18 January 2016

If So, I Approve this Camel's Nose………

Matt Bruenig has a very interesting perspective on Bernie Sanders' single payer program, specifically, he believes that it provide the fiscal basis for a massive expansion of social welfare programs:
Currently, total health expenditures in the US make up around 17% of GDP. The average for the OECD is 9.3%. Around half of our healthcare spending is public while the other half is private. Thus, very roughly speaking, to shift all of the current healthcare expenditures onto the public health insurance, you’d need initially to raise the tax level by 8.5 points of GDP (half of 17%).

If you believe, as I do, that switching to a single-payer healthcare system would allow us to better curb healthcare inflation and thus to control costs much more effectively than we currently do, then that means that the 17% of GDP we currently pay towards healthcare could be pushed down over time. Let’s assume that, by keeping healthcare inflation in check through single-payer, we could eventually bring health expenditures down to around 10% of GDP (slightly above the OECD average).

Under this scenario, we would initially raise the tax level by 8.5 points in order to cover the half of health expenditures that are currently paid out privately. Then, over time, we would cut healthcare expenditures by 7 points (from 17% to 10% of GDP). Assuming we didn’t lower the tax level over the expenditure-slimming period, we would be able to use those 7 points of savings towards other welfare programs (child care, child allowance, paid leave, etc.). And there is a lot of stuff you can get with 7 points of GDP.
He's an optimist.

My guess is that these savings, will go to bombs and bullets, because  ……… America!!!!

We have still not accepted the wisdom of Eisenhower's Chance for Peace speech, while we bankrupt ourselves through military procurement and military adventurism.


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