Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wisconsin’s Universal Healthcare Plan Shows Real Costs of National Healthcare...

The Democrats who run the Wisconsin Senate are looking to pass a plan designed to insure every resident of Wisconsin under the age of 65 in the state. And, in the process they’ve proven just how expensive all this "free" health care really is.

For starters, the plan would cost an estimated $15.2 billion, or $3 billion more than the state currently collects in ALL income, sales and corporate income taxes. It represents an average of $510 a month (over $6,000/year) in higher taxes for every Wisconsin worker. Under the WI Democrats’ plan, both employees and businesses would pay for the plan by sharing the cost of a new 14.5% employment tax on wages.

Wisconsin businesses would be forced to compete with lower burdened out-of-state businesses and foreign rivals while shouldering a 29.8% combined federal-state payroll tax, nearly double the 15.3% payroll tax paid by non-Wisconsin firms for Social Security and Medicare combined.

In all, the tax burden in the Badger State could rise to 20% of family income, which is slightly more than the average federal tax burden, a level that would make it nearly impossible for the vast majority of Wisconsin’s workers to maintain ownership over their homes.

As if that's not enough, the health plan includes a tax escalator clause allowing an additional 1.5 percentage point payroll tax to finance the predicted higher future outlays. This would bring the payroll tax to 16%. And one reason to expect costs to soar is that the state may become a mecca for the unemployed, uninsured and sick from all over North America. Since the legislation doesn't require that you have a job in Wisconsin to qualify, merely that you live in the state for at least 12 months, it’s far more likely than not that Wisconsin would attract more of the unemployed and uninsured (“health-care free-loaders”) while losing productive workers who could be expected to leave for less-taxing climes.

Proponents of the system, including WI Governor Jim Doyle (ribbon-cutting above), use the familiar argument, often used in favor of national health care - that this will save money (about $1.8 billion a year) through efficiency gains by eliminating the administrative costs of private insurance. And unions and some big businesses with rich union health plans are only too happy to dump these liabilities onto the government.

But those costs won't go away, they'll merely be shifted to all taxpayers and businesses. Small employers that can't afford to provide insurance would see their employment costs rise by thousands of dollars per worker, while those that now provide a basic health insurance plan would have to pay $400 to $500 a year more per employee.

Private companies that are currently making modest progress in sweating out health-care inflation by making patients more cost-conscious through increased co-payments, health savings accounts, and incentives for wellness are ignored by the Wisconsin model. In fact, the Wisconsin program moves in the opposite direction: It reduces out-of-pocket co-payments, bars money-saving HSA plans, and increases the number of mandated medical services covered under the plan.

So where will savings come from? Well, it figures that they'll come where they always do in any such government plan, in the form of rationing via price controls and, as costs rise, longer waiting periods and more and more drastic coverage restrictions.

At least Wisconsin Democrats are admitting how much it will cost Americans to pay for government-run health care. Without ANY doubt, it shows the enormity of what a national, government-run healthcare program would cost.



mal said...

God but I am thoroughly sick from the lack of in-depth analysis performed by MSM journalists on these boondoggles.

The latest scam in congress is proposing raising certain taxes, mostly on smokers of course, for 'the kids', a euphemism so odious to my ears as to set off alarms which make my dogs start barking!

Included among 'the kids':

a) anyone still living at home who is under 26.

b) illegal immigrants' children

c) children from families with incomes under $88,000.

At the risk of being a broken record, where is the outrage?

Where is the scrutiny by the media?

Where is the light of day being applied to this crap?

If there is a silver lining on this, it is that the Dems had to lay their proverbial cards on the table with specifics.

It beats 'tax cuts for the "rich" (How rich? They never are asked to say!)

Also, there is the "rich" paying "their fair share". (What exactly is fair and who determines it to be so?).

JMK said...

Hey! They figure "Who can be against the kids?"

And you know what, a large part of the time, they're right.

Many people and ALL Far Lefters don't think....they emote.

Rachel said...

I think - AND emote ;)

JMK said...

"I think - AND emote ;) (Rachel)

But you do think....many people seem to base many, if not most of their conclusions on feelings.

And notice, I DID say "Far Lefters," as I always try to make a distinction between independent thinkers who happen to self-identify as Liberals, like yourself and the Far-Left, people like Moore, Sheehan, Soros, Gore, Kucinich and their fellow extremists.

mal said...

Rachel, more to the point here: do you see what frustrates those of us on the right with this political chicanery?

Were you, an intelligent responder on a number of posts, even aware of this boondoggle?

I really would like to know.

JMK said...

It's an ambitious plan Mal.

Since it hasn't passed yet, the only reason I found out about it was via a Wall Street Jnl article on it.

I can understand the support of Universal healthcare, it's an appealing proposition, BUT this is what all sensible people, Left & Right have to consider; "Given that Big Business is so gung ho on this, is it really in our best interests?"

I'm not saying that big business's aims and working people's aims are antithetical, often they're not, BUT in this case business is looking to foist it's expenses (currently over 85% of all Americans are covered via their employers) on the taxpayers.

The reality is that the costs of a commodity don't go down when government offers it "for free."

In fact, if anything, they rise, as more ancillary costs are added to it via government bureaucracy.

We pay for all the "free stuff" via taxes...and we pay double, sometimes triple what it would cost if proided in the market.

It's like housing costs, as housing prices rise, homeowners rejoice, as the value of their property increases. But what real estate really does is, for the most part, keep pace with inflation.

As house prices rise, the current homeowners gets more for their home, but PAYS more for the new home they buy....likewise, when home prices drop, they get less for their home, but pay less for the new home they'll buy.

Regardless, it's always tough for newcomers to enter that market, as it usually requires 10% down to get a house....lower prices usually correspond with higher interest rates, the recent higher prices of the recent housing bubble usually come about through easier access to credit and lower rates.

Again, when government subsidizes "low income housing," that housing always winds up costing "the people" (the taxpayers) far more than it would've without that government involvement.

P.S. And I'm glad Rachel is here too....she IS a very intelligent poster and someone who always makes me think.

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