“Medicare for All” and other “government” healthcare programs that some candidates are advocating for in their presidential campaigns aren’t the big scare-all bugaboos that their opponents are labeling them to be. One opponent says, “That will cost $30 trillion over 10 years – maybe more!” Hair on fire!
Before Obamacare, U.S. healthcare costs were running at 19% of GDP. For the years 2000 to 2010, the GDP went from $10.28 trillion in 2000 to $14.96 trillion in 2010 (Google). Nineteen percent of that 10-year GDP equals $23.98 trillion that we spent for healthcare for those 10 years. Before Obamacare, the insurance companies were keeping 20% to 30% of the premiums they collected for operating costs and for profits. Twenty percent to 30% of 19% of GDP equals 5% of GDP. So, during that period, we were paying 5% of GDP to insurance companies and stock market investors who were providing no healthcare. They were siphoning that money from the people and institutions that actually were providing the healthcare.
At the same time, the whole country was groaning about us paying 5% of GDP for imported fuel! At least we got something out of the imported fuel; we got a transportation system that actually transported people and freight. Compare that to the 5% of GDP we paid for healthcare and for which we got nothing.
From the U.S. Census Bureau report:
“The Census found that 8.5% of the U.S. population went without medical insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9% in 2017. By contrast, in 2013, before the Affordable Care Act took full effect, 13.3% were uninsured.”
From cms.gov, a federal government website managed and paid for by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports
“The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are the official estimates of total healthcare spending in the United States … The NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for healthcare goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to healthcare. U.S. health care spending grew 4.6% in 2018, reaching $3.6 trillion or $11,172 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.7%.”
Healthcare spending went from 19% of GDP down to 17.7% under Obamacare and added 16 million people to the system.
The U.S. GDP rose to $21.43 trillion for 2019. If GDP doesn’t go up in the next 10 years, and if there is zero inflation, and if we pay 17.7% of GDP under Obamacare, we will pay $37.93 trillion for healthcare for the next 10 years.
If we abolish Obamacare and go back to 19% of GDP, we will pay $40.72 trillion for healthcare for the next 10 years – and kick 16 million people off their healthcare!
Government is the means by which we the people combine our powers and resources to accomplish public works and services that the private sector cannot or will not do. If Medicare for All can provide healthcare for a mere $30 trillion or even $40 trillion over the next 10 years, and cover everybody, that will be the best deal we the people have had since Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933. It’s about time! Let’s do it!