Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taxes and Health Care

The leading argument I hear from friends of mine about why Government health care is bad is that it will cost too much, or that it will raise taxes by double.

Dr Joe Jarvis presents us with some facts on this Tax Day:

1) We do not have a privately financed health care system in the US. 60% of the revenues funding health care in this country are from taxes.

2) With health care predicted to cost $2.4 trillion in the US this year, nearly $1.5 trillion in taxes will be paid for health care.

3) Since the total amount of all taxes paid this year for all levels of government will be less than $4 trillion, health care costs account for more than 1/3 of all taxes collected.

4) Adding the tax burden together with the premium costs, the percentage of household income devoted to health care is 37% ($14,500) for families with annual income of $25,000, 26% ($17,400) for families with annual income of $50,000, and 22% ($20,750) for families with annual income of $75,000. These estimates do not include out of pocket costs or medical expense portions of automobile insurance and workers compensation insurance.

5) Americans pay more per capita taxes for health care than do the citizens of any other nation.

6) In addition to highest in the world health care taxes, Americans are the only citizens in the first world who are routinely bankrupted by significant out of pocket costs for illness and injury care.

Happy Tax Day. May your payment today stimulate you to seek better and more efficient public policies for health care financing. May you be less afraid of change and more aware of the frightening waste in our current health care financing business model.

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