If you were a multi-trillionaire, and you easily could afford to provide free healthcare to every man, woman, and child in America, would you do it?
Imagine, no sick child dying from a treatable illness, no parent suffering without a doctor, no homeless person languishing in what should be curable pain — and you could do this simply by writing a check.
Would you do it?
Would you do it if it all could be accomplished by your command, without it costing you even one cent? All you would need to do is say, “Give everyone health care.” Would you do it?
Or would you just let sick people suffer and die too soon?
You actually do have that choice and you do have that power. Your choice is to tell your Senators and Representatives to create a comprehensive, no-deductible Medicare-for-All plan that covers all hospitals, all doctors, all medically approved treatments, and all pharmaceuticals.
And yes, it won’t cost you even one cent, because the U.S. federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, creates new dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a bill.
Federal finances are different from city, county, and state finances. These local governments are monetarily non-sovereign. They do not create dollars by paying bills. They can run short of dollars and become insolvent. They need and use tax dollars, which they deposit in banks.
By contrast, the government neither needs nor even uses tax dollars. Those federal tax dollars, that are taken from your paycheck or your checking account, are destroyed upon receipt. They never see a bank. They never are part of any money-supply measure.
Even if all federal tax collections, including federal income taxes, FICA payroll taxes, federal luxury taxes, — every federal tax of every kind — were eliminated, the federal government could continue spending forever. It never can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.
With Medicare for all, we’re not talking about socialism, where the government owns all the hospitals and employs all the health care providers. (That’s like the Veteran’s Administration).
We’re talking about the U.S. government being the insurer — taking the place of private insurance companies, but providing much more comprehensive coverage than any insurance company could afford — and not charging you or your employer anything.
If you were Monetarily Sovereign, like the U.S. government is, you easily could provide comprehensive, no-cost medical insurance to every American.
And yet, many Americans, not understanding the facts of Monetary Sovereignty, say they don’t want to change. They want to continue paying for private insurance. They want to continue paying FICA. They want to continue paying deductibles and being subject to limitations.
They want to continue paying the 20% copay Medicare charges. And they want to continue paying for Medicare Part D, or thousands, or hundreds of thousands, for expensive drugs.
They want each insurance company to offer a different formulary, so it becomes necessary to hunt through multiple companies to learn whether certain drugs are covered, only to be surprised when the doctor prescribes a new drug that isn’t covered.
This is what people say they want, but it’s not what you really want. No one would.
We Americans have been deceived by the politicians, who have been bought and paid for by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Here are some of the lies we have been told:
1. Medicare-for-All is socialism.
As we said previously, with socialism, the government owns and operates all the medical providers.
In Medicare-for-All, the government merely would pay for medical services, just as private insurance companies now do — just as Medicare now does, though Medicare is too limited.
2. Medicare-for-All would cost too much.
There are only two alternatives for medical services: Either someone pays or someone does without.
Thus, Americans have these choices:
*The federal government will pay for your medical care, or
*You will pay, or
*You will do without medical care.
Which do you prefer?
3. If the government pays, the federal deficit and debt would increase.
The so-called “federal debt” is the incorrect name given to the total of Treasury securities issued by the Treasury. They are similar to bank CDs.
The Treasury does not issue them to obtain dollars (which it can create endlessly), but rather to provide a safe “parking place” for unused dollars and to help control interest rates.
The Treasury could stop issuing T-securities tomorrow, and still continue to spend, forever.
For the past eighty years, misleaders have been telling the American people that the federal debt is an unsustainable, “ticking time bomb.” Yet here we are, the so-called “time bomb” still is ticking, and the economy still is sustaining and growing.
The federal debt is no burden on anyone — not on the government, not on you, not on your grandchildren. Federal taxes do not pay for the federal debt.
The “federal deficit” is the difference between taxes collected and dollars spent. No one ever “pays for” the deficit. It merely is a bookkeeping number, of no threat to anyone.
Increased deficits grow the economy by adding dollars to the private sector.
In fact, reductions in deficits lead to recessions and depressions, and increases in deficits cure recessions and depressions.
4. Medicare-for-All would cause inflation.
The failure to take FICA dollars from your paycheck is not inflationary. The failure to take FICA dollars from employers is not inflationary. Paying for healthcare is not inflationary.
Inflations are caused by shortages, not by federal spending.
5. Medicare-for-All would bankrupt the pharmaceutical companies
On the contrary, the pharmaceutical companies would benefit.
Today, nearly all pharmaceuticals are paid for by insurance and by individuals. Under Medicare-for-All, the drugs would be paid for by the federal government, similar to a free, comprehensive version of Medicare Part D.
Have you ever seen drug commercials that say, “If you can’t afford your prescription contact us”? Patient assistance programs are run by pharmaceutical companies to provide free medications to people who cannot afford to buy their medicine.
Comprehensive Medicare-for-All not only would increase the number of people who purchase pharmaceuticals, but would relieve the drug companies of any obligation to fund patient assistance programs.
6. Medicare-for-All would bankrupt the healthcare insurance companies.
Actually, there is some truth to this. Over the years, many industries disappear, only to be replaced by new industries.
When I was very young, the way to make a phone call was to tell the number to a human operator, of whom there were hundreds of thousands. Also, horse-drawn carts were common. Those, and thousands of other industries, have disappeared, much to the benefit of the American public.
Private healthcare insurance, its complications, unfairness, and its onerous costs, all would disappear.
Unfortunately, even the people who favor Medicare-for-All, do not have the knowledge, the courage, or the honesty to tell you the truth: It can be funded 100% by our Monetarily Sovereign federal government.
Support for a national Medicare-for-all plan swings wildly after folks hear about the potential effects. It spikes when respondents are told that it would guarantee health insurance as a right or eliminate premiums and reduce out-of-pocket costs.
But favorability slumps when they are told it would eliminate private health insurance, raise taxes or threaten the current Medicare program.
And it tanks when told it would lead to delays in receiving care.
Many people don’t think Medicare-for-all would have an impact on them.
There is, in fact, no reason for taxes to increase. In fact, taxes would decrease dramatically. No more FICA paid by you or businesses.
There would be no “threat” to Medicare. It simply would be expanded.
Delays could be prevented by paying healthcare providers enough to encourage entry into the market. Given unlimited dollars, there is no reason to scrimp on payments.
Medicare-for-All would benefit everyone, the sick and the well, the young and the old, the rich and the poor.
Unfortunately, because of misinformation and disinformation, very few Americans are able to visualize a true Medicare-for-All program. So they assume the wrong threats.
A Kaiser Family Foundation January 2019 tracking poll revealed that Americans believe Congress’ top priorities should be:
Percent who say the following is the top priority for Congress
Making sure Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions protections continue: 21%
Lower drug costs: 20%
Implementing Medicare-for-All: 11%
Repealing & replacing Obamacare: 11%e
Protecting people from surprise medical bills: 9%
See how misinformation permeates the answers? With Medicare-for-All, there would be no need for Obamacare, pre-existing conditions would be protected, drug costs would be zero, and no one would need to worry about surprise medical bills.
Even Bernie Sanders, the foremost proponent of Medicare-for-All, misleads the public.
Bernie’s plan would create a federally administered single-payer health care program. Universal single-payer health care means comprehensive coverage for all Americans.
Bernie’s plan will cover the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments.
Patients will be able to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network and will be able to get the care they need without having to read any fine print or trying to figure out how they can afford the out-of-pocket costs.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR PATIENTS
As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companieswhen they fail to pay for charges.
The above is perfect, exactly what the plan should do, though I’m not sure why you would have to show an insurance card. If you’re here, you’re covered. Perhaps there are overseas issues to be worked out.
But anyway, then Bernie goes completely off track. Here is what his web site says:
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This plan has been estimated to cost $1.38 trillion per year.
THE PLAN WOULD BE FULLY PAID FOR BY:
A 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers.
A 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households.
Progressive income tax rates.
37 percent on income between $250,000 and $500,000.
43 percent on income between $500,000 and $2 million.
48 percent on income between $2 million and $10 million.
52 percent on income above $10 million.
Taxing capital gains and dividends the same as income from work.
Limit tax deductions for rich.
The Responsible Estate Tax.
Savings from health tax expenditures.
If Bernie were honest and courageous, he would have said: THE PLAN WOULD BE FULLY PAID FOR BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Period.
The above-listed tax increases will pay for nothing. The federal government does not use tax dollars to pay for spending. Tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt.
But Bernie has gone along with the phony “affordability” issue, rather than fighting it.
Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”
Alan Greenspan: “Central banks can issue currency, a non-interest-bearing claim on the government, effectively without limit. A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”
St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.
Bernie understands this. He was assisted by Professor Stephanie Kelton, who not only knows Monetary Sovereignty quite well, but has taught it to Bernie.
So, I must assume Bernie believes the American people are not smart enough to understand it — and that they would say, “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” or “Why does the government collect taxes, if they don’t need them,” and other admissions of ignorance that substitute for knowledge.
And he doesn’t have the political courage to set them straight.
Is he right?
What about you? If Medicare-for-All could be accomplished just by your command, without it costing you even one cent, and all you would need to do is tell the politicians, “Give everyone health care,” would you do it?
Should Bernie do it?
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.