A retired couple, friends of mine, told me, “Many people believe us old people get our healthcare free. Do they realize that we, and we are not alone, pay over 50 percent of our income for healthcare insurance, and that doesn’t include co-payments or cost to get to and from doctor’s offices or hospitals. The VA does help us (maybe) with co-payments and mileage but that isn’t true for most people on Medicare.” 

Democrats promised to fix healthcare with the Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 23, 2010. Nowadays, Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020 are proposing new and improved plans for fixing healthcare called universal healthcare or Medicare for all.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed leader of the socialist pack of Democrats, has been beating the universal healthcare drum for years. In a CBS Interview last month, Sanders said, “If our friends in Scandinavia can provide quality health care to all of their people as a right, for far less than we spend, you tell me why we can’t do it.” 

Bernie’s fellow presidential hopefuls are trying to follow his lead. Universal healthcare will be a huge issue in the 2020 election, and supporters will appeal to systems in other “developed” nations that apparently work just fine. 

How are Scandinavian nations providing “quality health care to all of their people….”? According to a March 8, 2019, Reuters’ article, there is trouble in healthcare utopia. Anne Kauranen wrote, “Healthcare systems across much of the developed world have come under increasing stress in recent years as treatment costs soar and people live longer, meaning fewer workers are supporting more pensioners.” 

Kauranen continued, “Nordic countries, where comprehensive welfare is the cornerstone of the social model, have been among the most affected. But reform has been controversial and, in Finland, plans to cut costs and boost efficiency have stalled for years.”

A recent BBC article also noted the problems in Finland. “Like many developed nations, Finland has an aging population that is putting financial pressure on its social welfare systems. As an increasing number of people live longer in retirement, the cost of providing pension and healthcare benefits can rise. Those increased costs are paid for by taxes collected from the working-age population – who make up a smaller percentage of the population than in decades past.”

American voters need to know Scandinavians at every income level have to pay higher taxes than Americans in order to pay for socialist services including healthcare.

According to the Tax Foundation: “A lot of the spending-side programs in Scandinavian countries cost a lot. Taxes would definitely need to be increased in the United States if it were to adopt them. If the U.S. were to raise taxes in a way that mirrors Scandinavian countries, taxes—especially on the middle-class—would increase through a new VAT (value added tax) and high payroll and income taxes. Business and capital taxes wouldn’t necessarily increase, in fact, the marginal corporate income tax rate would decline significantly.”

In other words, the federal government would have to create more taxes, and Americans would have to pay higher payroll and income taxes to cover costs for universal healthcare or Medicare for all. 

Many Americans understand the dangers socialism poses for any nation. Medicare is not free in America today. Medicare for all would be disastrous.

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