WG/Strategies/Ideas/Health Care

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Back to main [Issues] page.

1. Proposal

Define basic health care as a right.


1. Because it is a basic NEED to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. - Article 25 Section 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

If the Bottom 99% is to again see increases in real wages then healthcare costs must be contained and separated from compensation, and the only provable method by which this can be achieved is through universal, single-payer health care.

  • In 2009, 5.7% of GDP was paid towards private insurance premiums (approximately $800B, though $130B was recovered as employer deductions for a net of $670B) and 2.1% of GDP was paid from out-of-pocket expenses (approximately $300B): a net $1T was spent from the American employee’s wages and compensation for healthcare last year.
  • 8.2% of GDP was paid by the government for Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran’s, Worker’s Compensation, and associated healthcare, as well as the noted $130B in employer deductions. This is approximately $1.3T, and is paid for by extant taxation.
  • Total yearly expenditures within the United States on healthcare accounted for 16.6% of GDP, or $2.3T.
  • No other universal healthcare system in the world pays more than 11.4% of its GDP in healthcare, yet most outperform the United States’ medical system. In America, that 11.4% of GDP conservatively implies a total cost for universal, American healthcare of $1.6T.
  • Government is already expending $1.3T a year on healthcare; only an additional $300B in taxation would be required in order for the American government to fully fund a universal healthcare system.
  • Taking $300B away from the $1T paid towards healthcare by or for employees leaves a net $700B belonging to employee compensation and wages which would otherwise be spent: this money, now not needed to pay for healthcare, converts into wages.
  • Universal healthcare would therefore increase the average employee’s wages by $3500 as well as provide total access to healthcare and uncouple employee compensation from healthcare, as well as create a more moral and dramatically less expensive healthcare system.

It is acknowledged that this will require a complete restructuring of the American healthcare system, subsidization of medical education, and modified taxation. In return, the costs and burdens of Medicare, Medicaid, and spiraling healthcare costs are completely obviated and absorbed, solving several long-term budgetary threats.

Based on: Health Care at wikispaces

Opinion from TF's friend CHECK ON THIS: Medicare is indeed a financial black hole, but it's the same black hole, and the Medicare part of health care is slightly more efficient than the rest of the system since it mostly avoids running money through insurance companies. The adjustments are not minor, but they're also no big secret that Fr*nce and C*n*da provide healthcare as good or better than ours at much lower cost and can provide useful examples. TF: does anyone have per-capital healthcare expense data?