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Warren's virtue tax: Loopy Medicare for All math punishes states and businesses for health care generosity


Added 11-17-19 04:13:02am EST - “Elizabeth Warren's newly announced plans to implement her single-payer Medicare for All health plan incrementally, by first expanding insurance coverage and waiting several years to try move to nix private insurance, are an intelligent…” - Nydailynews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Warren’s virtue tax: Loopy Medicare for All math punishes states and businesses for health care generosity”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Elizabeth Warren’s newly announced plans to implement her single-payer Medicare for All health plan incrementally, by first expanding insurance coverage and waiting several years to try nixing private insurance, are an intelligent concession to both human nature and political reality.

While a majority of Americans support the idea of a public insurance option, many oppose abolishing private insurance. A gradual process would give Americans time to swallow the medicine (or poison, depending on one’s perspective).

The same can’t be said for Warren’s single-payer financing plan. Warren, it seems, is so desperate to avoid angering centrists by raising middle-class taxes to fund the (we think under-estimated) $20.5 trillion price tag, she’s devised a needlessly elaborate and regressive payment scheme that ends up sacrificing fairness on the altar of political viability.

The sacrificial lambs? Not just billionaires and corporations, who arguably should pay more. She’d also require state and local governments to lock in current spending on Medicaid and health benefits and hand those funds over to the feds.

As former Daily Newser Bill Hammond, now a health-policy wonk, notes, that would punish states like New York, which provide more generous Medicaid benefits and spend disproportionately more on them than other, less munificent states. Same for private employers, who’d tally up what they spend on employee health care, then pay 98% of that amount to the government, instead of insurers. Companies with generous benefits would pay a veritable virtue tax.

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