6.25.2007

State Democrats want universal healthcare... but Hey it's Free!!!

No, it's not.

The press release from Senator Breske's office outlines the Healthy Wisconsin initiative, and at first it sounds like some sort of Utopian dream world. Everyone would have the freedom to choose their own doctor, their own plan - everything is decided by the patient and doctor.

Think about it - no more red tape, no unapproved procedures, no more heartless bureaucrats denying a claim. Michael Moore should be wetting himself.

Except none of those promises are possible. In fact, the only part of the plan that will work exactly the way it's supposed to is the way we will all pay for it. This is how it's explained:
Your Investment:
HEALTHY WISCONSIN ensures both employers and employees pay only their fair share for access to quality care. Employees’ contributions will be 4 percent of social security wages while employers will contribute 10.5 percent of social security wages. This would amount to an average monthly health care cost of just $140 to the employee and $370 to the employer. All employers will be relieved of the burden of paying premiums, unpredictable premium increases, yearly negotiations to try to stave off double-digit increases and unexpected denials of claims. Sole proprietors or those with other sources of income will pay 10 percent of income up to the social security limit.

Here's what they don't mention: "Social Security wages" are gross wages up to $97,500 per year. That's right, unless you have one heck of a good job, 14.5% of every dollar you make is going to go to the state to pay for everyone in the state to have health care. Sounds like a good deal, doesn't it.

So, not only do state Democrats want to increase taxes on cigarettes, hospitals, gasoline, selling a home or real estate, iPod/iTunes sales online, and a myriad of fee increases - but they also want to take another 14.5% from every employee and employer in the state. Do they honestly think that we pay too little in taxes in this state?

Let's add it up:

Average state income tax rate: 6.5%
Average federal income tax rate: 25%
Social Security contribution*: 12.4%
Healthy Wisconsin contribution**: 14.5%
Total taxes: 58.4%

*Includes 6.2% matching rate by employer
**Includes 10.5% contribution by employer

Yes, those figures are accurate. Those are the payroll taxes that are taken out of every employee in the state of Wisconsin would stand to have taken from them if the Healthy Wisconsin plan passes. I included the employer contribution because that money could go to private health care plans, retirement plans or higher wages for the employees. Money out of an employer's pocket is money out of the employee's too.

Also, I didn't include Medicare and Medicaid taxes, nor did I include property taxes, registration fees, and a number of other ways that the taxpayers in this state get hammered by irresponsible politicians in Madison. Can you imagine what the percentage would be then?

Don't you think it is time that state Democrats stop trying to take your hard-earned money away from you? I sure do.