1. Jess you are correct about income tax revenues; I slipped a decimal point. Revised calculations below this.
2. I used the lower per capita health care cost intentionally because it was the only one that I found that removed administrative costs, and because it came with other stats calculated to the same benchmark. I'm going to keep that in place, even though I agree with you that it is highly optimistic.
3. I read your calculations vis a vis median income and total workers, but again I will keep mine in place for this study because mine produces a fairly optimistic result for funding, and I do not want to be accused of negativity.
So: to wit: Delaware income tax returns in 2011 generated $962,000,000, not $9.62 Billion. Those damn decimals are pesky things. So let's see, that means the Health Security Income Tax will generate $437,000,000 not $4.37 Billion.
So, taking all the funding, we still find a minimum funding need of $7.81 Billion to pay for Delaware Single-Payer (which does not include qualified out-of-state residents).
We raise the following through Dr. McDowell's funding mechanisms (all sources below in main article):
Health Security Income Tax: $.437 Billion
Payroll Tax: $.9 Billion
Medicaid: $1.29 Billion
Medicare: $1.5 Billion
Total: $4.13 Billion
Oh, wait. We calculated the necessary minimum at $7.81 Billion. Since I goofed on the other stats, how about this one. Nope, sorry, it is a low and optimistic stat (see below for source link) from Kaiser that says it already excludes insurance company administration costs. So it is a simple calculation, really,
877,600 people * $8,480 annual health care cost = $7.44 Billion plus the 5% in increased service usage that Dr. McDowell projected in the bill to bring it to $7.81 Billion.
Hmmm. With only $413 Billion available, Dr. McDowell must be planning on some hellacious savings. Let's see $413 Billion/877,6000 people = $4,706 per capita per annum expenditure.
In other words, Jess is right. Either our friendly legislators have played with the numbers on the taxes they can raise (always an option), or they really believe that Single-Payer health care can take care of everyone for 56% of what we're currently paying now. So they are claiming that Single-Payer amounts to a 44% reduction in costs.
Allow me to point out the amazing fallacy herein: The State of Delaware receives $1.5 Billion for 149,192 Medicare patients. That's an annual per capita rate of $10,054 per person on Medicare. (It makes sense that these folks are higher in cost than everybody else because they are geriatric, and we know that much of the most expensive spending comes at the end of life.)
So Reps. Kowalko and Jaques will cut that by half while giving Medicare patients free access to treatments that Medicare has not traditionally paid for (acupuncture, chiropracty).
In other words, our dear friends sponsoring HB 392 intend to take the full Medicare funding and spend less on each Medicare patient (shuffling Medicare funds to other patients), while offering them more services?
Here's the thing: the entire Delaware budget comes in below $4 Billion currently. In order to fund this program, even beyond the monies raised via the Health Security Income Tax and the Payroll Tax, they will have to raise an extra $3.68 Billion. Wonder where that's coming from?
OK, back to original post. I have crossed out the sections where Jess found my errors.
The proponents of HB 392--Representative John Kowalko and Earl Jaques; Delaware Insurance Commissioner candidate Mitch Crane; and Dr. Floyd McDowell have all assured us that the numbers in their funding mechanisms work. Of course, they have not yet shown us a single number to substantiate that case. In fact, Representative Jaques challenged me in that regard:
Steve, you claim to be such an expert – the numbers are in the bill – so you work it out. Can you disprove our numbers or not? Waiting to hear from you!!!Actually, the numbers are not in the bill. The funding mechanism is in the bill, but the medical costs per citizen, and the assumptions that they made regarding those costs are not in the bill.
But, hey, let's have some fun and see if we can suss it out, huh, Earl? I'll do my best from open sources and statistical guesswork, and then you can release the numbers from your studies. I'm willing to bet they are not far different.
Not true: the revised numbers show it will not work at all.
The reality is: any decent analysis is going to tell you that the State of Delaware has no business making a long-term commitment to this plan without accepting the fact that within six years--even under the most optimistic scenario--
That's right--even if these numbers work out precisely as claimed, they show that each of Delaware's 412,000 taxpayers will be forking out at least another $1,213 in additional taxes by the sixth year of this program, just to keep it barely afloat.
And, again I emphasize that's the optimistic projection.
So, Representative Jaques--here are my numbers. Where the hell are yours?
How do the numbers work out?
(Note: I have used all open sources, and linked to every source I used. These numbers are rough. I have had to make several assumptions to cover gaps, and I have laid them out in their entirety when I have done so. I may be wrong, but I have shown my work. If you have better data for any segment, please send it to me and I will incorporate it into the analysis. If you don't like one of my assumptions, feel free to posit your own, but if you do, work it all the way to the end or I will ignore you.)
The 877,600 citizens of Delaware have a per capita, per annum average healthcare cost of $8,480, according to Kaiser, which compares unfavorably with the US average of $6,815.
This means that the annual cost of healthcare for Delaware citizens is around $7,442 Billion.
Now it is important to note, for the purposes of dealing with the HB 392 number, that only 52% of Delaware's citizens are covered by private insurance. This is the breakdown [same source]:
52% private insurance
12% uninsuredThe claim by Dr. McDowell is that the private insurers are costing us 30% administrative overhead vs the 1.5% he claims for Medicare/Medicaid.
But the Kaiser report notes that insurance administrative costs are NOT counted in the total:
Costs such as insurance program administration, research, and construction expenses are not included in this total.
Therefore we can assume that the $7.44 Billion is what we need our funding mechanism to raise.
But wait! Dr. Mcdowell also says that we have to raise this cost by 5% to allow for additional utilization of services for which people were not previously qualified, so that brings us up to $7.81 Billion.
OK, so we have to raise $7.81 Billion.
How much would the payroll tax raise?
This one is more difficult from open sources, but let's take a shot:
There are 24,006 small businesses in Delaware that have employees. There are 44,489 small businesses with no employees, and 32,242 individuals who are self-employed. So we have about 67,000 self-employed or single-employer businesses (16% of total). These folks will not be paying any payroll tax.
Large-scale employers (750+ employees) account for about 145,000 of these (35% of total). These folks will all be assessed the 9% payroll tax.
That leaves us about 200,000 employees to account for. Let's assume an even distribution, which will mean that 50,000 will be assessed at 4%, 50,000 will be assessed at 5%, 50,000 will be assessed at 7%, and 50,000 will be assessed at 9%.
That gives us the following (very) rough figures to work with:
195,000 assessed at 9%
50,000 assessed at 7%
50,000 assessed at 5%
50,000 assessed at 4%
67,000 assessed at 0%
But percentages of what, exactly?
The median family income in Delaware is $53,196.
This gets tricky: roughly 67% of households are dual income households. That means there are 5 workers for every three households, or that the median household employee equals about 66% of the median household income, which would leave the median employee income at $35,109.
So for each of our categories we generate:
9% = $616 million
7% = $123 million
5% = $88 million
4% = $70 million
Grant total $907 million (or, $.9 billion)
Delaware expends $1.29 billion on Medicaid, partly funded by State revenues and partly funded by the Federal government.
Delaware Medicare spending accounts for another $1.5 Billion.
As noted above in revision, these taxes only raise $4.13 Billion.
So we have a $3.68 Billion shortfall unless they can cut current healtcare costs by 44%.
But it gets worse.
We have not accounted for about 35,000 people who are not Delaware residents but work in the State and qualify for coverage under this bill.
We have not accounted for the bill's promise to retrain former insurance company personnel to do medical administrative jobs, up to 5% of such positions in Delaware.
We have not accounted for the bill's promise to supplement capital funds for the physial expansion of medical facilities in Delaware.
We have not accounted for the bill's promise to at least partially underwrite the continuing training of medical professionals in Delaware.
We have not accounted for the fact that Dr. McDowell's funding mechanism depends on receiving nearly 20% of its money from Medicare and 16% from Medicaid, two programs which President Obama has pledged to cut by over $320 Billion in the next ten years, and Mitt Romney promises he would cut even more.
Even if the numbers had worked, it is sheer insanity to base over one-third of the funding for a Delaware Single-payer program on Federal funds that the State does not control, and which are on a glide-path to decline over the next ten years no matter who wins the White House.
There is a final thought on the notion of financing here: let's assume that Dr. McDowell is correct, and the plan is more efficient than the current melange of public-private funding of healthcare.
Costs will still go up under a single-payer healthcare plan.
Even Medicare is projected to see costs rise 2.5% per year over the next decade.
That's better than the 4.5% rise projected for private insurance, but it still means that, even if the population holds steady (its not), and the economy is stable (good luck), that we are looking at the following increases over the first six years of this program, just to stay in place:
By Year 6, the State of Delaware will have to raise $0.5 Billion more per annum just to keep the plan in place, even if the sponsors' estimates are totally correct.. But since we will have eliminated the alternatives, the only option will be raise an addition $0.5 Billion dollars in taxes to pay for the program. That's an additional $500,000,000 in state taxes.
This is what that means: the fifteen-person Health Security Board will be presiding, without oversight from the General Assembly or the Governor, over a budget that is LARGER than all the rest of the State Budget (roads, education, police, universities, environment) COMBINED.
Let's be clear: the assumptions I have used in generating these numbers are optimistic assumptions. If more Delawareans than I am guessing work for smaller companies than I think, my revenue projections will be too high. If unemployment goes up, or wages decline, my revenue projections will be too high.
I have no doubt that these numbers can be massaged by an optimist into what appears to be a break-even proposition, but you can only do that if you assume that everything is going to go your way, and that there will be no unanticipated expenses.
Remember Cheop's Law: Nothing ever gets built on time or under budget.
Name for yourself a single large government program that has ever stayed within the initial optimistic assumptions of its budgetary planners.