Sharing the cost of healthcare makes sense on paper. Pooling together our tax dollars for one big social agreement like healthcare is exactly what many other countries have done already and succeeded. It’s what gave us medicare and medicaid, which are better than nothing and highly relied upon in America. Now we need an answer for when they are not enough. People need more affordable healthcare and are willing to pay taxes to get it. The only two things in our way are:
1.) Our love and devotion to capitalism which puts a price on healthcare and asks “So, how much are you willing to pay to live?” It’s definitely a seller’s market with a lot of lobbying power.
2.) America is already pretty unhealthy. Pooling together to save money thanks to younger, working, healthy people jumping in to help dilute the sick pool (and thus the cost) would normally work, but America has a lot of bad health habits at all ages and that pool is smaller than we realized.
There’s nothing wrong with honestly asking people how much they will pay for something. It’s one of the first question in economics. So why did healthcare turn out to cost so much? It’s because we were tricked into forgetting that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. When you put a price on a basic human right of course people are going to pay a lot for it, more than they probably should. It’s because it’s more than a want, it’s a need. That’s why you need to tip the scale a little bit for morality’s sake. It makes for a better civilization and It’s what separates us from the animals. If we had been doing that all along since the great depression and had just went with total socialized healthcare we wouldn’t be in this mess. We’d be healthier and our medicine would cost less because the idea of caring for our citizens as a whole would have been at the wheel driving our country instead of profit for only a few corporations with little tax return.
With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation and the number one killer in America being preventable disease caused by poor health habits, the American healthcare system continues to buckle under the weight of a sick population in decline as costs increase. This is old news and should come as no surprise. The pool of healthy people is shrinking, thus the cost is rising. Any means of mitigating the problem are quickly dwindling with each generation. If we are going to commit to higher taxes for better, or at least cheaper healthcare, then we need to do it now. And even then the amount needed is going to be quite substantial, enough to make even the staunchest supporters nervous. Just look at what Forbes pointed out on the subject:
Even Sen. Bernie Sanders, America’s foremost proponent of single-payer, admitted in June that “there will be pain” if the nation adopts the government-run system he favors. The plan he touted on the presidential campaign trail in 2016 would have cost $1.4 trillion per year, according to his own estimates. To pay for it, he called for a new 2.2% income tax, a 6.2 tax on employers, and higher taxes on the wealthy.
1.4 Trillion a year is a lot of money. And with how America is already struggling to deal with it’s healthcare crisis, it can’t just be up to the government to fix the problem by itself. The rich elites in the healthcare industry have to help too, by working with government to at least improve the access and quality of healthcare itself. Something, anything, would help more than lobbying against everything. But it’s up to the average American too. They need to read about their healthcare system more so that they better understand it. And they need to take better care of their health so they lower the burden and cost on the system pool.