Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Single-Payer Health Insurance advancing Fast in America

The big media has been trying to downplay the story, but single-payer healthcare is growing fast in popularity throughout the United States. Recent news stories indicate that single payer might be on the verge of going main stream, and has considerable popular support.

It went almost unnoticed by reporters; but Nevada quietly almost became the first state to adopt a form of single-payer or universal health insurance. Assembly Bill (AB) 374; or the Nevada Care Plan, passed both houses of that state’s legislature with bipartisan support.

Nevada almost sneaked in Single Payer

AB 374 would have allowed any resident of Nevada to participate in that state’s Medicaid program regardless of income, The Fiscal Times reported. Since Medicaid is usually cheaper and offers lower deductibles than private plans this would have seriously cut into the sales of private health insurance plans in Nevada.

We will not know if it will work; because Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed AB 374 on June 16. Interestingly enough, Sandoval mulled the measure for five days and came very close to signing it. That shows there is support for single-payer among Republicans.

A big reason why some Republicans support single-payer is as a union-busting measure. Getting rid of the need for employer health insurance will get rid of one of unions’ most popular selling points. Nevada’s gaming industry is heavily unionized; which is where some support for AB 374 undoubtedly came from.

AB 374; introduced by State Assemblyman Mike Sprinke (D-Sparks) was a sneaky attempt to implement single-payer and it almost worked. More intriguingly a moderate Republican Governor almost signed it. One has to wonder if the moderate Republican; and vocal fan of single payer, in the White House would sign a federal “Medicaid for All” law if one reached his desk?

Liz Warren Supports Nationwide Single-Payer

”Now it’s time for the next step,” U.S. Senator Liz Warren (D-Massachusetts) told The Wall Street Journal on June 27, “and the next step is single payer.”

In a big change of position; Warren has dumped Obamacare and now wants Democrats nationwide to campaign for single payer, The Seattle Times reported. This is a big deal; because Warren is one of the highest profile Senators, whose name is often mentioned as a Democratic presidential candidate for 2020.

One has to wonder if this is the opening shot in Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign. Warren’s colleague; U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has gone even farther and introduced a single payer or Medicare for all bill in the U.S. Senate. A similar measure in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 676) has the support of the majority of Democrats in that body or 113 members.

Warren Buffett Supports Single Payer

America’s most influential single-payer advocate might be its’ most famous capitalist; Warren Buffett. Uncle Warren supports single payer because he thinks healthcare costs are a threat to American competitiveness.

“So corporate taxes are way less of a factor in American competiveness than medical costs,” Buffett told PBS Newshour’s Judy Wodruff. He noted that healthcare expenditures in the United States now account for 17% of the U.S. economy in 1960 they were 5%. He noted that corporate tax rates fell from 4% to 2% in the same period.

“You can’t have that five go to 17 and move on to 20 and 22 or 24% because there are only 100 cents in the dollar,” Buffett said. “Healthcare is gobbling up well over $3 trillion a year. It’s just about the same as the federal budget.”

“With my limited knowledge I think that probably is the best system,” Buffett said of single-payer. “We are such a rich country we can afford to do it.”

“It’d be more effective I think,” he concluded. Buffett thinks Single Payer would reduce costs. He pointed out that there is no incentive to reduce costs in the current healthcare system.

If Buffett is correct America is on the verge of disaster because there’s no way the United States economy can function if 25% of our Gross Domestic Product is spent on healthcare.

We need to consider single-payer to bring those costs under control before it’s too late. If not nobody might be able to afford healthcare in the future.