Stuart Robinson asks California OneCare:

I read Don Schroeder’s answer to Marie Varenya. As a member of and donor to Final Exit, I would like to know how the progressive tax is determined and collected. I am strongly in favor of the concept, but short of particulars.

Stuart Robinson

Dear Stuart –

The Lewin Group study of 2005 proposed an employer payroll tax of about 8% and an individual income tax of about 3% with floors of $7,000 (no tax on the first $7,000 of earnings) and a ceiling of 1% on earnings over $200,000. But because the bill was not signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2006 or 2008, the cost basis that was used to determine those percentages has changed. Healthcare costs have risen rapidly since then, so the tax structure would have to be somewhat higher. Still, because of the the savings that would accrue from the elimination of private insurance companies, single payer taxes would be less than private insurance premiums regardless of when single payer took effect, and coverage would be comprehensive with no deductibles or co-pays.

At present, the actual tax portion of the single payer legislation has yet to be determined. SB 810 had a provision that would create a commission that would determine the tax structure for the plan which would then have to be approved by a 2/3 vote of the legislature or by a ballot initiative. Presumably, the next iteration of the bill that Senator Leno will introduce next year will contain the same provision.

Don Schroeder, Co-Chair
California OneCare Campaign