What is Democratic Socialism and How Expensive Would a Single Payer Plan Be?

what is democratic socialism how expensive single payer plan democrats presidential election

The shifting political climate in the United States has allowed lesser-known political parties to gain national attention. During the 2016 election, an Independent senator from Vermont named Bernie Sanders took the lead. He introduced the U.S. electorate to one of these parties: the Democratic Socialists of America.

Although Senator Sanders ran as a Democrat, he describes his political stance as democratic socialism. The term “socialism” remains a controversial word in U.S. politics 28 years after the official end of the Cold War.

Democratic socialists (DSs) differ from the authoritarian socialism their opponents use against them. Learn what is democratic socialism and the cost of one of their biggest platforms, single-payer healthcare, here.


What is Democratic Socialism?

Democratic socialism as a political philosophy is not that new. It emerged as an alternative to authoritarian-style socialism in mid-late 1800s England.

DSs advocate for social ownership of the economy along with political democracy. They emphasize the democratic managing of economic institutions for a better society.

Most agree this economy should take place within a regulated, competitive market. Or, in a pre-planned and decentralized socialist economic system.

DSs rebuke capitalism since it encourages the success of the few rather than the betterment of all. Democratic socialism differs from social democracy here. It supports a complete rejection of capitalism instead of reformations or state interventions.

There are big differences when you compare democratic socialism to communism vs socialism. An authoritarian socialist believes in a state-run economy. This means the government controls private property and income distribution.

A DS does not think the government should take absolute control over the economy. They believe it should cover the basic needs of its citizens. And that it should cultivate an open society where everyone has a chance to succeed.

Do these sound like ideas you would support? You can make a button or magnet to support DS candidates on Best Name Badges.


How Much Would a Single Payer Healthcare Plan Actually Cost?

Breaking down the exact cost of a singer payer healthcare plan proves complicated. It’s easier when you compare it to how much the U.S. federal government and taxpayers already spend on healthcare. 

Senator Sander’s estimate for a single-payer plan is $1.38 trillion dollars per year for the next 10 years. Or, $32.6 trillion total. It seems like a lot until you realize that amounts to $2 trillion less spent over 10 years compared to now.

The current system costs individuals about $10,000 per year. This is double the majority of other industrialized nations.

The burden of payment relies on taxes, out-of-pocket spending, and private insurance premiums. A single payer plan eliminates the second and third expenditures. It also lowers the cost of services overall, all paid through yearly taxes. 


Learn to Save Money Until Single Payer Plans Become Available

Now you should better understand what is democratic socialism, so you don’t confuse it with communism or authoritarian socialism. The price of single-payer healthcare plans really doesn’t seem that much different from our current spending. However, don’t expect change to happen soon.

In the meantime, you need to check out the Lean Startup Life blog to get some tips on how to save with better money management. See if it’s worth it to negotiate for higher benefits, like employer-funded healthcare, a raise, or more vacation time. Find tons of great business advice as well for startups and entrepreneurs as well!

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