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On 7/16/2019 at 10:07 PM, Rothbardian said:

Kamala Harris says her medicare for all plan is just like Sanders except there will not be massive tax hikes on the middle class...lol

 

Makes you wonder if any politician actually understands basic economics. Or maybe they do, but they are just panders?

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2 hours ago, DirtyThirdFrog said:

 

Makes you wonder if any politician actually understands basic economics. Or maybe they do, but they are just panders?

 

I'm not sure if anybody, including economists, actually understands basic economics.

 

That said, it's all packaging, right?  While 'Medicare for All' would certainly require tax hikes for probably everybody, if those tax hikes are counter balanced by reduced to zeroed outlays to private insurers, my pocketbook doesn't really care whether those funds are going to the US Treasury Department or Cigna.  The only difference is the human psychological reaction to the word "tax" relative to the words "insurance premiums."  So if Harris sells it as there will be no massive tax hikes relative to the "tax" we already pay to private insurers ... then maybe she's not being quite so wacky.

 

Of course the devil is in the details and whether the government can be no worse as a middle-man between the patient and the doctor, both in terms of how well you can access that doctor and how much you have to pay to see him/her.  I know that some here will answer that it is absurd to think that the government can be better, or at least no worse, a middle-man than the private insurance industry.  I'd argue that the employer-based private insurance system we have is pretty effing bad on number of fronts, most conspicuously on the expense and value fronts, so I'm not completely closed off to a single-payer experiment.

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4 hours ago, Duquesne Frog said:

 

I'm not sure if anybody, including economists, actually understands basic economics.

 

That said, it's all packaging, right?  While 'Medicare for All' would certainly require tax hikes for probably everybody, if those tax hikes are counter balanced by reduced to zeroed outlays to private insurers, my pocketbook doesn't really care whether those funds are going to the US Treasury Department or Cigna.  The only difference is the human psychological reaction to the word "tax" relative to the words "insurance premiums."  So if Harris sells it as there will be no massive tax hikes relative to the "tax" we already pay to private insurers ... then maybe she's not being quite so wacky.

 

Of course the devil is in the details and whether the government can be no worse as a middle-man between the patient and the doctor, both in terms of how well you can access that doctor and how much you have to pay to see him/her.  I know that some here will answer that it is absurd to think that the government can be better, or at least no worse, a middle-man than the private insurance industry.  I'd argue that the employer-based private insurance system we have is pretty effing bad on number of fronts, most conspicuously on the expense and value fronts, so I'm not completely closed off to a single-payer experiment.

 

Just like every company, health care providers offer services are various prices and hope that the mix in realization rates is high enough to keep the doors open. The problem is medicare rates are too low. For any business, what would happen if your gross margin suddenly dropped to the lowest margin you have across your customer base? You probably would not be able to cover your fixed costs. In order to make the numbers work, Medicare rates will have to be raised (meaning higher premiums/taxes to cover) or there will be significant cuts to the salaries of health care providers. I'm willing to wager on the first, however the UK did a combination of the two resulting in a an outflow of health care providers when they adopted their system.

 

You are right it is all about packaging. When Sen. Sanders says free healthcare he means at the point of delivery. Meaning no out-of-pocket expenses when you take a trip to the doctor. What he doesn't tell you is that your annual premiums/taxes will go up to compensate. There is a overuse hazard involved when you have no point of service costs. Basically the reason why co-pay amounts are higher with cheaper plans.

 

Overwhelmingly (71%), people like their employer-based insurance companies and most value comparisons are dubious. I just do not see any savings out there by switching systems.

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Here's a handy analysis. Take it for what it's worth...but most of the analyses included forecast higher spending under a MFA plan. Not mentioned would be the number of uninsured, which maybe a selling point, but that would have to compare to pure subsidy plan for the uninsured for cost.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/10/upshot/medicare-for-all-bernie-sanders-cost-estimates.html

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Speaking about not understanding basic Econ, how about Yang's Freedom Dividend.  The guy wants to give every American over the age of 18 $1,000  per month.  There are ~252 Million such adults.  That's $252 Billion per month. Which is $3 Trillion per year. Which equals ~2/3 of the entire federal budget.

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2 hours ago, Army Frog Fan said:

Speaking about not understanding basic Econ, how about Yang's Freedom Dividend.  The guy wants to give every American over the age of 18 $1,000  per month.  There are ~252 Million such adults.  That's $252 Billion per month. Which is $3 Trillion per year. Which equals ~2/3 of the entire federal budget.

 

According to his website:

 

Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally – most would prefer cash with no restriction. 

 

So he's basically absorbing whatever we spend on welfare (according to him, ~ $500-600B) already into the estimate into what it's going to cost.  The rest he proposes making up in a production tax that he claims will be fairer than an income tax as human labor is replaced by automation.

 

Personally, while I'd love to have another $12k, I think it's silly to make it independent of income, precisely because of the cost you point out here.  I think the only way to make something like this work is to give the full "dividend" to those below the somewhat arbitrarily chosen poverty line and then decrease the amount given smoothly (so that you don't do what social security does and punish people for getting a job that doesn't pay as much as the welfare benefit they are receiving that they'll lose if they get the job) until the amount reaches zero at some maximum somewhat arbitrarily chosen income level. 

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4 hours ago, Duquesne Frog said:

 

According to his website:

 

Current welfare and social program beneficiaries would be given a choice between their current benefits or $1,000 cash unconditionally – most would prefer cash with no restriction. 

 

So he's basically absorbing whatever we spend on welfare (according to him, ~ $500-600B) already into the estimate into what it's going to cost.  The rest he proposes making up in a production tax that he claims will be fairer than an income tax as human labor is replaced by automation.

 

Personally, while I'd love to have another $12k, I think it's silly to make it independent of income, precisely because of the cost you point out here.  I think the only way to make something like this work is to give the full "dividend" to those below the somewhat arbitrarily chosen poverty line and then decrease the amount given smoothly (so that you don't do what social security does and punish people for getting a job that doesn't pay as much as the welfare benefit they are receiving that they'll lose if they get the job) until the amount reaches zero at some maximum somewhat arbitrarily chosen income level. 

 

Most basic income plans are looking to remove the welfare infrastructure in exchange for a monthly payment. Of course you still have to pay for the benefit somehow.

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