Monday, August 27, 2007

Single Payer Plan Would Destroy Colorado's Economy

The August 24, 2007 Colorado Springs Gazette reports:
The proposal that drew the most attention was the costliest — a Canadian-style singlepayer system in which private insurance plans would be replaced by a government-run system. The $26.6 billion cost, which is $8.4 billion more than the entire current state budget, is $4 billion a year less than the combined annual public and private costs of health care in Colorado.

An analysis of the plan states that imposing a 6 percent payroll tax, raising the state income tax from 4.6 percent to 12.7 percent and significantly increasing alcohol and tobacco taxes would raise $15 billion a year. Combined with other savings and revenue sources, the spending would still be less than the combined amount that employers put to insurance, individuals pay for health care and the government subsidies for medical access for elderly and the poor, according to the report from The Lewin Group.

But the increase in income tax would mean families with an average household income of more than $100,000 could pay more each year, and families that make as much as $250,000 could fork over more than $30,000 a year. Meanwhile, small businesses that often don’t offer insurance would pay thousands of dollars a year more through the payroll tax.
One Colorado small business owner notes:
...Think of the magnitude of the impact of the closure of ten thousand small businesses state wide in the five years after single payer goes into effect. It might take five years because businesses that become marginal will stay around until their lease is up. Businesses that were marginal before single payer becomes law will go negative and fold more quickly.

The business described above had three bad years and still survived. If single payer had been around, it wouldn't have survived one bad year. While it is possible to justify keeping a business alive that breaks even and pays the owner no money in the process, a business that requires the owner to pay money out will close.

In this environment, businesses that close won't be replaced. Anyone recall how in the 1990's Colorado swelled with Californians? Those migrants uprooted themselves and their businesses because California became hostile to business. Those people will move again as Colorado becomes more hostile to business, and more will follow them. There will be a Colorado recession complete with thousands of empty storefronts and houses that can't be sold.

When the Democrats realize that they have destroyed the economy with single payer, they won't back off. The monster they will have created still will have to be fed, and the only way to feed it is with ever higher taxes on the businesses that remain.