Web Letters | The Nation

Commentary: Laura Flanders on the Midterm's Real Winners

Universal healthcare would save us all some money

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft said, "The most important function of government is to protect its citizens from harm."

My plumber (result of Katrina flooding) said he pays just over $1,000 a month for his healthcare "coverage," none for his subcontractors. When I told him he also paid $3,200 for his two GMC trucks parked in my driveway, for GM workers' healthcare*, he went bananas, never knew it, nor about taxes neither (federal, state, county, city, township, police, firemen, city workers, etc.) all containing embedded (buried) healthcare factors. Throughout our conversation, I was wondering how much of his $1,000 a month would be contained in his invoice to me.

Weeks later, my thoughts about this got me to wondering, if we had universal healthcare, my plumber would pocket his $1,000 a month plus the $3,200 for his GMC costs on new purchases. As for me, I would not only save my supplemental insurance premium, but also the monthly Medicare fees. The same for the millions who are paying out-of-pocket healthcare premiums for healthcare coverage. As a "covered" federal retiree, I would be happy to see our sick economy spring to life in the good old United States of America, with increased wages, decreased prices, exporting products, not jobs.

How to pay for universal healthcare? Off-hand, I suggest a national sales tax, wherein everybody contributes, benefits, maintains... and votes for the "best healthcare in the world."

Removal (transfer) of $trillions of healthcare dollars in premiums, and related $billions in corporate -profits will reduce the national sales tax for healthcare to almost zero.

To ponder: In additional to taxes, everything we buy is loaded with embedded healthcare factors... even a banana, as I was told by a banana-truck driver.

My five adult daughters, approve this proposal.

* For instance: GM's acknowledged factor for workers' healthcare ($1600). Add to this: embedded healthcare factors for all GM vendors and vendors' sub-vendors, and you will understand why GM has failed to outsell foreign cars, all due to our non-system, random, healthcare fiasco, a sinkhole in our already sinking economy.

Over 17 million new cars were sold in 2007, each embedded with additional factors: registration, insurance, car-loans, permits, etc... all of these, also, with overlaying embedded healthcare factors, one on top of the other, thus pyramiding unrecorded healthcare factors to perhaps trillions of dollars, transferring, randomly, to healthcare carriers (insurance corporations).

Don Lanquist

Pascagoula, MS

Nov 4 2010 - 1:41pm