The Case for Medicare for All (but from a different perspective)

Medicare for All

Healthcare is expensive, even for employers. An insurance plan can cost over $20,000 per employee, with employers directly spending $14,000 per employee on providing healthcare. At the average wage ($50k/year), this is an additional 28% increase in the cost of each employee. At the median wage of $32,838, that amounts to an additional 42.6% cost. Because this is required spending, it acts like a tax on income, making income that much more expensive. Such excessive expenses are slowing down the creation of new jobs by making new workers more expensive than they otherwise have to be. If we are to cut taxes to create jobs, we should cut taxes to below 42%.

For Liberals: Guaranteeing healthcare for all people will lower health disparities between different people of different races and class backgrounds.

For Conservatives: It makes doing business in the US easier and cheaper for employers and allows US employees to more easily compete with workers overseas, leading to less outsourcing.


Medicare for All will cost somewhere around $29 Trillion over the next decade. If some cost controls are put into place, like growing reimbursement rates with international cost inflation rates, administrative streamlining/efficiencies, and negotiated prices for prescriptions could save up to $4.6 Trillion over the same time period. This leaves us with $24.4 Trillion in new costs.


Average premiums paid by individuals in the United States for Platinum plans (the most comparable healthcare plan to a comprehensive Medicare for All plan) is $8787 annually. As a percentage of the median and average wages, that amounts to 26.76% and 17.57%, respectively.

Premiums for Medicare parts B and D cover 25% of the cost of the program, which would cover $6.1 Trillion of the new single-payer plan, leaving us with $18.3 Trillion. These premiums amount to $2128.08 over a year (for people with middle class incomes). With this in mind, we will need to raise revenues to pay for the rest of Medicare. To save people money, taxes taken out of their paychecks will have to be less than the difference between the Platinum plan and the Medicare premium, $6658.92.

At the median and average incomes, that difference comes out to 20% and 13.32% of income, respectively. This leaves space for a 10% employee-facing payroll tax to be implemented while still saving people money for most people. With half of people earning below the median wage (because that's how medians work), this will have the largest benefit, either by increasing care for the same cost or by providing the same care for a lower cost. This payroll tax would raise roughly $9 Trillion over the next decade, or half of the necessary revenue.

As we've noted previously, the employer-side is burdened with an additional 28% cost to employees with at the average wage (or more [42.6%] for those employed at the median wage). Placing a matching 10% payroll tax to cover the remaining $9 Trillion would be significantly lower than the effective 28% tax to private insurers paid now, making employees that much cheaper to employ, allowing for employers to reallocate that money to employing more people, something desperately needed during this economic downturn.


Healthcare good


  1. Tl;dr if you want something to happen, you've gotta get the oligarchy on board


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