Democratic presidential hopeful and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has one thing in common with the congressional Republicans who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They don’t like it much, he doesn’t like it much.
That’s about it.
While Sanders doesn’t like ObamaCare, it’s because of what it doesn’t do and not what it does. He’s laid out a plan to redo the U.S. healthcare system and while at it, he’ll also change the current system of taxation. His socialized healthcare vision goes way beyond what President Obama and Congress created in 2010.
In this case, the government and not insurers will pay the bills.
And while the cost estimate is $1.3 trillion per year, Sanders says over the next decade his plan will cut $6 trillion in costs. “Universal health care is an idea that has been supported in the United States by Democratic presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege,” Sanders said.
Here’s how he’ll pay the bill:
• A 2.2% tax tacked onto individual income
• A 6.5% healthcare payroll tax on employers
• Changes in the estate tax system to increase government income
The current tax rate for those making $415,000 or more is 39.6%. Sanders wants to change it. Under his plan:
• The tax rate will go to 43% for those making between $500,000 and $2 million
• Those making $2 million to $10 million would pay 48%
• Anyone over $10 million a year would pay 52%
Criticism of the plan was instantaneous and first out of the gate is Sanders’ primary opponent Hilary Clinton. Her campaign called it a massive tax hike on the middle class. Sanders — of course — disagrees and said the middle class and all Americans will save money because they no longer have to purchase health insurance.
“If you were paying $10,000 in private health insurance and I said to you, guess what, you ain’t going to pay that $10,000 and more but you’re going to pay $5,000 more in healthcare premiums, you’d be jumping up and down for joy. You save $5,000 on your healthcare bills,” he said.
University of Massachusetts at Amherst economist Gerald Friedman says a single payer system like that called for by Sanders will cost the taxpayer $40.9 trillion from 2017 to 2026. He said when you subtract the estimated amount the government is already responsible for — $12.6 trillion — that leaves $28.3 trillion.
At the same time, Sanders plan puts agents and insurers out of business.
Speaking of presidential candidates, on January 21st, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said he no longer has health insurance for he and his family. He blames ObamaCare. “I’ll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who’s lost their health care because of Obamacare? That would be me.”
His insurer — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas — dropped all its individual policies at the end of last year. “So our health care got canceled, we got a notice in the mail, Blue Cross Blue Shield was leaving the market. And so we’re in the process of finding another policy.”
Before Blue Cross, Cruz’s health insurance came through his wife’s employer Goldman Sachs. She’s on unpaid leave to help him with his campaign and with that went the insurance.
Source links: Two from Insurance Business America, link 1 and link 2, The Hill