Saturday, October 31, 2015

You Want a Big Tax Cut? Adopt a Single-Payer Healthcare Plan.

The GOP tax plans are laughable. Even they wouldn't enact them, and they know it.

Republicans never met a tax they wouldn't cut. Well, that's not exactly true: Ted Cruz' tax plan has a massive lowering of taxes across the board, which favors the rich, and would replace the revenue with a massive 16-percent value-added tax. That's highly regressive, again favoring the rich at the expense of the lower and middle classes. As long as revenue goes down and rich people's bank accounts go up, the Republicans are ready to embrace it.

There were several quality dissections of GOP tax plans as "discussed" during last Wednesday's debate here, here, here, here, and here. Generally speaking, their plans don't add up. Far from it, they tend to explode the deficit while claiming to not do that because they'll find spending cuts that they almost uniformly refuse to delineate. Standard GOP campaign tool, that one.

There is one way to give the American people a major tax cut that is paid for without decimating Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and that's by adopting a single-payer healthcare system.  Read this Journal of the American Medical Association -- yes, the AMA -- discussion of the advantages of a Canadian-style healthcare system:
MANY MISCONSTRUE US health system reform options by presuming that "trade-offs" are needed to counter-balance the competing goals of increasing access, containing costs, and preserving quality. Standing as an apparent paradox to this zero-sum equation are countries such as Canada that ensure access to all at a cost 40% per capita less, with satisfaction and outcomes as good as or better than those in the United States.
Got that? Canadians, with outcomes as good as or better than those in the U.S., pay 40% less. What does that equate to? It equates to a savings of $1.29 trillion a year. Got that?

That's equal to a reduction of our federal budget by more than 35%. This is based on the 2015 budget. We could take the savings from reduced healthcare costs and hand it over to the federal government with the stipulation that it can only be spent reducing the deficit. Since the deficit is currently $412 billion, we'd end up with an annual surplus of $878 billion. Got that?

That's just on the basis of a comparison with Canada, ostensibly the most "American"-like country in the world. Most other single-payer healthcare systems pay markedly less per capita than Canada, which is ranked approximately 8th. That leaves the vast majority of developed countries with lower-cost healthcare systems.

Want a tax cut? Adopt single-payer. Now.

Note. Of course we wouldn't carry a budge surplus of $878 billion, but imagine what we could spend it on? Even if all we did was pay down the debt we owe to Social Security and even expanded it, we'd be in great shape, leaving lots of room for a real, paid-for tax cut. We wouldn't have to do anything to Medicare and Medicaid because they'd be subsumed by single-payer. Cool. What are we waiting for? Oh, yeah, the Republicans.

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