The Cost of Waiting and The Real Death Tax
Over at FDL, doublesseven wrote a diary praying for the rapid and swift recovery of Ed Schultz from his recent fit of insanity.
There was a point made that caught my eye, that 200,000 uninsured Americans will die needlessly because Obamacare won'tt get started until the beginning of 2014. So I did a little cipherin' (I'm just a small town country lawyer, see)...
The Environmental Protection Agency values a human life at $6.9 million. It used to be $7.8 million but the Bush OMB thought that was overpriced, so the 6.9 mill is, literally, a conservative figure.
So we can put a price tag on the human cost for waiting 4 years (longer than it took us to win World War II) to provide "guaranteed" coverage -- $1.38 trillion.
Just for kicks, let’s assume Obama had reversed the Bush WH’s devaluation of human life (yeah, I know that’s crazy talk), and we use the $7.8 million per human life value, the cost of waiting is $1.56 trillion.
So simply in terms of avoidable deaths, the cost of delaying "universal coverage" for 4 years will exceed the $900 billion cost HCR bill for the entire 10 years. Its backloaded to the last 6 years so Obama could stay under his foolish promise of keeping 10 year spending around $900 billion. Of course there's nothing universal about coverage that even after 2014 will still be unaffordable (but I digress).
When the President was out pitching the need for reform, he would have been on solid ground to lay out the cost of healthcare reform against the cost of healthcare inaction. Over the next 10 years, the deaths of half a million Americans (more than who’ve died fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and in all theaters of World War II) because of our immoral healthcare system will impose a cost on the US economy of between $3.45 and $3.9 trillion. Now THAT’S a death tax!