Gasoline Tax. How will governments support basic road repair and construction with electric vehicles becoming more popular. I thought about this during a drive with my wife. We are discussing purchasing an electric vehicle and the merits of Nissan, Toyota, Tesla. In Idaho the gasoline tax is $0.25/gallon for both gasoline and diesel. We are low mileage drivers. Our 1998 Dodge Ram that we purchased new returning from the UK has less than 85,000 miles. And the Lexus we purchased in 2015 still hasn't turned over 10,000 after trading in a 1998 Toyota Corolla with over 110,000 miles. We drive around 10,150 miles total with two vehicles. At an average 20 miles per gallons we put a little over 507 gallons of gasoline per year and contribute about $127 dollars to Idaho state revenue to pay for road repair and construction. I will gladly pay my toll to the government for the privilege of driving on engineered and maintained local, state, and national roads.
Moving to a single payer health care system. The pivot from gasoline tax to health care is not a large leap. But it takes careful consideration to understand the high cost each employed individual pays for health care insurance. I challenge each person who is employed with health care benefits to look at their past year W-2 statement in block 12 and see the value of the employer provided health care insurance coded DD. My employer paid over $13,260, and I paid another $1,547. $14,807 to cover me and my wife for health care insurance and dental in 2016. This is part of my employee benefit program. My employer gets to expense the cost of employee benefits to offset revenue, and my portion of health care insurance is paid pre-tax effectively decreasing my taxable income.
The argument from healthy people like me is that we subsidize the health insurance industry to cover the risk if we are taken ill. And, we are subsidizing the health insurance industry to cover the risk of those who are less fortunate health wise.
What if $13,260 were added to my current wages instead of being paid as benefits to a health insurance company. My employer states my total compensation package is worth $59,000. $13,260 is 22.47% of my total compensation package. Instead, I am part of a national pool of people with employment that pay health insurance premiums to the government to cover my health care cost. We use government to provide oversight to the health care insurance system contracting claims management similar to how Medicare and Tricare contract with United Health today. Each year, health insurance cost can be evaluated and cost or savings passed on to taxpayers paying for single payer health care insurance providers.
I find it very difficult to understand this model where my total $14,807 - over 25% of my total compensation package is used to support a health care insurance industry that does not provide any positive health improvement to my current state of living - only insurance in case I become unhealthy. If I could spend the $14,807, I would hire a personal trainer and nutritionist to guide my fitness and diet. I save in a health savings account to provide for my immediate health needs. An appropriate ratio might be 25% for the personal trainer and nutritionist; 15% for health savings plan; and 60% for catastrophic insurance. How would my $14,807 be divided up? $3,702 for trainer and nutritionist; $2,220 for health savings plan; and $8,884 for health care insurance that covers preventive and wellness checks. I think a system like this will promote healthier results for Americans.