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The Truth about Single Payer Financing 

Editor:

In a recent CalMatters article "Why single payer healthcare died gain" (NCJ Daily, Feb. 3) Alexei Koseff wrote that the proposed funding for the universal healthcare bill, A.B. 1400 (CalCare), is "a series of taxes on businesses and high earning households ... estimated by legislative analysts to cost between $314 billion and $391 billion annually."

Some very important facts were left out here. Our current healthcare system costs California $511 billion annually, paid for by a combination of government funds (from our taxes), businesses paying their employees' premiums, etc. and individuals paying their own premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Employers currently spend more than 9 percent of their payroll on employee healthcare costs. Under the proposed taxes for financing CalCare, employers would only pay a 1.25 percent payroll tax on wages (and that's only if they have more than 50 employees), plus businesses that make more than $2 million a year will have an additional 2.3 percent tax on the amount above $2 million.

Not only would a single payer healthcare system be cheaper than our current system but, even with new taxes, 98 to 99 percent of Californians would save money because no one would pay any premiums, co-pays or deductibles, and many aspects of care that are currently not covered under most people's health insurance plans (such as dental, vision, hearing and long-term care) would be covered under a single payer system. This is made possible by much lower administrative costs and the removal of insurance company profits. Beware of misleading propaganda from insurance industry-backed groups and politicians using scare tactics.

Elizabeth Connors-Keith, McKinleyville

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