A: I do. The only answer for our health-care system in this country is single-payer. If we go to a single-payer system, we will create jobs; we will give a boost to our economy. In fact, based on the numbers for other countries that have single-payer, they are right now spending about $4,000 a year per capita on health care. We spend much, much more than that, and we get a lot less back because of all of the waste in the system.
MOSELEY BRAUN: There's no question in my mind but that every American wants to have universal coverage. But the only way we can get there is with, in my opinion, a single-payer system that is decoupled from employment.
The Clinton plan attempted to reconcile the public and private systems that we have now. They are simply irreconcilable. You cannot bring it together and make it make any sense without a whole lot of bureaucracies.
So if we go to a single-payer system, we will give our export sector, our multinationals, a competitive boost in the international markets, because right now they're carrying the cost of health care. We will give the middle class -and working people a boost in terms of their paychecks. We will give small businesses a real boost because they can't afford it. And we can do it without spending a dime more than we are presently paying at the highest level of any industrialized country in the world.
What I've proposed is a single-payer system that will take advantage of the fact that we are already paying 15% of our gross domestic product on health care, de-couple it from employment so that it's not a burden on job creation, it's not a burden on small businesses, it doesn't come out of the payroll tax, which is the most regressive tax, to begin with. With the revenue from that 15%, we can then afford a system much like the federal employees' system in which you have a single payer but the administration takes place by the companies that individuals choose.
BRAUN: I want to take issue. A single-payer system will not raise taxes on the middle class. And indeed, the plan I've proposed will free up middle-class incomes because it'll take some of the pressure off of the payroll tax. We can fund this within current spending without raising taxes, with no new tax burden on anybody.
We have to restore the relationship between providers and patients so that the insurance companies don't become gatekeepers to the system and get in the middle of care decisions. We have to make certain that we maintain the quality of care that American people expect.
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