Obama on Health Care Insurance
The Democratic hopeful from Illinois said he would pay for his plan by saving $75 billion through emphasizing preventative health care, providing better care for the chronically ill and using new technology to reduce paperwork and bureaucracy. If needed, Obama said he would roll back tax cuts that he said benefited the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.So what would universal health insurance cost? Assuming Obama is only looking to cover those currently uninsured; we’re looking at a tab far greater than the $75 billion he claims can be saved though various measures.
It’s estimated that 46 million people lack heath insurance in the United States. New Jersey spends $9 billion per year to cover about 900,000 people through Medicaid, an average cost of $10,000 per person. At that rate it would cost about $460 billion to cover the uninsured. Minus the $75 billion in savings, that leaves a beginning cost of about $395 billion for the new program.
If Obama’s talking about a truly universal program – a total government takeover of health insurance – we’re talking about a cost in excess of $2 trillion.
So who’s going to be hit with the huge tax increase to pay for a universal health insurance program? Putting aside the fact wealth is not taxed, but rather income earned in a specific year, there are only about 1.3 million tax filers in the top 1 percent. It’s unlikely a $395+ billion income tax increase could be confined to this ever changing top 1 percent. What Obama’s really talking about is a tax increase on everyone who pays federal income taxes.
Here’s a more basic question. - is a new or expanded government program really the best solution to the health insurance problem or the escalating costs for health care?