USA Health Care Reality
Our healthcare costs are enormous and continue to rise at over double-digit rates. Currently, they average almost $13,000 a year for every man, woman & child. If this were considered an Industry (and it is) it would rank as by far the largest in our country at $4.3 trillion annually or about 18% of GDP. Our costs are more than 2.5 times the average EU country healthcare costs. Over 1/3 of these costs are borne by the Federal Government in the form of Medicare (funded by the taxpayer), Medicaid, and “Affordable Healthcare” subsidies. Approximately another 1/3 is funded through company healthcare insurance and the balance is funded via private insurance in the form of premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. This latter segment is mandated via the “Affordable Healthcare Act”. For lower-income families, this act provides s coverage where none was previously available. However, for the majority of the population (the middle class) it is expensive and amounts to catastrophic coverage. Premiums are high and the required upfront deductible is enormous.
I believe healthcare should be considered a citizen right like it is in most other first-world countries (EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, etc.). But you say that other countries have much higher tax rates which is why they are able to subsidize healthcare. Really? Higher healthcare costs are a major contributor to employee benefit costs. Over the last 20 years, these costs have almost tripped while inflation-adjusted family income has only risen by 8%. Workers are funding the increase by not getting increases in wages. I call this a “hidden tax”. To cover the enormous cost insurance companies have increased premiums, deductibles & co-pays. Again, a hidden tax. Do the math. We are the most heavily taxed country in the world.