A single-payer advocate answers the big question: How do we pay for it?

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    • #33441
      • Total Posts: 10,257


      The worst critique, the one that irritates me the most, is the argument about people losing their health care because people lose their health care all the time. They lose their health care every time they switch jobs. There’s a wonderful list of qualifying life events, which allows you to see when people can change their health care mid-year, and it is every catastrophe that occurs in a human life. It’s in many ways a dark document because it acknowledges these are all the times people are losing their health care: when their spouse dies, when they lose their job. The worst moments in your life — oh, also your health care is gone.

      That happens all the time. Even if you stay in the same job, your employer might switch your health care at the end of the year. In fact, they’re supposed to be shopping around.

      I recognize there is a communications issue in making people understand that. But it is objectively a bad argument to say, because people don’t like losing health care, we should maintain a system in which people lose their health care all the time.

      So let’s squeeze all of those into flat taxes. Instead of charging, like we do with unemployment benefits, 6 percent on the first $7,000 of earnings, you can knock that down to less than 1 percent on all earnings. You can do that with Social Security as well. Knock that down and apply it to all earnings. Medicare would be unchanged.

      That then opens up a lot of space in the low to mid-earners to apply a higher Medicare tax without there being a net tax increase. Because their unemployment tax has gone down substantially. Their Social Security tax has gone down substantially. Then you can do a flat Medicare tax and the net effect is it’s all falling on people making more than $100,000 a year.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #40544
      • Total Posts: 30

      Good read. Thanks for posting this.

      I have seen several town halls now and I am reminded whenever I watch that we are dealing with the “tyranny of concision.”  The other day I stumbled into what I think — in my own humble opinion— would be a great way to answer the “pay for it” question.  First, a brief look of confusion, maybe a gesture indicating “isn’t this obvious?”

      Then:  Look, your asking me “how are we going to pay for this?” is kind of like …if we went into the same coffee shop we go to everyday to get our three dollar cup of dark roast (with room for cream) and NOW the menu says that same cup of coffee is two dollars.  How are we going to pay for that coffee?  I don’t know.. I suggest we give the barista a nice tip from the savings.

      If Trump taught us anything, it might be:  Keep it simple, go for entertainment value.


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