How Will Medicare For All Be Funded?
The first issue is that the question of “funding” is being put in the wrong context. When we talk about “funding” what we are really talking about is shifting costs onto the backs of working people. The question is not how to fund healthcare, but how healthcare is paid for in the first place.
In the U.S., as a point of comparison, the government is already paying for healthcare. In fact, it is paying for the lion's share of healthcare expenditures through Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs. The question is how much we pay for healthcare in the private market and how much we pay in the public market. And, even more to the point, we are asking how much working people pay for healthcare in the private market and how much they pay in the public market.
When you ask the question that way, it becomes clear that “single payer” is the only way to move forward.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that the federal government will spend about $553 billion on healthcare in the current fiscal year (during which Trump's tax cut legislation will take effect).
But that's not the whole picture. After all, the federal government is already paying for healthcare. When you add the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program to the $553 billion in federal expenditures, the total comes to $1.1 trillion.
The question is not how to fund an expansion of healthcare. The question is how much do we pay for healthcare.
Currently, we pay for healthcare in the private sector, and the private sector is spending a lot of money.
In 2015, private spending on healthcare was $1.1 trillion.
Whereas the federal government is already spending a tremendous amount of money on healthcare, and the bulk of that spending is in the public sector, the private sector is already spending a great deal of money.
To put that another way, the federal government is already spending the lion's share of healthcare funding, and it's already spending that money in the public sector.
We can add the $1.1 trillion in private spending on healthcare to the $553 billion we spend on healthcare through the federal government.
That gives us a total of $1.66 trillion in healthcare spending.
That's a lot of money.
But a lot of money is not the same as affordable healthcare.
When you look at the numbers, it's clear that the U.S. doesn't have a healthcare problem. We have a healthcare affordability problem.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, federal, state, and local governments spent $1.66 trillion on healthcare in 2015.
That's more than twice the amount spent on food. It's more than three times the amount spent on housing.
The average American spends more on healthcare than on clothing, transportation, or entertainment.
If we are going to talk about “affordability” in the healthcare discussion, we have to begin by comparing healthcare expenditures to other expenditures.
When we do that, it becomes clear that the U.S. is spending way more than we need to for healthcare.
Healthcare is “affordable” in the U.S. because it is being paid for by working people.
In fact, the U.S. spends nearly twice as much as other advanced countries on healthcare.
We should be spending roughly half as much as we are now.
It's not that we need to spend less on healthcare. The problem is that we don't have anything like universal healthcare. If we did have universal healthcare, we would be spending less than half as much as we are now.
The issue is not “where will the money come from?
” The issue is “how do we pay for healthcare?
We could pay for healthcare by making people pay for their own healthcare.
We could make people pay for their own healthcare much as they have to pay for their own housing, their own food, and their own clothing.
We could pay for healthcare by taxing people.
We could tax people to pay for healthcare, just as we tax them to pay for food, housing, and clothing.
But we don't want to do that.
Instead, we would rather have the government pay for healthcare. We want to have government pay for healthcare and then make working people pay for their own healthcare.
That's what the ACA is all about.
We want to have government pay for healthcare and then make working people pay for their own healthcare.
The ACA is like a bill from a big box store.
It's like a bill from a big box store.
The ACA is like a bill from a big box store. We all have to pay for it, and it's not much fun.
The only problem is that it's not a bill for our own purchases. It's a bill for someone else's purchases.
We all have to pay for it, and it's not much fun.
We should be paying for our own healthcare. Then we would only have to pay a little bit of money for our own healthcare.
If we pay for healthcare in the public market, we can pay for healthcare in a way that is similar to the way we pay for other things.