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Single Payer? Taxes going up?


So with all the excitement in California and New York about imminent new legislation for state single payer programs, the big question still remains. When is the big money is coming into those states to defeat these bills? They did it in Vermont. They did it in Colorado. And they will do it in California and in New York. They will say “How will it be financed”, “Single Payer is risky”; “Taxes will go up”; “It is ‘too big a bite’ (coupled with a humongous hamburger on the poster; “The government is incompetent”; “We want choice, not a one-size-fits-all system”. And on and on it goes with the the arguments and insults declaring that single payer is not possible in the United States. All this happens even though the studies show that single payer actually saves money rather than increases spending.

The dis-ingenuousness of these arguments is striking when you actually know the reality that single payer costs less, saves money and has better outcomes in most other industrialized nations around the world. We know this to be true. It has been proven again and again. The argument ultimately is not a financial one. Single payer is definitely affordable (unless of course you believe that Americans are really not as intelligent or clever as all those people in the other countries that have it.)

The problem is, that in order to make their ideological argument sound reasonable, those opposed to single payer need to either lie, distort, or make up the “truth”. The “reasonableness” of their argument is convincing but it is not accurate.

Either we believe that every person deserves medical treatment or we don’t. If we start from the premise that everyone deserves care, then we need to figure out a way to make it happen. If we look at all the alternatives, single payer healthcare is not only the most logical it is the only mechanism that accomplishes that goal.

We need to combat the fear that taxes going up means that we will all be paying more for healthcare. The truth is that while taxes will go up, the ultimate cost to the consumer goes down for 95% of us, because we will no longer pay all the fees connected to health insurance (premiums, co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance, cost sharing). When people say single payer will increase costs, it is true. More people covered for more services will increase costs. However, what is consistently overlooked by the naysayers is the enormous savings that will result from the elimination of wasteful spending on administration, and the negotiation to reduce overpricing of medical services and medications. They deny the magnitude of these savings.

The advocates who have been fighting all these years for universal care are not out-of-touch idealists. They are smart devoted people who have been studying the issue for decades. They know what they are talking about.

Now is the time to make sure that the truth about single payer is planted everywhere so everybody can have healthcare.

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