Single Payer Health Care
Is it time for the US to follow the lead of other developed nations and adopt a single payer health care system ?
What is single payer health care ??
Single payer health care means that instead of every person in the marketplace paying for his or her own healthcare, there’s just one payer.
Under this system, all providers are paid at the same rate, and everyone receive the same health benefits, regardless of their ability to pay.
Even the Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obamacare, uses private health insurance companies to offer government regulated plans through a insurance marketplace. However, there are still federally sponsored programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare that provide subsidized or free health care to those who qualify using taxpayer dollars.
Medicare for all and single payer are synonymous. The end goal of both is to have the healthcare run and regulated by the government.
How expensive would a single payer system be?
Single payer system is popular with americans, but comes with a hefty price tag, costs range from $2.4 trillion to 3.5 trillion.
How much does the federal government spend on health care?
Presently Federal Govt Spends 1.38 trillion on health care covering …..
Medicare (over 65) – Payroll Funded 2.9% Total
Tax deductions for health insurance
Medicaid (non-ACA expansion)
Medicare (under 65)
Medicaid (ACA expansion)
Veterans health care
ACA marketplace subsidies
ACA premium tax credits
Children’s Health Insurance Program CHIP
What are the Pros and Cons of Single Payer Health Care
There are several pros and cons of single payer health care, especially before transitioning from a capitalist market system to a single payer system. There are valid arguments on both sides of this debate.
Here Are the Pros of Single Payer Health Care
Rich or Poor : Everyone gets covered
The single biggest advantage of switching over to Medicare for all is that everyone has health coverage and access to the coverage they need without having to worry about the costs. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or you are poor.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
No one will ever be denied health care services even though you have or pre-existing medical conditions or not.
Canada with a socialized healthcare has a life expectancy rate which is 2 years higher than that of the US and a lower infant mortality rate as well.
Better For Small Business
The majority of Americans have health insurance through their employer. Additional costs may be feasible for larger corporations, but for many smaller companies, it can lead to financial ruins.
Reduced Spending Per Capita
US spends significantly more on health care per capita than any other nation in the world with poorer outcome. Most other countries with a socialized system have found ways to spend less on health care than the US.
Here Are the Cons of Single Payer Health Care
Huge Tax Hikes
Healthcare is Expensive, If you think you pay too much in taxes now, just imagine how much it would cost the US government to provide health coverage to the entire population. Expect 15%-20% Additional Tax.
Longer Wait Times
Expect long wait times under a single-payer health care system. In Canada, average wait time after getting referred from your general practitioner to a specialist was about 21+ weeks. In a free-market system, waiting times are rarely an issue.
Reduced Government Funding
A socialized health care system would be financially draining on the government. This would take funds away from other important programs like education and infrastructure. Single payer healthcare system will automatically increase the size and burden of government.
Competition drives innovation, it’s the sole reason that the US is the leader in medical technology. Every medical provider wants the newest & best medical technology to increase their profits, but what if there were no profits to drive competition?
No legal recourse
Tax dollars are scare and have to trim services to stay on budget. If single payer delays, denies or screws up your care, you can’t sue the government or pursue other care via different insurance company or out-of-pocket care.
Death Panels : Bureaucrats Decide Whether You Live or Die.
When the government is in charge of healthcare, its budget is more of a concern than the health of a patient.
Imagine government bureaucrats in Washington DC deciding whether your life is worth saving or not.
Imagine if you couldn’t get the drugs you needed to live because the government decided they were too expensive.
Single-Payer Healthcare History in the U.S.
In 1945, after the end of World War II, President Harry Truman addressed Congress with a plea for a national healthcare system. The American Medical Association opposed the idea, and it eventually faded away.
Incremental steps did continue, Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965, essentially becoming a single-payer system for certain sections of the population, senior citizens, and young children and the poor.
In 1993, First Lady Hillary Clinton spearheaded the Health Security Act. The bill officially died a few weeks before 1994’s midterm congressional elections.
Examples of Single-Payer Healthcare : United Kingdom’s National Health Service, Australia’s Medicare, Canada’s Medicare, and Taiwan’s National Health Insurance.
Can Canadian Style Healthcare Work in America?
Canadian Medical care is free, It’s often held up as an example to the world, but the Canadian system doesn’t cover essential medications (prescription drugs), glasses, and dental care.
Canada’s free system comes at the cost of greater wait times for some services, many Canadians when faced with the long wait time and lack of the latest procedures used in the US, come to the US for their care. if you are rich, you can afford it.
ER visits for Canadians are high, as they might be headed to emergency departments because wait times for regular doctors are too long.
A single payer system like canada’s may give the state stronger leverage to negotiate lower rates for drugs, payments to medical providers and other expenses, resulting in lower overall costs. Additionally, a single payer system provides universal access to health insurance, which eliminates the problem of the uninsured.
More Great Links