I see the Daily News asks whether we are ready to pay for ‘free’ health care.
There are some EU contries where doctors earn less than nurses, and must do like the rest of the peasants, sleep four to a two room apartment. But even there, health care is not “free,” since the taxes that pay for it amount to 57 percent of a minimum wage earner’s income. In a country where over half those who are employed are minimum wage workers.
In our case, nine years ago ran on the premise that health care, at an average of 8,000 a family, was too dar high. In a country where mean family income was $41,000, health insurance an affordable annual deduction was $7,700, and the mean income after taxes and insurance more than $26,000.
Today, Obamacare, which has many doctors waiting rooms almost empty because no one can afford the annual deduction, costs the typical family $16,000,one way or another. Usually by reducing salary as employers take money from payroll to pay for “benefits.” Which are of no benefit at all except in case of catastrophic accident or illness becase few can afford the deductable.
So while employers wage costs have increased sharply, mean family income is down to $38,000; and families must bear the cost of health care because they have only catastrophic illness insurance. And while many of the new doctors who came here so they would not have to seep between two families with crying babies fight like a man fighting fire to help their patients, health care has suffered greatly.
And much of our patient care is give by foreign doctors whose language skills vis a vis their patients is about the same as a veterinarian talking symptoms with a goldfish. Yes, I a sure than Dr.’s Mohammad, Dzuss, Novak, Butterbum, and all the rest of those doctors are fine folks – “Dr. D” is from Sarajevo and has much of interest to convey. If you speak his language. Or can “get along” in German.
So instead of costing two trillion a year, health care now costs three, and is headed for six trillion in the latter part of the next decade. Six trillion, out of an economy estimated to amount to $18 trillion in 2007 dollars by 2024.
So the cost of health care will hav gone from one seventh of Gross National Product to one third of Gross National Product, in 16 years. With disastrous results for health care and Americans standard of living.
The question is not whether or not we are ready to pay for “free health care,” but whether we CAN pay for “free” Socialized medicine.
And as the numbers come in showing those of who ran the numbers in 2008 were correct, it is increasingly clear that we cannot.