“Life is too short to have sorrow.
“You may be here today and gone tomorrow.”
George Davis and Lee Diamond wrote those words that were in the song originally recorded in 1966 by Aaron Neville. “Tell It Like It Is” became a signature tune for Neville and, in this time of political strife, the concept should be top of mind for everyone.
In listening to the 42 Democrats currently running for the presidential nomination, one might note that health care — more specifically, health insurance — is a huge topic.
And the biggest lightning rod of all is the idea of Medicare for all, and that it will be free for everyone. Although that sounds really appealing, it should be remembered that nothing is ever, truly free.
Yes, if the Medicare for all idea grows wings, it will cost you something. But it could be that you pay less than what you’re paying now. Do let’s look at a possible scenario.
For instance, we’ll say a man has health insurance coverage though his employer. His significant other also is offered insurance at her place of employment, but it is more affordable at his job, so they opt for that covering both of them.
The problem is that he only clears about $150 per pay period because he’s paying $500 for that health insurance premium and they live on the money she makes.
To some people that makes sense and even sounds like a bargain. There are plenty of people living on less than that.
But, if the Medicare for all could cost $200 for that same pay period, that would free up a lot of cash for the couple about which we speak.
And how would that be paid for? It would almost certainly be through the use of that “T” word that everyone fears so much: A tax.
Yes, a payroll tax would be the easiest option to pay for that health coverage. But if the couple has an additional $300 every couple of weeks, they would most likely spend it on goods and services they otherwise couldn’t afford. That would mean those folks who make the widgets being sold have to make more widgets, meaning they have to hire more people to make them and they in turn will buy widgets.
And that would help to spur the economy in ways that tax cuts for anyone would even come close to.
People argue that health care will suffer and that may be true. Still, under the current system, if you’re told you need surgery and it’s scheduled for six months out, do you really need it after all? For my money, if I need surgery, take me to the operating room that day and get it done.
In order to make the Medicare for all concept a reality, the powers that be (or WILL be in this case) have got to stop skirting the issue and tell it like it is. You’re going to pay for it one way or the other, but you might not pay as much.
James L. White is the associate editor for the Harrison Daily Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .