Published: 2013-01-12

The Cost of Healthcare

People often talk about the fact that single-payer ("socialized") healthcare would necessitate a tax increase. But would we really end up paying more than we already do? Ultimately I don't really care where my money goes, provided I get something I want in return and the value I get is acceptable. At the moment, healthcare costs in the US are highly distributed. In other words, we pay in a wide variety of ways, some more unexpected than others.

One interesting way we pay is in school tuition. Most people who have health insurance in the US are provided coverage through an employer. Obviously, this avenue isn't usually available for full-time students, of which I am one.

I took a look at my tuition bill for the coming semester today. I was amazed at how much of the bill goes toward healthcare services. If the government provided healthcare to everyone then the relative cost of going to school would be lower. First (and maybe foremost) the opportunity cost would be lower, since students wouldn't have to sacrifice decent healthcare (the insurance I pay dearly for is pretty lousy). Second, the direct cost of attending school would be lower since healthcare services wouldn't have to be bundled with tuition.