It all Has a Cost- Healthcare

Nothing is free. Even if it was free to one person, somebody had to pay for it. In fact, most actions have multiple costs! With everything, there is opportunity cost, meaning that you did one thing so you didn’t do the other thing. With any resource there is physical cost. Labor is expended, or finite resources are used. Hiding within opportunity cost is also perverse incentives, essentially unforeseen motivations created by a law or a program that have a negative effect. -The popsicles at the party were free, too many people ate one too many, and now they are gone. The same exact principles apply to the large debates of our society- education, gun-control, healthcare- etc.

There is one idea that universal healthcare would fix the broken American healthcare system. The logic used to support this is that Americans, on average, spend way more on healthcare than people from other nations. It turns out that there exists a few factors that could explain this quite well. Probably most pertinent, is the fact that U.S. doctors and surgeons are paid very well. In the United Kingdom, doctors make half as much as doctors in the United States. Also Americans spend 160 percent more on drugs, than the nation with the second highest healthcare spending, mostly due to patent protections for drug makers allowing them to charge high prices. One more example is the obesity problem which leads to a 45 percent greater likelihood of diabetes in the United States with those over 18, as compared to the National average.

Bernie Sanders plan is “Medicare for all”, but believe it or not, Senator Sanders does not have money that has reigned down from heaven to support his plan. He himself has admitted that his plan would cost 14 trillion dollars over ten years, this is a lot of money, but the estimate is a conservative estimate. A study from the ‘liberal urban Institute finds that it would cost at least twice as much. The study found that the “Medicare for all” plan would actually increase national healthcare spending by 6.6 trillion dollars, for a simple reason: providing people ‘free’ healthcare would encourage people to use healthcare. This was exemplified when the Affordable Care Act required lower co-pay for check- ups, and doctor visits increased. Urban Institute believes that the cost would be 32 trillion dollars over ten years.

What is undebatable is the fact that if the United States was to switch to Sanders Medicare for all plan, taxes would need to increase. Decision data estimates that a universal healthcare system, would require an extra 562 billion dollars in annual taxation. In case that doesn’t sound like a lot of money to you, I did some math assuming that there is 300 million taxpaying Americans. On average every citizen would pay an extra $187, 373.33 annually. This is the type of thing that will drive up a nation’s deficit, and put a large strain on it’s economy.



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