Health insurance is flawed in the US for one glaring reason, we don't make people pay up front. 26% of American's have zero savings. Meaning one quarter of the country will immediately go into medical debt if they incur ANY healthcare costs. This is why income tax collection became automatic. If we don't force people to pay up front, they will never be able to. Medicare For All is a system where people pay taxes upfront for healthcare, and do not pay anything out of pocket for the healthcare they use.
The reduction of administrative costs by putting the entire country on Medicare would be $500 billion. How? Because there is over 100 health insurance providers in the country. Each one of them has a huge amount of repeated positions. Lawyers, doctors, agents, executives, marketers. Private companies have to advertise and coax people to sign up for their plan. If everyone has healthcare, you don't need to advertise. Based on Medicare pricing, Americans would save $100 billion dollars per year on pharmaceuticals.
We need to push our Representative to accomplish Medicare For All in the most efficient way, through a Nationwide Single Payer, "Medicare For All", Universal Healthcare, what ever you want to call it, Program! But as with every other issue the Federal government won't act on, it looks like we the people are going to have to do it ourselves, on the State level first.
In order to finance a Medicare for All system in Illinois, we need to come up with about $133 billion dollars under the current conditions. We can assume that number will decrease by about 14% due to the reduction in administration and drug costs. This reduces the cost to about $114.38 billion. The state can expect to receive about $450 million in CHIP funds, about $23 billion in medicare funds, and about $19.3 billion dollars in Medicaid funds. We're left at about $71.63 billion to fund the program. Moving to a similar graduated income tax as Minnesota would raise about another $13.6 billion. A LaSalle Street tax would raise about another $10 billion, but that would all be used up closing the budget hole. Now we are down to $58 billion dollars needed to fully fund the program. A new tax would be put on all employers who are currently required to provide health coverage to their employees at a flat rate of $3800 per employee and employee dependent, capped at 4 dependents per employee. This would raise about $26.6 billion and represent a drop in the amount of healthcare payments most employers make. The average employer pays out $5,306 on single premiums and $12,865 on family premiums. The final $31.43 billion can be filled by increasing each income tax rate by a flat 5%. Here are the income tax rates I would set to fully fund the state budget and provide for Medicare for All.
Married filing joint Married filing separate
10.25 percent $0-$37,850 $0-$18,930
11.95 percent $37,851-$150,380 $18,931-$75,190
12.75 percent $150,381-$266,700 $75,191-$133,350
14.85 percent over $266,700 over $133,350
Single Head of Household Individual
10.25 percent $0-$31,880 $0-$25,890
11.95 percent $31,881-$128,090 $25,891-$85,060
12.75 percent $128,091-$213,360 $85,061-$160,020
14.85 percent over $213,360 over $160,020
The vast majority of people would see a tax increase of 0.4%-2.9% from shifting to the Minnesota rates plus another 4% in order to make up the difference, totaling an 8.3%-10.8% tax increase. However, this nets an average savings of $1,454 per year on healthcare costs per person. This plan completely decouples healthcare from the employer. No employer, big or small, will pay a dime for anyone's healthcare under this system. It is completely possible that wages from employers currently required to provide healthcare would grow due to the reduction of this burden on business. Small business owners would never need to worry about healthcare. No one would ever be stuck at a job just for healthcare. The number one cause of bankruptcy would be erased. I reject the notion of having a $300 or any dollar amount to be paid out of pocket per year because it deflects costs to the lower income population.
OR We can fully sever healthcare from the employer forever with the final $58 billion being filled by increasing each income tax rate by a flat 8%. Here are the income tax rates I would set to fully fund the state budget and provide for Medicare for All
Married filing joint Married filing separate
13.25 percent $0-$37,850 $0-$18,930
14.95 percent $37,851-$150,380 $18,931-$75,190
15.75 percent $150,381-$266,700 $75,191-$133,350
17.85 percent over $266,700 over $133,350
Single Head of Household Individual
13.25 percent $0-$31,880 $0-$25,890
14.95 percent $31,881-$128,090 $25,891-$85,060
15.75 percent $128,091-$213,360 $85,061-$160,020
17.85 percent over $213,360 over $160,020
There is no way to sugar coat this, a state medicare for all system is more of a patch than a fix. Problem being, the state has no way to deal with the rising cost of drugs and medical equipment, which are increasing faster than incomes and inflation. The state does not have the power to limit drug prices, to cap pharmaceutical profits, prevent direct to consumer advertising, or allow people to buy their drugs from out of the country. The federal government has the authority to make all medical equipment and drugs open source. This prevents companies like Mylan from hiking drug prices to get as much profit before their patent runs out. The same has happened with Epipen and many other drugs. Its a proven fact that pharmaceutical companies massively overcharge for their products while enjoying the highest profit margins of any business in the country. They proclaim that it is necessary to charge so much in order to perform research. This is a bold faced lie. Many drug companies spend more on advertising to physicians and consumers than they do on research. On top of that, their research is HEAVILY subsidized by our federal government. In the short term, our state can show that Medicare for All does lower costs and can serve as an example that the real problem is the federal government being bought out by the pharmaceutical industry and demonstrating that healthcare is a right, not a way to abuse people for profit.
The United States is the only industrialized country in the world which has not yet turned to a system of socialized medicine. The role of socialism in healthcare is to consolidate burdensome redundancies in private industry which prevent low income people from having access to healthcare. Here is a bit of a spending breakdown from 2015 (to the best of my ability trusting online resources): $646.2 billion on Medicare, covering 44 million people. $545.1 billion on Medicaid/CHIP, covering 63 million people. $1.076 trillion dollars on private health insurance premiums, covering 156 million Americans. $188 billion in local and state government payments to for public employees to receive private healthcare, covering 19 million people. $7.7 billion on prison healthcare, covering 2.2 million people. $54.2 billion on VA healthcare, covering 6.6 million people. $338 billion dollars paid by American's in out-of-pocket expenses. $295 billion dollars in subsidies. 29 million people uninsured. Totals: $3.2 trillion spent on coverage, 320 million people to cover. An average cost of about $10,000 per year, per person. 63 million American's qualify for Medicaid/CHIP and fall below 133% of the poverty line, meaning they are essentially not able to afford any healthcare payments, and there are 29 million American's uninsured. This leaves essentially 92 million American's paying purely out of pocket, or little to none for health insurance. Wipe the subsidies, Wipe out of pocket expenses, Wipe local/state healthcare payments to private plans, Wipe all spending on premiums. This leaves you with only Medicare, Medicaid/CHIP, prison healthcare, and VA healthcare; totaling $1.25 trillion dollars. Repeal the Bush Administration tax cuts for $1.8 trillion in increased tax revenue. Remove the cap on the pay roll tax for $100 billion. Re-allocate $160 billion dollars from defense budget increases. This provides $3.3 trillion dollars. Cap profits from the pharmaceutical industry at 10% and ban direct to consumer ads, to save $100 billion dollars in expenses. Using an expanded Medicare infrastructure saves $100 billion in administrative costs over the current insurance industry structure which has over 125 separate insurance bureaucracies. Effectively you now have $3.5 trillion dollars to spend on healthcare. Plenty of money to give everyone healthcare and to spend on government employed healthcare workers, and government run healthcare locations in otherwise under-serviced communities.
There's another HUGE glaring flaw in the healthcare system: the fact that our system is set up for profit. Often times, patients will receive treatment with no regard to the long term. One of the epidemic this is a problem is epidemic is in the creation new humans. Women are facing a time where giving birth is becoming more and more dangerous. This is completely counter-intuitive to improving healthcare. A few core reasons? Increasing costs of medical care, lack of paid parental leave and the transformation of healthcare into an assembly line of human profit. Many families I have spoken with, and this is backed up by data, often see child birth as one of the largest expenses they will have. Due to that, and a general lack of most employers offering paid family leave, many new parents are encouraged to get in and out ASAP. This capitalistic method of bringing new humans into existence has to lead to massive increase in birth interventions, mirrored by a massive increase in children with sensory disorders as well as host of other problems that are further compounded by the profit over human health society we have built. The increase in birth inductions, harmful use of suction devices and forceps, and the pervasive thought that a cesarean section is "normal" all have lead to children being harmed in the birthing process. These interventions have massively increased, from representing 10% of births 50 years ago to representing around 50% of births now. These birth interventions cause damage children's bodies, particularly their spines. This spinal damage, which has become more and more common, perfectly mirrors the increase in ADHD, Autism Spectrum, and other sensory issues which are becoming more and more pervasive in society. Affordable care, mandatory family leave, and ending the assembly line of human care can fix all these problems. With affordable care, parents will have no need to induce birth or rush out of hospitals while they may still need care or support. With mandatory family leave, families will not have the pressure to push the time table of their own health, which puts them at considerable risk. These two reforms are crucial to ending the assembly line of families being passed off from doctor to doctor, getting patients in and out being their number one priority. Some things should just not be left to profit. Women should not be encouraged to schedule births around work and artificial time tables set by insurance companies. Birth is, and always has been natural, and we need a system conscious of this fact.