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ENEWS: Getting It Right on Single Payer Costs, Keeping an Eye on Tax Fairness, Convene Community

Date Published: 10/26/2018

Author: Dane Smith

Getting It Right on Single Payer Costs

Our op-ed in the Star Tribune this week sets the record straight on misrepresentations of our 2012 report, Beyond the Affordable Care Act.  Some Republican campaigns are selectively citing figures in the report in support of claims that a unified and universal public system of health care financing (also known as single-payer or Medicare for All) would raise the cost and worsen the quality of health care.  Our report came to the exact opposite conclusion.  From the op-ed:  “Our reports stated clearly and repeatedly that by shifting to a single system of public financing — and eliminating the premiums paid to a bewildering and inefficient hodgepodge of private, public and nonprofit insurers — Minnesotans would save 8.8 percent on total health care spending. We further calculated the savings at about $1,240 per family annually, and estimated that employers who were providing health insurance would save $1,214 per employee per year, and that annual savings could be as high as 12 percent to 33 percent in later years…The economic savings would be significant; the potential health benefits are immeasurable.”

Keeping an Eye on Tax Fairness

Our allies at the Minnesota Budget Project, who keep a keen eye on tax fairness and revenue sufficiency for protecting vulnerable people, are citing a recent national study showing that Minnesota now ranks fairly well among the states in progressivity.  The report from the Institute on Tax and Economic Policy finds that nearly every state fails basic measures of fairness, but that Minnesota is among a small number where income inequality is actually reduced by state tax policy.   Among the things Minnesota does right  to build a fairer tax system:  a graduated personal income tax, targeted tax credits including the Working Family Credit, Property Tax Refunds for homeowners and renters, the Child and Dependent Care Credit, an estate tax, and excluding groceries from the sales tax.  We agree with the Minnesota Budget Project’s opposition to proposals to cut taxes on high-income individuals and businesses.

Convene Community and Join us in Hinckley!

Growth & Justice and our partner OneMn.org are assembling a comprehensive policy blueprint that will move Minnesota toward a more equitable and inclusive prosperity, and a more welcoming state. Convene with those in your community (however you define community is up to you) to dive into a deeper conversation about equitable growth in Minnesota, and provide input for the Blueprint. Click here to sign up and host a community meeting and check out the Thriving by Design website for further information. Call or e-mail Sarah Leistico, Policy & Outreach Manager,  for guidance and more details.   (sarah@growthandjustice.org or 651-917-6037 ext. 4).  After community meetings wrap up, we'll be moving the Blueprint building to Grand Casino Hinckley Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe from December 10 to 11, learn more about the December Blueprint Convening here!

Growth & Justice Open House on Oct. 30

RSVP through Eventbrite: Growth & Justice is on the move this fall, building a new public policy blueprint that will push our state toward a more equitable prosperity and climate action.  And we’ve literally moved too, to accommodate our expanding work and staff.  We invite you to learn more about our ambitious new initiatives on October 30, anytime from 4 to 8 p.m., at an Open House in our new offices.   We’ll provide refreshments, including wine and beer and light hors douevres.   You will meet new President Jane Leonard, honor the “semi-retired” Dane Smith (now our Senior Fellow and President Emeritus), and recognize the contributions of outgoing Board Chair, Kim Lowe.  We’ll put on a very brief program every half hour starting at 4:30, to catch you up with G & J’s audacious “Thriving by Design’’ project in partnership with OneMN.org and our plans to produce a “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint” for policy-makers and community leaders.  You'll have the opportunity to make your own mark on the Equity Blueprint as well! G & J’s new and larger office is one floor up from our old one, at 970 Raymond Ave, St. Paul 55114 – Suite 201. 

Quote:   “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane.”  The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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