Today, we have the most expensive, inefficient, and bureaucratic health care system in the world. We spend almost $10,000 per capita each year on health care, while the Canadians spend $4,644, the Germans $5,551, the French $4,600, and the British $4,192. Meanwhile, our life expectancy is lower than most other industrialized countries and our infant mortality rates are much higher.
Why as a nation are we spending more than 17% of our GDP on health care, while nations that we compete with provide health care for all of their people at 9, 10, or 11% of their GDP? Is that sustainable? What impact does that have on our overall economy?
Richard Master is the owner and CEO of MCS Industries Inc., the nation’s leading supplier of wall and poster frames—a $200 million a year company based in Easton, Pa. “My company now pays $1.5 million a year to provide access to health care for our workers and their dependents,” Master told Common Dreams. “When I investigated where all the money goes, I was shocked.”The single payer bill introduced by Conyers in the House would be paid for with a 5 percent personal income tax increase for higher earners, new taxes on investment income and financial transactions, and a new tax on worker payroll.
What he found was that fully 33 cents of every health care premium dollar “has nothing to do with the delivery of health care.” Thirty-three percent of his health care budget was being spent on administrative costs.
“I came to realize that insurers comprise a completely unnecessary middleman that not only adds little if any value to our health care system, it adds enormous costs to it,” Master said.
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