Monday, July 24, 2017

It costs how much?

With the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in so much trouble (but don’t consider it dead) in the Senate there is growing discussion of universal or single-payer healthcare, perhaps best described as Medicare for all. The GOP is ready with its talking-points. A big one – Over a 10 year period universal healthcare would cost $32 trillion. Yes, a gigantic amount of money.

But what the GOP doesn’t say is that this is a savings of $17 trillion over that same 10 years compared to what we have now. It also means everyone is covered, not like what we have now and certainly not what the GOP bills propose.

David Akadjian of DailyKos runs through the numbers and adds that there are certain industries with very powerful lobbies trying to make sure that $17 trillion goes to them.

The idea is being attacked from another side – universal care would greatly increase the federal budget. Of course it will, because we would be paying for insurance through (hopefully progressive) taxes rather than directly out of our own pockets. And we’d still save $17 trillion.

Egberto Willies, also of DailyKos, thinks universal care might happen soon. And that it would be championed by the nasty guy, which, as the savior of healthcare, would guarantee him a second term. Willies’ reasoning: Many, including many in the GOP, are concluding that market-based insurance is untenable. If the GOP version fails the nasty guy will weigh his options and this idea would scoop the Democrats. Therefore the Dems should start trumpeting the idea, to make sure they get some credit.

Will the nasty guy go for it? I don’t know. However, I look at the lobbyists trying to make sure $17 trillion benefits their corporations and I have my doubts.

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