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Sibelius Fan

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 24,101

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Medicare is currently paid for by taxing 100% of people working in the US.

Those tax dollars are barely enough to cover seniors on Medicare, who account for roughly 19% of the population.

So the question is: how much would payroll taxes need to increase to cover 100% of the population as opposed to the current 19%? The current tax rate is 1.45% for the employee and 1.45% for the employer, or a 2.9% total. 19% divides into 100% 5 times, so one assumes that one would need to raise the payroll tax five-fold to cover 100% of the population. That would mean that the employee would pay a tax of 7.25% as would the employer, equaling a tax of 14.5%.

Add into this the fact that current Medicare recipients pay monthly premiums of $109 on average, or $1308 a year.

So do the math: if you earn $50,000 a year, your Medicare tax would be $3625 at 7.25%. Add in your premiums of $1308, and you're paying just under $5,000 a year per person for Medicare for All. Sounds good.

But what if you are a family with a spouse who doesn't work and two young children who don't work? How are they covered in the Medicare for All scenario? Surely, there would be additional premium cost involved. They can't be covered free of charge. That $5000 per year mentioned above covers ONE working person, not their family members. Even if you waive the payroll tax deduction and charge only the average monthly premium per person (as Medicare currently does), you are looking at an additional $3900 per year to cover a non-working spouse and two children. That makes your cost around $9000 per year, and that is equal to 18% of that $50,000 income you are earning.

And, to cover all bases, let's not forget that you are currently paying 6.2% of your income in Social Security taxes. Add that into the mix, and your combined Medicare for All and SS expenses for that family of 4 with one bread winner described above would be over 25% of your income.

That's still a bargain when compared to the taxes paid in European nations, and it's the true cost of having a truly socialistic approach to things. It is what it is. Let's not downplay the realities involved.

I don't have the answers. I do know that while Medicare for All might well be the best and fairest approach we could take toward universal healthcare, it comes with real expenses and real costs to real people.
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