Nearly all Americans' taxes will go down under Medicare for All

Originally published at:


“I’d rather impoverish my family and die of cancer than pay for someone else’s health care that they don’t deserve!”

  • Person who doesn’t pay enough in taxes to pay for anyone else’s health care.



And we know who opponents of single-payer universal consider “undeserving”.

If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you. – Lyndon Johnson

That, as much as their innumeracy, is what’s kept the Know-Nothing 27% fighting on behalf of millionaire shareholders and executives of for-profit health insurers (and other predatory industries) at least as far back as LBJ.


This kind of disingenuous garbage does not help win the argument for affordable healthcare.

Although they are not officially called taxes, insurance premiums paid by employers are just like taxes – but taxes paid to private insurers instead of paid to the government.

So, not actually taxes then.

Take again the case of a secretary earning $50,000 in wage and currently contributing $15,000 through her employer to an insurance company. With universal health insurance, her wage would rise to $65,000 – her full labor compensation.

Or her wage would remain the same and the company would pocket the other $15,000. What is the company’s incentive to do otherwise? Whenever any other tax cut is proposed into which corporations can reach their greedy hands, that is always point number one: money does not trickle down.

With an income tax of 6% – which, if applied to a base large enough, would be enough to fund universal health insurance – she would have to pay about $4,000 more in tax. But the net gain would be enormous: $11,000.

Or it would be a net loss of $4,000 if her company declines to give her the putative $15,000 raise.


Most people don’t talk about their salaries in terms of net earnings.


Years ago I wouldn’t have even noticed that the fictional secretary was female while the fictional executive was male. Now that sort of gender stereotyping leaps off the page at me.
I really think its time for english to adopt a gender neutral pronoun for people.


Kyle Kulinski does a similar (excellent) framing where he refers to the current costs as a “private tax,” recommending that the question be handled like this:

Q: [ …corporatist blather…] won’t peoples taxes go up? [ …more corporatist blather… ]

A: No.

Q: But, how can you…

A. We will be cutting people’s private taxes.

Q. What do you mean by private taxes?

At this point you explain things and you’ve won the exchange.


I think where the article says poll tax, it should read payroll tax.


No, they meant poll tax. A poll tax is the same flat dollar amount for everyone, originally designed to keep poor people from voting. Payroll tax is a flat percentage; people who make more pay a larger amount. The point is that having everyones take-home reduced by the same dollar amount for healthcare regardless of income is more regressive than payroll tax (and more like a poll tax)


Huh! Google says you’re right. Id only ever heard it used to restrict ballot access, not as a flat rate fee for everyone.


It’s unfortunate, but if you have to explain, you’ve lost.

Refusing to give them the “raising taxes” soundbite wasn’t a fumble. Instead, she reframed the question such that it wasn’t a bad faith question in the first place.

It’s not an topic that is amenable to sound bites like a 12-person debate format or quick-hit stand-up interview. It takes at least 2 sentences to capture an accurate picture of funding M4A. 1. Eliminate all individual and employer payments to private health insurance and hospitals, 2. Offset that funding source with individual and employer taxes minus the direct 15% expense of health insurance profits.


Piggybacking on what @mcsnee said upstream, it would go something like this.

Currently, about $5500 per year is deducted from my salary for my family’s health insurance. Because I work on the financial side, I know that the company absorbs about $11000 per year in operating expense for insurance costs on my behalf.

Now, if M4A took effect tomorrow, I would expect that the $5500 deduction would come back to me dollar for dollar, and the $11000 would go toward corporate profits and thence to shareholders.

How I would personally make out would depend on whether my tax bracket, combined with any new Medicare tax, costs me more or less than an additional $5500.


If her company were to pocket the $15,000, wouldn’t that be an incentive for them to be FOR Universal Healthcare?

Indeed, there are many people who say that UHC will be a boon for small businesses, self employment, and entrepreneurs, because one of the largest costs of employing people (or the risk of going alone) will be handled.

I’ll agree the headline should be worded “Healthcare Costs” or something to that effect.


Oddly, the UK, under the influence of populist politicians and autocratic media moguls, might end up doing just that. Our best bet might be that you Americans vote for Medicare for All… so we are probably fucked. :smiley:

I found this video both informative and terrifying.


Why does everyone assume that M4A will be funded entirely with income taxes? Why hand corporations a huge effective tax cut by letting them drop employer-provided health insurance without replacing it with equivalent corporate taxes?


The same reason that everyone assumes that total health insurance outlay per person will remain as high as it is now after the cost efficiencies and not-for-profit aspects of single-payer come into effect: 40 years of disingenuous conservative and Libertarian propaganda pretending that the assumptions of neoliberalism are the only basis for sound fiscal policy.


Most new jobs created in the U.S. are by small firms, which cannot afford (and are exempted from providing) health care benefits for their employees. Basically, right now our political system is subsidizing the insurance industry and other well-established companies. Who pays? Look at our health and death statistics in comparison to any country we would want to be associated with.

We need to finally override the political grift that has been against job creators, entrepreneurs, and the majority of workers.


So, not actually taxes then.

It’s called reframing. And yes, it’s a tax, but one that benefits rich insurance companies instead of everyone.

Or her wage would remain the same and the company would pocket the other $15,000.

Uh, no way. That’s her salary. The deduction comes AFTER her pay for the period has been calculated. Gross pay. It’s hers. They try and keep it, and the lawsuits are going to keep them busy for decades.

Or it would be a net loss of $4,000 if her company declines to give her the putative $15,000 raise.

It’s not a raise. It’s already her money. They would have to LOWER her pay to steal it away from her, and like I said… see you in court.