Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
is an imaginary conversation that could never happen in a Minnesota bureaucracy:
Colleague: Trump is an idiot. “Who knew health care could be so hard?” Moron. Single-payer is the answer and easily affordable. For example, if 3M didn’t have to pay employees’ health insurance premiums, 3M could afford to pay more taxes to buy everybody health insurance. Apply that principle across the board and Problem Solved. But Trump’s so stupid, he can’t understand simple math.
Me: Well, yes, 3M would save money on premiums. But instead of buying health insurance for its present workforce of 90,000 people, 3M would be footing the bill for all of them PLUS a bunch of presently-uninsured people. If each person’s health insurance cost the same under single-payer as it does under the present system, 3M would pay MORE in taxes than it now pays in premiums. That’s bad for profits which means bad for shareholders who buy stock in big, safe, blue-chip companies, shareholders such as pension funds. Why hammer retirees? What have you got against them?
Colleague: Unless the individual cost of health insurance under single-payer is cheaper, then it would work.
Me: Seriously? Do you also believe we’ll save $2,500 per year and be able to keep our own doctors? You’re an adult. You have a college degree. Do you really believe health care is unlike any other commodity and therefore is exempt from the laws of supply and demand? Obamacare is collapsing because it was unsustainable from the day it was enacted and everybody knew it, which is why they bragged about lying to get it passed. The costs have skyrocketed exactly as predicted. Nothing about single-payer will change that.
Colleague: It’s the Republicans’ fault that Obamacare isn’t working better, they should have fixed it when they had the chance.
Me: [Interior monologue: The guy seriously lives in fantasy land. If I push him too hard to confront the disconnect between his fantasy and the real world, he might snap. I’d better back off, give him his safe space.] Okay, dude, whatever, see you around.
Of course, this is an imaginary conversation. Could never happen in real life.
In Ramsey County?
Maybe a time or 200,000…