MFA proponents never get specific on how to pay for such a program so I did a little cost analysis myself. First some basics:
So this worker now sees a $769 Medicare deduction on their paycheck (the employer matches that).
GDP was 19.39 trillion USD (2017). Healthcare costs 17% of GDP. Rounding down GDP and dividing by 17% we get $3.2 trillion of total healthcare costs in 2017. This is consistent with 10 year cost projections of $32 trillion provided by MFA supporters.
$3.2 trillion divided by 138 million workers is $23,000 annually. This pays for ALL medical services for all 300 million plus residents which I understand is the objective of MFA advocates. But this is where MFA proponents quickly leave the discussion. Who pays for that $3.2 trillion after some modest overhead is reduced?
Medicare payroll tax is regressive so this poses a problem of what the “average” worker would pay. It is capped for high income earners. I am also assuming that Medicare would be taxed separately as it is now.
The first criticism should be “you are putting all the cost on 138 million workers”. Well, yes. Workers and employers pay 85-90% of Medicare taxes today. And if you want to tax employers why change the system at all?
The ACA levied a new tax on high income earners but it is small in overall Medicare tax impact.
So, I gave it a try. The insurance companies profit is a tiny sliver of that $3.2 trillion (MFA proponents like to overstate savings there).
So, if you care at all, tell me where I am mistaken because I would not want to deliver the cost per worker to voters of MFA either - just as proponents are loathe to. I certainly could have made a math error. It would not be the first.
And if you disagree tell me what the tax per worker would be - don’t just correct my math. Adjust away.