Let's run some numbers and think about this a minute.
I'm going to do this with an example so you have the ability to do the math on your own. Let's say you make $50,000 annually. You pay $300 monthly for family coverage, another $100 monthly for dental with $2000 annual dental costs between deductibles and co-payments for the family, you have a $3000 max family high deductible plan, and your employer pays 80% of your health care premium. (Note these aren't my personal numbers. Only for illustration, but pretty close to the quotes I've gotten from insurance companies this year).
Right now (yes, conservatives, you too...), go add up your health care expenses for the year, and include in that your dental and medical premiums (out of your paycheck), your co-payments, your deductibles and make sure you include the maximum out of pocket you may have to pay in any given year. ASSUME (cause eventually you will hit those maximums) this year you get hit by a car, or you get diagnosed with cancer, or your child steps on a pin and needs surgery to remove it (actually happened to me last year), etc and you HAVE to pay the full deductibles and co-payments. (If you don't have insurance, go to any health insurance website and try to get a quote, so you can see what your medical expenses would be if you could afford them or were eligible for them OR go add up all your bills for the year whether or not you paid them).
- Next step is a little trickier... If you know what your employer spends on health care (80% is pretty common, so use that figure if you don't know), figure out how much your employer spends on your health care each year. Simple formula would be employer cost=your premium/your percentage of premium-your premium. So if your health and dental premium is $400 and your employer pays 80% of your premium, the formula is x=400/20%-400=$1600.
- Multiply your premium times 12 and your employer's premium times 12 (in the example about that would be $4800 and $19,200.)
- Now divide your total health care costs by your annual salary. Total health care costs/annual salary 9800/50000*100=19.6%
- This is the percentage of your pay that goes to health care annually...19.6% in this example.
The health care plan on the table includes a 2.3% increase for people making over $200000 single/$250000 couples and that PAYS for the entire plan and leaves some money on the table to shore up Medicare.
With a Medicare tax increase of say 7.6% across the board to individuals and businesses as FICA is currently charged, the government could easily afford to expand Medicare to all Americans(take your FICA on your paycheck and double it for this example $3800 increase in FICA annually).
The person in this example would get an instant $6000 raise annually. The company would have another $15,400 in the bank to either reinvest in the company, increase employee pay, business owners/shareholders could even take it as profit (not advisable... ;). Most likely, some combination of all of the above!
Now multiply that by 10 employees, how about 100 employees, how about 1000 employees, how about 200 million? $3,080,000,000,000
That's over $3 trillion back into the hands of American individuals, businesses and shareholders IN JUST THE FIRST YEAR!
Talk about stimulating the economy!
Business owners (of all sizes and types) would benefit the most, they'd be able to invest in new employees and expand their businesses almost instantaneously. Individuals would have new job opportunities (eliminate job locking because you can't leave or you'd lose your health care), entrepreneurial ability (again, not stuck in your job, so you can start that dream business), more money in their pockets immediately (note, more taxable dollars as well, so the government could lower tax rates with the influx of new income) AND they would no longer have to worry about all those medical bills driving them into bankruptcy even when they DO have coverage.
It seems to me that the blow back over universal health care is purely and totally one of a lack of the ability in this country for individuals to do the math.
This is the ONLY fiscally conservative answer to the problem of health care in this country.
I URGE each and every one of you (regardless of political views) to sit down and do your own math.
Granted the plan on the table doesn't do any of this... That said, it's a start in the right direction and at this point, we need to take what we can get!
One other point I'd like to make on health care. This has to do with the polling. Polling seems to be in the low to mid 40's in support of this bill. What that doesn't say is WHY people don't support the bill. Considering about 60% of the US public wanted universal healthcare (and thought that's what they were sending Dems to Congress and the White House to do) about a year ago. I think it's safe to assume that at least half those "opposed" to the legislation are "opposed" because they don't think it goes far enough.
Polls can be misleading is all I'm saying...