General Question

josie's avatar

How much would Universal Health Care cost as a tax on your paycheck?

Asked by josie (30616points) April 23rd, 2019

The current tax rate for Social Security is 6.2% for the employer and 6.2% for the employee, or 12.4% total. The current rate for Medicare is 1.45% for the employer and 1.45% for the employee, or 2.9%.

That is 9.1% out of somebody’s pocket to pay for benefits to people over 65.

What is the projected percentage if there is Medicare for everybody of any age?

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28 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Hard to say – we don’t have anywhere near enough detail.

MY assumption is that I would no longer be paying my health insurance premium which comes out of my paycheck. I pay 35% and my employer pays the rest.

So that’s a pretty good chunk of change.

But we have no concrete ideas about how this would work, so it’s impossible to guess what the real costs will be.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

We are taxed enough already. If we are taxed to cover current cost of healthcare it would be alot. It would be sticker shock for most. Just looking at what my employer pays probably throw on another 15% that’s just a WAG though. I just want healthcare affordable, I don’t want another bloated social program. There is no reason for prices to be this high. They’re not in other countries, we have just been letting the healthcare industry get away with charging as much as they can. Gov’t run universal healthcare probably will not remedy that. It would just be extortion by said industry using gov’t muscle.

gondwanalon's avatar

Too much. And the quality of care will greatly diminish.

The USA is already $22 trillion in debt. Adding “free” healthcare for all would increase government spending to $25 to $35 trillion over the first 10 years.

If you are interested in crushing our capitalistic system then “free” Medicare for all is a fast way to do it.

janbb's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Have you figured out how much your contribution to employer provided health care costs you? That is the number that has to be considered against a possible tax for Medicare for All.

By the way, Medicare isn’t free for people over 65. Your contribution is means tested on a sliding scale.

I don’t have the answers but there are facts that need to be considered.

gorillapaws's avatar

My understanding is that the proposal is a progressive tax, so it depends on how much you make. Most people will be paying less than they do now for private insurance and deductibles, and they won’t have to worry about getting fucked over by insurance companies who have every incentive to deny you care.

I work for a vein center; I can state categorically that insurance companies are miserable to deal with. Our providers have to take time out of their day to have peer-to-peer consultations with insurance company physicians to get approval for procedures. They’ve have us talk with pediatricians to discuss complex vascular issues in the venous system that they have no training in. In some states, insurance companies are capping how many veins can be treated for venous reflux disease to 2 per lifetime. Only certain veins are covered. We never have these issues with Medicare patients. They will cover newer and better procedures that private insurance denies.

Private health insurance is a disaster. No other major country does it this way. We’re paying twice as much per capita and getting worse outcomes because we have middle-men that siphon out revenue from our system into their pockets, they create administrative overhead, and intentionally build-in hurdles to jump through and inefficiencies that slows down the process.

By decoupling healthcare from employment, it makes our businesses more competitive, allows for more startups and innovation, greatly reduces bankruptcies that have large costs across the economy.

@gondwanalon “If you are interested in crushing our capitalistic system then “free” Medicare for all is a fast way to do it.”

Maintaining the status quo will cost us EVEN MORE. We can’t afford NOT to do universal care. It’s actually MORE RADICAL to say that we should pay 2x per capita, not cover everyone, generate lots of loss in the economy through medical bankruptcies, stifle innovation and make it harder for companies to start, have worse health outcomes, less efficiency, all so we can fund middle-men who act as parasites on the healthcare system. Medicare for all is more fiscally conservative than the status quo.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Imagine if we were starting from scratch and proposed our current system…

Ok, we’ll…

- setup private for-profit insurance bureaucracies that will manage what type of medical care you can get.
– If you’re lucky to have an employer that will co-pay your health insurance, you will be able to pay $400+/month to insure your family.
– Every year, your premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and prescription costs will increase, while your covered services will decrease.
– In addition to your $4800+/year in premiums, you’ll pay thousands to get medical care, and we won’t call this a tax, because people don’t like taxes.
– Your ability to see a doctor hinges on your ability to keep the job you’re in, providing leverage your employer can use to squeeze more out of you. The threat of a loss of job now includes a threat to your health.
– Millions of people will not be able to afford any insurance and therefore never receive healthcare.
– Millions more will have insurance and never really be able to afford to get the care or medicine they need due to costs and/or deductibles or lack of coverage of services.
– If you get really sick, there is a good chance you will lose everything you have worked for your entire life trying to afford treatment.
– This system will mean that we will pay more per capita than anyone else in the industrialized world, and we will be less covered.
– While this system is in place, these insurance, pharmaceutical, and other healthcare companies will be extremely profitable.

Who would actually say this is the best way to approach this?

So, what will my costs be when we implement M4A? My understanding is that it will be significantly less than I currently pay. But more importantly, the societal costs will be far less – whatever it costs.

gondwanalon's avatar

@gorillapaws Sounds too good to be true. Do sell annuities? HA!

gorillapaws's avatar

@gondwanalon “Sounds too good to be true. Do sell annuities? HA!”

Is that why every other major nation is doing it differently than the US?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

In Alberta, Canada universal health care premiums where $44 a month. Prescriptions not included.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

The cost of your employer-provided health insurance should be listed on your 2018 Form W-2. The amount is in Box 12, with Code DD.

This disclosure is voluntary, not mandatory, so some employers don’t provide it. But, if the amount is listed, you might be surprised by how high it is. Americans already pay so much more, in various ways and forms, than the cost of universal health care.

ragingloli's avatar

7.6% for me.

gondwanalon's avatar

@gorillapaws Do large population countries like China and Russia have universal healthcare? Ah, not really.

stanleybmanly's avatar

All you need do is factor in the percentage of your healthcare bill being raked off by insurance and pharmaceutical corporations to understand why we have the most expensive healthcare of any first world nation, with scandalous accompanying statistics. Why should Cuba of all places have lower infant mortality rates than we? How is it that a dirt poor ragtag country manages to provide its basically destitute population top notch free health care, while in the richest nation to ever grace the face of the earth, a medical diagnosis can mean bankruptcy?

gondwanalon's avatar

China is still trying to achieve universal healthcare (not there yet).
Russia struggles also with decreased healthcare spending since 2014. Also decreased quality of service and increased waits for service. About half of the medical facilities have insufficient healthcare personnel and other facilities closed. Patients are forced to pay for some services.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@stanleybmanly is so correct. Every insurance company has staggering administrative costs, along with marketing and advertising expenses. Also, let’s not forget that the same companies are proprietary, with profit motives and shareholders to make happy. It’s all so redundant and wasteful.

What a pathetic excuse for a “system.”

zenvelo's avatar

While health insurance costs for my family from my employer are pretty low ($256 per paycheck), one also has to factor in $250 per paycheck ($500 per month) to cover the deductible.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@gondwanalon To call Russia a country is like calling the mafia a corporation. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the nation has been looted to the extent that the gigantic state now has the economic output of Italy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here is a pretty good article that addresses some issues AND has the data.

Their Conclusion: “Universal Health Care would save the people of the United States about $600 billion for the same level of care they’re receiving. We found it would require an additional $562 billion in taxation to cover the government spending, after savings and increases to demand. ”

It makes sense to me. Our current system is rife with middle men providing no actual health care. The top dogs at the insurance companies make 8 figure salaries. Just do a quick google search (CEO salary Metlife, Blue cross ) There are estimates that insurance companies and their filing requirements are responsible for 40% of health care costs.

If we ever go to single payer system there should be some provision for making people responsible for some portion of their care no matter how small. There should be some cost.

ragingloli's avatar

Russia is a super corrupt state, run by oligarchs and headed by an ex KGB strongman, that has economic problems across the board.
So of course they have problems proving adequate care for everyone.
But the fact remains, that they have universal healthcare.

China has over a billion people, and while you can argue that the coverage provided is not all that great, 95% of the population still has at least basic coverage, and that is a country that was in the economic gutter just a few decades ago.

While you in the colonies, one of the richest countries on the planet, bitch and moan about oh-the-expense, while you burn money in a bloated defence behemoth, that consumes more cash than the next 7 countries combined.

janbb's avatar

Preach it Brother loli! You are so right!

canidmajor's avatar

And so much of this particular discussion, on this thread, and @josie’s original post, is predicated on the assumption that health care insurance is mostly covered by, or at least offered by, the employer.

Wonderful if you have a job with benefits.

Not even remotely a given for so very many workers in the US.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Haven’t read answers but I read today it would be 4 to 5%. Helluva lot cheaper than insurance premiums.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@Love_my_doggie…wouldn’t Universal Health Care negate the need for advertisng and marketing?

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ Yes. I was listing the inefficiencies that drive-up health care costs. Currently, insurance companies spend fortunes on self-promotion, fortunes that we’re all underwriting.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Gotcha. Thanks.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The US government already spends more tax dollars per individual on healthcare than most European countries (more than twice what the UK spends for example). And that’s before you start adding up what individuals are paying for their healthcare.
You don’t need to be spending more on healthcare. The US government is already spending enough to have universal healthcare. What you need to do is change the way you spend it.

JLeslie's avatar

Great question. My guess is whatever they estimate, it will be off a little bit. But, just think, everything you pay into the system will count. Right now if you pay for insurance for three years, you’re healthy the whole time, and then lose your job and your insurance, everything you paid that insurer while you were healthy counts for nothing, money down the drain as far as your health is concerned.

I think there should be a small copay for some things, and I think there should be the option to go outside of the system if we ever had socalized medicine, but I definitely think there is no such thing as a true free market with competition in health care. The system is set up to create monopolies and oligopolies and to take advantage of desperate people.

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