Why, given all the non necessities people routinely spend money on, should health and insurance be free?
Of course, the unrealistic dream expressed above by this group is, well, absurd. I wonder if anyone does the math on what all this free would cost US taxpayers?
Let’s do some back of the envelope simple math. The US currently spends about $3 trillion a year on health care. The latest data show the taxable income of US households to be $9 trillion (a bit higher now as this is 2014 IRS data).
Thus we spend about 30% of household income on healthcare which means if we want free healthcare we must pay 30% of our income to obtain it. Actually, we will need to pay more because once it’s free of deductibles, co-pays and premiums, usage and costs will go up . . . a lot.
Yes, there will be an offset to the extent Americans now pay premiums for health insurance, but for the great majority that is not 30% of income. Employers currently spend 8.2% of payroll on health benefits. That’s roughly 70% of the total cost on average; employees pay the rest in premiums. Then there is the government portion and the taxes we pay such as Medicare and other programs. And finally there are out-of-pocket costs some Americans pay (those actually incurring health care services).
No matter how you slice it, free health care is not free, it will cost as much or more than we currently spend AND to manage costs going forward will require various controls, limitations and forms of rationing not currently present in US healthcare.