May 26, 2017


The solution to America's health-care problem is obvious: Medicare. For. All. (Ryan Cooper, May 26, 2017, The Week)

[T]he important thing to remember regarding the state budget is that California already spends about $200 billion on Medicaid and Medicare -- it's just that those programs are administered at the federal level. Per the state analysis, employers also already spend an additional $100 billion to $150 billion, so the state would "only" have to find $50 billion to $100 billion in fresh revenue.

Still, that is a tremendous amount of money. But California is a big, rich state, with GDP of nearly $2.5 trillion. A price of $400 billion represents about 15 percent of their total economic output -- far higher than the developed nation average, but actually 3 percentage points of GDP less than America as a whole.

So, nevermind that we'd save 3% of GDP right off the bat, the ratchet downwards--even if it only gets us as low as Sweden and France--saves another 3%.  Get it down to Canada/Australia levels and it's another 2%.  That's 8% of GDP we can invest in the productive economy instead of wasting on unnecessary medical costs.  Clawing back 2% of the similarly wasted military spending gets us to a 10% infusion of capital into economic investments.  

We'd prefer universal catastrophic/HSAs, so that cash is going directly into personal investment accounts and helping end Social Security too, but universal Medicare is, obviously, an effective alternative to the current mess.  And it becomes ever more likely as the GOP opposes increased coverage while offering no alternative.

Posted by at May 26, 2017 7:51 AM