Won’t paying for Bernie’s healthcare make us pay higher taxes like in Europe?
Not likely. Here’s what Hillary doesn’t want to tell you.
Free or very low-cost universal health care is available to citizens of all the countries marked in green, below, as well as China, North Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, left off for some reason:
You’ll see the U.S. stands alone. Somehow our nation, alone among industrialized nations and some not so industrialized, has yet to figure out how to find a why to provide affordable healthcare for all of its citizens.
One of the arguments posited is that the U.S. is too big for some poncy European system to work, but of course China and Russia are bigger. Another is that quality of care suffers, but people in Japan have some of the longest life spans in the world, and things are pretty good across Europe.
But the argument that seems to stick best in America is that such “utopian” healthcare schemes are simply too expensive, that taxes over there are so much higher than in America.
So keeping in mind that most of the places that offer free or very low-cost universal health care also offer free or very low-cost college (how’s it feel that a degree at Podunk State U costs more than Oxford University — about $12,000 a year for UK and EU students?),
And, most of those other countries have dollar-adjusted higher minimum wages. And they save extraordinary amounts of money that in the U.S. end up being spent on social welfare and public health for people who are unhealthy because they can’t afford to see a doctor.
But let’s look at some tax figures:
Oops. The average U.S. income tax rate is actually higher than some of those places.
And of course in the U.S., in addition to federal income tax, we also pay state and sometimes city tax. And Social Security/Medicare tax of 7.65% And property tax, sales tax and taxes/surcharges on cell phones, airports, hotels, restaurant meals and on and on. And of course other countries also have other taxes; the point is Americans are already paying a lot of taxes and getting damn little in return.
And on top of that, we also pay (those who can afford it…) for health insurance. For 2012, the annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage averaged $15,745, up 4% from 2010, with workers on average paying $4,316 toward the cost of their coverage. And of course those premiums paid do not include deductibles and co-pays.
And prescription medicine costs. Americans pay more for drugs than anyone in the world. Drug prices in the United States are often up to 10 times more expensive than in almost all other developed countries.
And that is how Bernie Sanders comes to the conclusion that even if taxes rise, the single-payer health care system he proposes would save an average American family of four almost $6,000 per year.
Think about it. Doctor’s orders!
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