There’s No Such Thing as Free Healthcare
Here’s your slap in the face for this week – and anybody who’s gotten to know me at our meetings or seminars knows this one was unavoidable.
The focus this week is on Bernie Sanders and his claim that we can provide Medicare for everybody that won’t cost anything. Free! More free stuff – great.
Let’s look at what Medicare costs us now and what we’re getting.
Fifteen percent of our population is covered by Medicare at a cost of $582 billion. It’s 14% of the budget. That’s the federal government’s second-largest expenditure – Social Security is the largest.
But as we gray hairs know, Medicare covers only 80% of hospitalization – it isn’t full coverage. If we were to provide this limited coverage to everyone, it would cost somewhere in the area of $3.8 trillion.
Hello, Sanders – the entire federal budget now is $4.4 trillion, and that number has a $1 trillion deficit attached to it. But that’s only the start of the incredible absence of logic and reason behind the promises he’s making.
Only 1 in 10 who are covered now rely on Medicare for all of their medical coverage. No one knows what the total costs for the other services are.
To cover the other 20%, the costs can run as high $700 per month per person for supplemental plans.
Let’s use a real lowball number of $200 per person for supplemental coverage per month. If we multiply that by 310 million people… free, right, no cost to anyone? And that’s just for the supplemental part.
And yes, I know there are multiple sets of numbers that can be twisted to say whatever about Medicare costs, and mine may be off by a little – but they’re not off by enough to change the fact that this is fantasy.
If the emperor of our financial illiterates ever gets his way, even for the known costs, Medicare costs would exceed the entire budget and the costs would equal about 25% of the total GDP of the U.S.
Mr. Sanders’ claim that this isn’t going to cost us anything tells me he’s not just unrealistic – he’s delusional. Clinically so.
The U.S. government collects only $3.9 trillion in taxes each year. To pay for this nonsense, taxes would have to increase by 85% to 100% – and not just tax brackets, but the actual money paid in taxes across the board.
Why the news media doesn’t report these numbers so the American people can make an informed judgment is beyond me.
So here’s what I have in mind for Mr. Sanders. Here is the address for his campaign.
P.O. Box 391
Burlington, VT 05402
If you agree with me and the numbers I just quoted, and if you’re concerned that the media is saying nothing about it, instead of sending Sanders a campaign donation, send him a calculator with a note that reads “the instructions are enclosed, please learn how to use it.”
I’m calling this the “Send Bernie a Calculator With Instructions” campaign.
And before you start slamming me that everyone should have healthcare, I don’t disagree. But for God’s sake, can we get ideas that have some basis in reality? Or at least ideas from someone who knows how to add?
Financial literacy is no joke.