Medi­care-for-All Plan De­tailed by San­ders Im­proves Health Care, Cuts Costs

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Charleston, S.C.

at Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts at Amherst who is a lead­ing ex­pert on health care costs. In a na­tion that now spends $3 tril­lion a year on health care – nearly $10,000 per per­son – San­ders’ plan would save con­sumers money by elim­i­nat­ing ex­pen­sive and waste­ful pri­vate health in­sur­ance. The plan would save tax­pay­ers money by dra­mat­i­cally re­duc­ing over­all health care costs and bring­ing down sky­rock­et­ing pre­scrip­tion drug prices, which are far greater in the United States than in any other coun­try. The typ­i­cal fam­ily earn­ing $50,000 a year would save nearly $6,000 an­nu­ally in health care costs, Fried­man cal­cu­lated. The av­er­age work­ing fam­ily now pays $4,955 in pre­mi­ums for pri­vate in­sur­ance and spends an­other $1,318 on de­ductibles for care that isn’t cov­ered. Un­der San­ders’ plan, a fam­ily of four earn­ing $50,000 would pay just $466 per year to the Medi­care-for-all pro­gram. Busi­nesses would save more than $9,400 a year in health care costs un­der San­ders’ plan. The av­er­age an­nual cost to the em­ployer for a worker with a fam­ily who makes $50,000 a year would go from $12,591 to just $3,100. The shift to uni­ver­sal health care would be paid for with a 2.2 per­cent health care pre­mium (cal­cu­lated un­der the rules for fed­eral in­come taxes); a 6.2 per­cent health care pay­roll tax paid by em­ploy­ers; an es­tate tax for the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans and changes in the tax code to make fed­eral in­come tax rates more pro­gres­sive. Un­der the plan, in­di­vid­u­als mak­ing $250,000 to $500,000 a year would be taxed at a rate of 37 per­cent. The top rate, 52 per­cent, would ap­ply to those earn­ing $10 mil­lion or more a year, a cat­e­gory that in 2013 in­cluded only the 13,000 wealth­i­est house­holds in the United States. Ad­di­tional sav­ings would be achieved from re­duc­ing out­lays for tax­payer-sup­ported health care ex­pen­di­tures. San­ders laid out his health care plan and pro­gres­sive tax re­form pro­pos­als in South Carolina where he and for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton and for­mer Mary­land Gov. Martin O’Mal­ley were to take part on Sun­day night in a na­tion­ally tele­vised de­bate in their con­test for the Demo­cratic Party pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

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