The headlines were suitably scary for the day after Halloween: “Warren announces $20 trillion health care plan.”

They called it “huge.” The Wall Street Journal called it a “fantasy.” When they really want to scare you they give you the 10-year costs, in case you can’t do the math.

Just out of curiosity I looked up how much we spend now. CMS.gov said, “U.S. health care spending grew 3.9 percent in 2017, reaching $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person.” Holy Smokes! That’s $35 trillion over 10 years, $15 trillion more than Warren’s plan!

Think of all the U.S. could do with that extra $15 trillion. Workers wouldn’t have monthly premiums taken out of their paychecks, and no deductibles. Workers could change jobs without losing coverage. Automobile companies could compete with those in other countries without the added expense of the highest medical costs in the world. Families might decide to have more babies if it didn’t cost twice as much here as in other countries.

Where would all those savings come from? There must be fat in the system somewhere. Let’s go back to the Web: “In 2018, each of those (top 62 health care) executives made an average of nearly $18 million.” One person in each of those companies earns $18 million in one year? Really? While 79 million Americans have trouble with their medical bills, the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy?

I hear Americans love our insurance companies, and I guess it must be true. Why else would we give them so much money? That’s American job creation at work.

Most other countries don’t even have health insurance CEOs. The manager of my insurance — Medicare — is Elizabeth Richter. She gets paid $252,450. That seems about right for a responsible job like that.

The headline I hope to read is, “Warren plan to save U.S. $15 trillion.” But I’m not holding my breath — it would be bad for my health.

TIM BUTTERWORTH

72 North Hinsdale Road

Chesterfield