Friday, November 09, 2007

Sicko-See it!

Last night I watched Michael Moore's latest movie Sicko. I fully understand that everything more makes has an agenda, and he hammers his agenda like there is no tomorrow. The major push of this film is for the United States to embrace universal health care like that found in Canada, UK, France, and even Cuba. I understand that because Moore believes in this he only showed the positives of Universal Health Care (or "socialized medicine" to use the Republican boogie monster word). I am sure there is a darker side to universal health care. I am sure there are people who are uncomfortable under these systems awaiting operations for non-life threatening operations, and I am sure there are other drawbacks. However, Moore makes a convincing argument and after doing just a little research on my own I am really beginning to think he might have something.

One of the biggest complaints about a universal health care system is that it would make taxes be extremely high, say 50%. After doing the math myself I am ok with that. The average gross income for an American family is $48,201, so if 50% of that was taxed that would leave the family with $24,100 AND free, universal health care. Now under the current American system there are already taxes, approximately 24% of people's pay checks are taken out to pay taxes. So already in the US the net income for the average family in the US is $36,633. The average cost per year for health insurance in the United States is about $11,000. So after the average American family pays health insurance they are down to $25,633. Thus under a 50% tax for universal health care and the current system there is only a $1,533 difference. That difference does not count prescription co-pay either, so for many people on meds the difference would be much, much lower. Another thing to consider is that the average deductible in the United States is $9,086. So if someone in the average American family has a major medical problem like a heart attack, cancer, stroke, etc. and has to pay $9,086 then the net income drops to $16,547-which puts the family well below the poverty level.

It seems to me that financially for Americans Universal health care makes a lot of sense, and the only people who loose are Health Insurance companies, which continue to make record profits.


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