Americans already pay for national health insurance — they just don’t get it. In this 2002 Health Affairs paper, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler point out that the standard accounting miscategorizes two major public health expenditures as private: the tax credit for private health insurance and the cost of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.
When these costs are accounted for, it becomes evident that Americans already pay the world’s highest health care taxes. In fact, the amount of public health spending in the U.S. is greater than the combined public and private spending of nations which provide universal comprehensive health insurance. A single-payer system could provide such coverage to all Americans with no need for additional health dollars.