Free healthcare means I can go to any doctor, any time I want, and receive all the care I need, including tests and medication, and I don’t have to hand over a single dollar from my bank account.
A basic assumption is that doctors, medical staff, drug company employees, and medical testing service staff won’t work for free, as they need to eat. Someone therefor has to provide the money to pay for these services.
I mean, everyone has a basic, constitutional right to healthcare.
The obvious choice of funding source is the government. Or Warren Buffett, but let’s be real, okay. For the government to pay for all health care, we would need to raise around $3.8-trillion in taxes, from the entire U.S. population, regardless of how much each individual partakes of health care services. No doubt we could raise this money if we stopped paying our health insurance and other medical out of pocket costs.
Total cost of an insurance plan, on average, is $11,176. This cost is shared by the company and the employee. Depending on the statistics you use, a family of six pays an average premium of $1,091 per month ($13,092/yr). This translates to health insurance premiums of $2,182 per person annually. Other stats put this number at $2,470 per person. Out-of-pocket costs are about equal, making the average insured person’s burden around $5,000/year out of their own pocket. (Sources: Forbes, Annual U.S. Healthcare Spending Hits $3.8 Trillion, Feb 2, 2014. Aon Hewitt Analysis Shows Lowest U.S. Health Care Cost Increases in More Than a Decade, Oct 17, 2013.) So we can shift the insurance costs and out-of-pocket to taxes and raise about $13,500 per worker in taxes.
Great! We’re nearly there.
Since the above numbers include only full-time employees (121 million people), and presumably their families, this leaves only the uninsured and those on Medicare to account for.
Medicare population is 50 million and Medicare is funded through payroll taxes, premiums, and general tax revenue. But we’re going to kill all those programs and pay for everything with one, easy-to-use, government system.
The uninsured population is around 11 to 13%, depending on whose numbers you use, so we’ll call it around 40 million.
So we would need every employed person to support the entire population, including 90 million seniors and uninsured persons. We going to give our workforce a benefit of no more insurance payroll deductions, out-of-pocket costs, and Medicare deductions.
Uh, too much math?
Okay, let’s do this instead…
Total US Population
|Total Cost (per person) for Health Care||Total Employed||Total Cost per Employed Person||
Additional Cost per Employed Person
*3.8-trillion divided by 318,000,000.
**3.8-trillion divided by 121,000,000.
So to achieve our objective, we would need to tax each working person in the country an additional $19,455 per year. This does not account for their current payroll deduction of 2.9% for Medicare, so to be fair, we can cut that number by a couple of grand. Call it an additional tax payment of $17,000 per year. Everyone can afford that! Not a problem!