01 October 2019

Ellis Millsaps: An Open Letter to Elizabeth Warren

Dear Ms. Warren:

I'm taking pen in hand to write you old school style, you know, while listening to my record player. Be assured I think you are the most highly qualified candidate for president. You've done your homework and have plausible plans to attack the myriad of problems we face, but I write to ask you to modify your position on universal health care.

And I ask this not because you were not right.  You are dead right. Single-payer healthcare will insure everyone at a much lower cost.  The people who question how we will pay for it insult America. The rest of the developed world does it.  Are Americans not up to it? Hell, Cuba does it.

And it's not that I think you need to do this to win the presidential election,  As it stands now ( and it's only going to get worse for the president, because he will continue to be himself,) a potted plant could beat him in the next election. ( And wouldn't that be an improvement? They don't text you know.)

No, it's about achieving the desired end.  The problem is this: labor unions, a mainstay of your party's coalition, have bargained to get what Obama called “Cadillac”  insurance plans , and are not going to react kindly to the abolition of corporate health insurance. This won't lose you the election, but it will cost you in congressional races. Congressional members from those important industrial states with strong unions will not support a plan to abolish private healthcare. Democrats may lose seats on this account and the ones who hold their seats won't support your plan.

Slow down Senator Warren. This problem will take care of itself.  Yes it will cost taxpayers more to phase in universal health care, but if you start with making Medicare available to everyone private healthcare will soon wither and die. When the unions see that they can get very good governmental health care for free they'll soon renegotiate their contracts to get another $20 per hour instead of corporate healthcare.

The same thing will happen with white collar workers who get healthcare from their employers.  Payments for healthcare are not taxable to either employer or employee, another example of a socialist program to benefit big business, in this case insurance companies. They also will forgo  health insurance for higher salaries.

This is something I'm not hearing anyone talk about.  It relates to how we will pay for Medicare for all. When all of these workers get substantial pay hikes, not only is the economy improved but these workers will pay income tax on their higher paychecks, a huge boost to the treasury.

But yes Ms. Warren, we still need a wealth tax for the good of us all.