What will universal health care cost us and what will be get from it?
The costs of the new health insurance and health care system will include increased taxes. In some ways, it won’t matter who pays those taxes. If they are paid by corporations, they will raise the price tags of the goods and services they sell, so the individuals will be hurt as well. If they are paid by the consumer, then the consumer will have less to pay for goods and services, so the corporations will be hurt as well.
When we look at the cost of any socialized medicine proposal, we should also look at the price of the existing health care system to make comparisons. In today’s medical system, those of us who can pay for national health care subsidize those who can’t or won’t. The exact amount is uncertain, but your health insurance premiums are higher because your provider has to raise the rates for those who do pay to make up for those who don’t pay.
The costs of our existing health insurance and health care system include the cost of lower productivity when a worker is unable to work because of a medical condition he or she can’t afford to treat. The costs of our present system include the costs associated with more children growing up without a father of mother.
One of the benefits or the present day system is our familiarity with it. It’s like an old car that has a broken driver’s door and a big gash in the passenger seat. We’ve gotten used to getting in the car from the passenger side and having a blanket over the gash in the seat. Another car will have problems as well. The car may be better or worse. That part is unknown. What is known is that the car will be unfamiliar and buying a car is a big commitment.
Once we make major changes to our health care system we will be unlikely to go back to the old medical system. Even if the new system is decidedly worse, we will be stuck with it. We may have higher price tags or worse care. We may be able to tweak the new system and fix it or we may determine that the infrastructure is so poor that it too requires an overhaul.
National health care has the potential of boosting our economy. Many people who are currently shackled to their employers because of the fear of losing their health insurance, may be able to move on to better jobs or start companies and hire others.
Under the present day medical system many people are unable to pay for preventative care. They often wind up in the hospital and get expensive surgeries that they can’t afford to pay for. These surgeries may extend their lives, but may or may not allow them to work again. An individual who gets medical care when the problem is a small one may be able to work and pay taxes much longer than the individual who only gets care when the situation is critical.
We should strive to create a system that keeps our workers working longer and our parents parenting longer.
Although we may have a health care system that is broken, there is no guarantee that a new health insurance and health care system will be any better. However, far too many people are hurt by the present day health insurance and health care system for us to just throw up our hands and do nothing. If we can ignore the rhetoric and focus on the facts a better medical system can be created that will not only benefit the uninsured, but will make us all stronger.