In the list of really annoying habits of the bi-partisan obsession with the phony debt and deficit "crisis" is the inability, or the ideological desire to willfully refuse, to do simple math. Because if you did simple math, then, you cannot be FOR cheaper government without being FOR single-payer health care. Put another way, any Republican or Democrats who claims s/he wants cheaper government is not being serious, and is picking ideology over economics, if that person does not push for single-payer health care.
This is not a new fact or math exercise--which makes it even more annoying. The facts have been out there during that far away time of the health care debate...oh, right, that was just one year ago. Yes, it's true--even if the transcribers of press releases (formerly known as "journalists") made every effort to ignore the cost-savings of single-payer health care, relegating single-payer to the last paragraph--often, literally--of their stories.
But, this is now worth recalling and talking about as we approach the next foolish chapter in deficit-obsession courtesy of the moronic Catfood Commission II.
Health care costs are the biggest non-military long-term driver of government deficits--largely because of the waste, fraud, administrative paperwork and CEO salariesof the for-profit health care mafia.
You can actually see the cost curves here, and compare the U.S. to other countries.
We also spend nearly $300 billion on pharmaceuticals each year, most of which is waste due to the patent monopolies of pharmaceutical companies. We could eliminate most of this waste through further public financing of pharmaceutical research, with new drugs sold as low-cost generics. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation in the Senate to realize these savings.[emphasis added]
Bottom line: if we took the money we already spend on federal, state and local health care costs (a nice modest figure of $1.3 trillion), mix in some money from employers and workers (a modest payroll tax that ends up saving everyone money because the health care system gets cheaper), toss in the savings from getting rid of the bloated, redundant administrative operations of the private insurance industry (a modest $387 billion) and ask the rich to pay a bit more (a cocktail of rolling back the Bush tax cuts, tax surcharges on the richest and ending some corporate welfare), presto, we end up with a surplus of money and lower costs.
So...we don't need to cut Medicare or other domestic programs.
We simply have to KILL the for-profit health care industry.
Of course, the chances of the Catfood Commission II supporting this is close to zero. But, then, we just have to be clear: those folks don't understand math, or they simply choose to ignore the economic facts.