A handful of Democratic senators are pledging to co-sponsor independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’s plan for single payer healthcare coverage in the United States.
At least five senators have signed onto the plan, including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Tammy Baldwin. Others, including moderate Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester, who have been skeptical of single payer in the past, are also signaling they are willing to talk about it.
The plan (if it is similar to what Sanders has proposed in the past) would ultimately create a fund wherein the health expenses of every American citizen would be paid for, a dream for many on the left that has gone unfulfilled for several decades. If implemented, it would not only be beneficial for Americans for health reasons, but would also relieve financial pressures that many still feel due to hardships created by costly medical needs.
Sanders’s plan would call for a 2.2 percent tax hike across the board for all Americans. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “how could a tax increase benefit most Americans?” This is the part Republicans will probably try to attack the plan the most: yes, everyone will pay higher rates of taxes as a result of this proposal.
But keep in mind what the trade-off is: a healthcare system that is fully funded. With an increase in taxes of 2.2 percent, you and your family members will not be paying any other medical expenses. And for the typical family in the United States, that’s a significant savings.
The average family, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pays about 8 percent of their income toward health costs. That’s about $1 for every $12 earned. The Sanders plan would change that equation in huge ways — the tax increase would only account for $1 out of every $45 earned. You tell me which is the better deal.
There are other tax increases involved, too — but most of these are applied to Americans in the top 5 percent of income earners. The proposed Estate Tax under this plan, for example, would only apply to inheritances greater than $3.5 million in total assets received.
For 95 out of every 100 Americans, this plan is a great deal that means lower personal costs for health spending, even when accounting for the tax increases. For the 5 percent of Americans who will pay higher taxes overall, this plan is still a positie, and should be viewed as an investment — helping to keep the American workforce healthy will, ultimately, increase productivity, and as a result they’ll earn more profits from it.
Most importantly, this is the morally right thing to do. Healthcare is a right that every American deserves to enjoy. Living in the richest nation in the world, there is no acceptable excuse for seeing people struggle with their healthcare costs, to the point where millions are unable to seek care when they need to. Sanders’s plan fixes that problem, and allows those citizens access to the care they require.
Watch this video from the Young Turks that explains more cost savings from single payer healthcare: