An op-ed at The Guardian by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman exemplifies chicanery about Medicare for All. No M4A proposal to my knowledge has stipulated that employers take what they now pay for healthcare coverage for their employees and use it to raise wages for their employees. Indeed, this page from a Bernie Sanders website belies it: “employers will be required to pay either 75 percent of what they are currently paying for health care costs for each of their employees who enroll in Medicare for All, or a 7.5 percent payroll tax, whichever is higher.” The same page also stipulates a new 4% premium/tax paid by the employee.
Yet Saez and Zucman write: “Take again the case of a secretary earning $50,000 in wage and currently contributing $15,000 through her employer to an insurance company. With universal health insurance, her wage would rise to $65,000 – her full labor compensation. With an income tax of 6% – which, if applied to a base large enough, would be enough to fund universal health insurance – she would have to pay about $4,000 more in tax. But the net gain would be enormous: $11,000. Instead of taking home $50,000, the secretary would take home $61,000.”
Firstly, if indeed the cost of insurance for the secretary and his/her dependents is $15,000, he/she is not contributing the entire $15,000 like Saez and Zucman say. Far more likely, he/she pays about 30% (typical for family coverage) of that ($4,500) and the employer pays the other $10,500. Secondly, Sanders’ plan says absolutely nothing about diverting what employers pay for health insurance to employee wages. As obvious above, Sanders wants the government to confiscate 75% or more of it by taxation and tax the employee another 4% of income.
So it’s patently clear that what Saez and Zucman say about the secretary was totally fabricated and pure propaganda. What chicanery advocates of Medicare for All will use to hype their cause! How many secretaries and millions of other voters will swallow Saez’s and Zucman’s lie that Medicare for All will raise their pay? Many who commented to the op-ed at The Guardian swallowed the lie.