By James Fieseher, M.D.
Seacoastonline.com (Portsmouth, N.H.), September 18, 2020
In a recent “Guest View” by Rockingham County Commissioner Kevin St. James, he concludes that “Government control won’t fix health care.” He cited data to support his conclusions.
There is a certain familiarity with the data that he cited. They coincide almost exactly with the information distributed by the private insurance industry.
This industry has a virtual “lock” on health insurance in this state and this country, which has helped to make them among the most profitable companies in the US.It is no wonder they would distribute skewed data to keep those profits high.
Let’s start with taxes. Mr. St. James correctly points out that “according to some estimates, payroll taxes might increase as much as $2,300 annually.” That would be true only if a single-payer system was based solely on payroll taxes.
However, since the average American pays between $10,000 – $36,000 annually for private health care, most people would save between $6,000 – $32,000 annually. If you think you pay less than that on healthcare, you should consider the amount your employer is paying for your health insurance as well.
Additionally, the US government is already paying $5,900 per capita on healthcare now, or roughly 11.2% of GDP. Those numbers are taken from 2016 data (American Journal of Public Health, June 2016) and I suspect the current figures are even higher. For comparison, in the same year Canada spent $4,351 (in American dollars) per capita or 10.2% of GDP. This doesn’t take into account that Canada’s system covers everyone, not the 85% covered in the US.