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ISPC Position Statement on Fair Taxation and Just Fiscal Policy
ISPC Chicago approved this position statement at its monthly meeting on October 13,2016. The ISPC Board of Directors approved the statement on October 17, 2016.
Funding for a single-payer health care system under both the national bill, HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, and the state bill, HB 108, the Illinois Universal Health Care Act, includes progressive taxes.
ISPC supports progressive taxes in principle, as an efficient means of decreasing wealth inequality, which is harmful to public health and to social solidarity, and as the fairest way of funding necessary human services, including health care.
ISPC supports public financing of services through the simplest possible administrative structure, as in our proposal for national health insurance (improved and expanded Medicare for all), so that tax revenues are used for their intended purpose, not for wasteful bureaucracy, and not for enriching corporations. (Thus, under a single-payer system, most people would pay less for health care than they pay now.)
We note that universalizing services, wherever that is possible, decreases bureaucracy and total cost, and increases efficiency, quality, equity, and social solidarity. The single-payer movement has documented why this is so for health care. We believe that the same principles apply to other services such as child care, education, and transportation.
ISPC opposes privatization of public services, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Health Administration. Privatization results in inefficient and unjust use of tax money, with higher costs for poorer quality, inequitable access to services, and transfer of wealth from those who have less to those who have more.
The ultimate goal of the single-payer movement is a national health program, with federal funding. While the federal government is not required to tie spending to revenue, the single-payer movement has generally favored funding health care through specific taxes that are transparent, easy to collect, difficult to avoid, and progressive.
Local and state governments are required to balance their budgets. We support taxing those best able to pay in order to generate sufficient revenue for health care and all human services to the extent that they are funded at the state and local level.
Based on these principals, the tax policies we support include a financial transaction tax, a graduated income tax, and closing corporate tax loopholes.
We believe that the single-payer health care system (expanded and improved Medicare for all) that we work for is a necessary but not sufficient condition for social justice; and that it provides a useful model for pursuing social justice in other aspects of society.