The True Cost of Healthcare in North Carolina

John Hood recently wrote a piece about...well, I don't know what it was supposed to be about, but this is what he said.

Because we have taxpayer-financed programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, obesity is a major public-policy issue. Unfortunately, what you do with – and to – your own body is no longer just your own business, because your poor choices can impose tremendous costs on others without their consent. Those who profess to care about personal autonomy in such matters are often noticeably silent about this point, but it is inescapable. The welfare state puts freedom at odds with fairness. Your freedom to overeat or get no exercise is unfair to me if I am forced to finance the treatment of the consequences.

The truth about the costs of healthcare after the break.

Hood throws out a major red herring, saying that "what you do with - and to - your own body is no longer just your own business". Well, first, try killing yourself. Oops, against the law. Try injecting yourself with heroin, or jumping off a bridge, or eating hash brownies, or any of a million things that are no longer "just your own business".

On the other hand, it is bull because universal healthcare (which is what this is all about, you think it's a coincidence that Edwards comes out pushing UHC and they come out trashing public health) can't change the fact that YOU control your medical decisions. You and your doctor, at least with the UHC that we Democrats want, make the decisions, not the insurance providers. If you want to sit back and get fat, no one can force you not to. Yes, you might have to have regular physicals and yes you might be told how to get healthy, but no one is going to jail you and force you to get healthy. That's B.S.

Now, for the real costs of healthcare. Because, this is all about universal healthcare and the idea that we can't afford it as a nation. So, here you go, the hidden costs of your health care in North Carolina.

The Total Cost of Health Care for North Carolinians

1. Premiums. Paid for by YOU.
2. Out-of-Pocket Expenses. This includes deductibles, copays, coinsurance, out-of-network, prescriptions, and other uncovered expenses. These are paid for by YOU.
3. Employer portion. If you work for someone else and they pay a lump sum to the insurance company each month, those are profits they are losing, which could be used for raises, retirement, or other benefits for YOU.
4. State workers. Each North Carolina state worker has $321 paid by the state each month from taxes. That is $321 per month, per state employee, from taxes paid by YOU.
5. Medicaid. The $460 million in Medicaid costs per year in North Carolina is raised from taxes paid for by YOU.
6. Medicare. Medicare uses current payroll taxes to pay for current Medicare recipients, which means their health care is paid for by YOU.
7. Excess Premiums. To cover lost expenses from the uninsured, insurance companies collect an extra $922 in premiums from YOU.
8. Hospital Costs. UNC Hospitals provided $210 million of uncompensated care in 2005. These costs are passed on through higher charges and state-funding increases, which are paid for by YOU.
9. State Children's Health Insurance Program. The SCHIP program is funded by $5.04 billion in federal taxes, which are paid for by YOU.
10. Other Public Sources. Many Americans have their health care covered by other Public sources, like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Service, and School Health programs. These programs provided 12% of the total health dollars for the nation in 2000 and they are paid for by YOU.

64% of the cost of our nation’s health care is currently financed through public money.

67% of what we spend on health care per person is equal to what
Switzerland and Norway spend to have Health Care for All.

We can afford Health Care for All NOW.

NC Committee to Defend Health Care



UHC is the Cure for poor health, but if you want to die early then you will know that you are dying early.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Great summary, Robert.

These are excellent facts. I wish there was an easy way to bookmark entries like this.