The New York Times presents a false choice in their Sunday editorial, Paying For Universal Health. They imply the only choice for such a universal health program is spending more money. Astonishingly, the Times completely disregards all the waste and fraud in the private system.
First, correctly envisioned and enacted universal coverage would control costs. Administrative fees - which account for roughly thirty percent of present costs - would be lowered to levels like those of Medicare - around two to four percent. Second, pharmaceuticals, which are heavily funded and researched by the public sector already, would also be much more affordable by allowing volume discounts. And, by allowing the public entity control of patents on publicly-produced medications, the private sector would no longer be allowed to charge (gouge) outrageous sums for necessary medications. Health care again would be what it should be - a public good. Finally, if the IRS, the SEC, and other oversight/taxing organizations actually collected all taxes due (auditing corporations, removing tax havens, ending exemptions, etc.) a large amount of revenue would be gained.
For Further Reading:
Progressive Revenue Options For Health Care