital districts, etc (statistic courtesy of the OECD). Health care currently consumes 16% of the U.S. GDP (statistic courtesy of the OECD). So *worst case* is that an 8% increase in the Medicare payroll tax (4% paid by employer, 4% by employee) would pay for Medicare for *all* Americans. But wait, there's the fact that Medicare has 3% administrative overhead and private health insurance has a 33% administrative overhead. What that means is that it'd actually be 30% less -- i.e., 3% paid by employer, 3% by employee. And that, in addition to the taxes *currently* being paid to fund health care, would suffice to provide Medicare for all Americans, not just wrinkly old prune-Americans. That's how the numbers work.
Read the details here. Now, is this enough of a terrifically compelling argument to make you start organizing for real change? Suzan P.S. Do not read Michael Hart today! (Unless you haven't gotten your fill of Rethuglican hypocrites yet (Beware - not office- or childproof).) _________________

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