Motors covers more than 1.1 million employees and retirees with health
insurance. GM executives note that it spends about $5 billion on healthcare
expenses annually. Healthcare costs add between $1,500 and $2,000 to the
sticker price of every automobile and truck that GM manufactures. The Cato Institute found that GM paid $1,500 more
per vehicle for health insurance than Toyota.
Chrysler claims a health-care cost of $1,400 per vehicle. Ford says its health insurance burden is $1,100 per vehicle.
Medicare for All Will Make U.S. More Competitive
Workers at Mercedes, BMW and Audi plants in Germany have health insurance paid for by the German government. This puts Germany at a cost advantage. Similarly, Japan pays for Lexus, Toyota and Nissan workers' health insurance.
In Canada, the provincial governments pay for health coverage for all of their citizens. Chevys, Fords, Hondas and Chryslers made in Canada have an unfair trade advantage because of government-funded healthcare. Did you know that Canada manufactures more vehicles per capita than the United States? The reason for this is government-paid health care.
The current Affordable Care Act does not help U.S. competitiveness. Universal health insurance paid for by the federal government would make U.S. manufacturers more competitive.
Costs and Savings
Professor Gerald Friedman found that "Medicare for All" would cover everyone, saving billions in its first year. ("The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act How We Can Afford a National Single-Payer Health Plan," www/pnhp.org/site/default/files/Funding H.R. 676_Friedman_7.31.13_proofed.pdf.)
He found that a Canadian-style, single-payer health plan would reap huge savings from reduced paperwork and from negotiated drug prices, enough to pay for quality coverage for all--at less cost to families and businesses. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that a majority of the public (53 percent) now favors a single-payer health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan, while just over four in ten (43 percent) are opposed. www.kff/polling/Data Note: Modestly Strong but Malleable Support for Single-Payer Health Care.
Upgrading the nation's Medicare program and expanding it to cover people of all ages would yield more than a half-trillion dollars in efficiency savings in its first year of operation, enough to pay for high-quality, comprehensive health benefits for all residents of the United States at a lower cost to most individuals, families and businesses. That's the chief finding of a new fiscal study by Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Prof. Friedman said the savings would come from slashing the administrative waste associated with today's private health-insurance industry ($476 billion) and using the new, public system's bargaining muscle to negotiate pharmaceutical drug prices down to European levels ($116 billion).
"These savings would be more than enough to fund $343 billion in improvements to our health system, including the achievement of truly universal coverage, improved benefits, and the elimination of premiums, co-payments and deductibles, which are major barriers to people seeking care," Friedman said.
The Senate Bill
Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017, has 16 co-sponsors (Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)) in the Senate. The bill would be more than enough to cover all 44 million people the government estimated were uninsured in that year and to upgrade benefits for everyone else.
If Taiwan Can Do It, So Can the U.S.A.