How Gov. Strickland and Mayor Coleman Sit Back While Million$ Get Wasted
Our tax dollars pay for costly private health insurance for public employees. Columbus has about 8,000 employees and the city’s contribution for health insurance premiums was about $95,000,000 in 2008, according to a city hall employee. That’s a sizable portion of the city budget (about 6.5%).
The state of Ohio has about 60,000 employees. State government is byzantine and I haven’t been able to determine the state’s contributions for health insurance but it must be in the neighborhood of $500 to $600 million (any state workers out there know?)
btw, I am not opposed to government employees getting health insurance. Health care is a human right, you know, the right to life, liberty, ….. But, taxpayers shouldn’t have to over-pay for it so health insurance CEOs make $100 million a year.
The point is that Governor Strickland and Mayor Coleman and other government chief executives should be pounding podiums across the nation demanding single-payer (Medicare for All). Getting public employees into Medicare for All would save government at all levels (and school districts) hundreds of billions of dollars per year nationwide. Some of the savings could be used to make sure every American is insured.
These are outdated statistics but demonstrate how the U.S. overpays for health care.
Healthcare spending, per capita, in the U.S. is $6,714, which is expected to double in the next 7 to 10 years if nothing is done.
Health care spending, per capita, in Canada is $3,698 (Medicare for all)
Health care spending, per capita, in the U.K. is $2,760 (socialist medical system).
The cost savings of single-payer (Medicare for all) for public employees would be in the 40% range. That would mean a wind-fall of about $40 million for the city of Columbus alone. Which would make the recent sales tax increase unnecessary.
This is all very relevent because Rep. Dennis Kucinich sponsored an admendment that was approved in the House Committee on Education and Labor to the House’s health-care reform bill allowing states to create single-payer health care systems if they so choose.
Our local corporate media has for some reason not reported how single-payer, (Medicare for All) would save Ohio taxpayers billions of dollars by removing the middle-man, the insurance companies, between doctors and patients.
I think President Obama foolishly took a national Medicare for all off the table right from the start. He should have instructed Democratic poo-bahs to hold rallies for it. At least then, the so-called public option would have been viewed as a middle-ground, compromise position.
There is still no excuse for governors, mayors, county commissioners and school board members not to be advocating strongly for getting public employees into a Medicare for all system to conserve taxpayer dollars.