We will now take a look at the pros and cons of having this plan in place come next year (i.e. if Bernie Sanders win the presidential race or if the Democrats get control of the Senate and House)
Single Payer Health Care Pros
Single payer health care was introduced together with several pros. Here are some of those:
- Guaranteed Health Care
Single payer guarantees high-quality health care services regardless of who you are or what you are into. Everybody is treated equally so social and economic status is never a hindrance for you to receive this insurance. All the legal residents of the United System will get coverage. The single-payer health care system ensures that people get health care to the full extent, which is required by their health.
- Non-Complex Billing
Submission of complex billing statements that usually requires some office personnel or any staff is eliminated. Thus, physicians and doctors can freely practice medicine at any time.
Physicians who give out great health care quality can be rewarded for such good doing in providing preventive care. In some countries, most doctors and physicians can receive bonuses after giving their patients a truly remarkable health care. These vary though depending on what country you are in.
- Reduce Cost / Lower Cost
Because this is a non-profit organization, the cost of providing health care is substantially reduced. No corporate executives are employed so there is no reason to aim for a higher profit since no bonuses or extreme salaries are to be given out to the staffs. There will be a significant reduction in the amount you pay for health insurance each year.
No one will ever be denied on receiving these health care services because this is open to all citizens. Single payer health insurance covers everything regardless of individual differences and even though you have or pre-existing medical conditions or not.
- No Insurance Premiums
Insurance premiums are eliminated. This means it does not exist. Thus, taxpayers can have a significant reduction in the taxes they are paying compared to those who acquire costly health insurance from private organizations.
- Reduce Amount of Paperwork
There are lots of paperwork that doctors and nurses have to deal with under the current healthcare plan. Introduction of single-payer health care plan would reduce it to a significant extent.
- No More Private Health Insurance (Only One Buyer Required)
The cost of medications will be significantly reduced since now there will be only one buyer which is the government.
Arguments Against Single Payer Health Care (Cons)
As a single-payer health care system expands its benefits for many people, many critics still debated the effectiveness of this system and cited many cons. Here are some of those:
- Increased Bureaucracy
Government bureaucracy is increased because this is needed to administer the program. This is basically just like Medicare but was expanded its coverage. Anything run by the government usually takes a lot of time. A single payer system will see an increase in the queue in hospital and time required before a patient can be able to receive care.
- Physicians Became Government Employees/Government Controlled
The government will be the one paying your medical expenses. Thus, this looks like the physicians became government employees as they were receiving salaries from the government. This is not totally a con then, since some may also consider this as pros depending on how you view things. Single payer system will automatically turn all doctors, nurses, research universities and other health workers and medical equipment manufacturers into employees of the government.
- Uses Socialized Medicine
The use of socialized medicine is considered evil things since this is against what America stands for. This is because it can lead one’s nation to become a communist dictatorship nation.
This comment is a bit over the top but decisions are made for the benefit of the community and not for the individual patient.
Many people do not understand the real meaning of socialism and they cannot even understand that single payer is associated with this.
- Waiting Times
One common issue exhibited by this single-payer health care system is in the waiting time one needs to get the fund processed by the government. Thus, you have the sole responsibility to evaluate public option vs single payer and single payer vs universal health care to find what is best for you.
- Reduce Development
This system has a strong tendency to reduce creativity since there is no more financial incentive for people to carry out research and develop new medicines.
- Increase Government Burden
The single-payer health care system will automatically increase the size and burden of government since more personnel will be required to administer the financial activities that are involved in this system.
Bernie Sanders proposal is still a long shot, the senator brought up this proposal two years ago. He knows that currently, he has no co-sponsors, however, he is determined to garner support that will see the bill passed into law if elected even that is still a long shot as many insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and other powerful lobby group are posed to stop it as implementation of this system will automatically closed down their businesses. The single payer plan system can either be good or bad and this solely depends on how you view things on your own perspective.
The next question is whether Medicare for All is the only single-payer system to be considered and whether there is a single payer system that will work.
Medicare for all is a winner for Democrats, as Ocasio-Cortez and others have shown
Erica Payne reported that Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats have shown that ‘Medicare for all’ is a winning issue with voters. That’s the future of health care, not Obamacare.
Last month’s upset primary victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in a New York City district, was decisive proof: the Democrats’ path to victory requires exciting their base with a bold, fearless agenda that includes Medicare for all.
We have seen this strategy prove successful not just for Ocasio-Cortez, but also for Ben Jealous, who won a competitive primary for Maryland governor, and candidates like Kara Eastman, who won her primary against a former congressman in Nebraska.
The merits of Medicare for all have been touted by medical professionals, business leaders, and health care economists for a variety of reasons: it would help drive down costs, eliminate administrative waste, increase transparency, bring down rising drug costs, and ease the costly burden of health insurance from businesses and individuals.
And, beyond the benefits of the policy, it’s a winning political strategy.
It’s not enough to fix ACA
Despite Democrats’ attempts to salvage the Affordable Care Act — a crucial law for millions of Americans — sabotage by the Trump administration and Republicans has proved highly effective. They’ve cut advertising budgets aimed at getting more young people into the insurance pool, repealed the individual mandate which helped balance out healthy and sick people, announced they won’t defend protections against price gouging for people with pre-existing conditions, and just froze billions of dollars in payments meant to help insurers cover sicker policyholders.
As a result, the uninsured rate rose last year for the first time since the bill was enacted in 2010 — 12.2% of Americans are now uninsured. While the ACA has managed to slow the rate of premium increases, they are still rising faster than wages and the inflation rate.
To win, Democrats need to do more than just point fingers at Republicans and claim they’re destroying the ACA. Candidates need to take it one step further: Make Medicare for all a central part of their platform.
This message draws a clear line in the sand: Republicans want to strip you of your health insurance, while Democrats want to offer low-cost, universal coverage. It’s an endorsement of universal health care that doesn’t waffle and isn’t complicated.
Unlike the Affordable Care Act, Medicare for all is not difficult to understand and sells itself on its merits. It appeals to patients drowning in medical debt, doctors and medical professionals buried in paperwork, workers who are shouldering more of their premium costs, and business owners who year after year are forced to devote more resources to keeping their employees insured.
It excites a group that Democrats desperately need to get to the polls — younger voters, who strongly support it. And it shows that a candidate is willing to take on special interests on behalf of their constituents.
Medicare for all is a better insurance system
Voters want to hear a positive message about health care: recent polling data revealed that preserving health care is the top voting issue for Americans. Democrats can be the party offering a bold and viable solution.
They need to tell voters how they’re going to make things better, how they’re going to defend health care as a basic right, and how they’re going to create a new system that better serves the needs of patients, workers, small and mid-sized businesses, and the economy. They need to really differentiate themselves from the Republicans and show that they speak for people first, not the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
Medicare for All is more than just the right thing to do, and it’s more than just good policy. It’s good politics.
Choking on the Cost of ‘Medicare for All’
My wife was confused when watching the Maryland primaries, especially the Democrat’s Governor race. Mr. Jealous wants to solve the healthcare crisis by adopting Medicare For All in Maryland. Really? Does he and all those others realize that Medicare is a Federal program and states just can’t change a federal program? Also, do they realize how much it really costs?
Sally Pipes and Erica Payne reported that last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken socialist, beat 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley, the fourth-highest-ranking House Democrat, in the primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and a former organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. She’s also a vocal advocate of “Medicare for All” — a government takeover of America’s healthcare system. Support for single-payer health care is now a requirement for securing many Democrats’ votes.
But candidates who advocate single-payer on the campaign trail are increasingly balking once they actually get their hands on the levers of power. That’s because single-payer is cost-prohibitive. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool leftists admit as much after they take office and have to figure out how to pay for their campaign promises.
Single-payer’s champions generally paint a lovely picture of healthcare utopia. Patients go to see the doctor of their choice whenever they like, get treatment, and leave the clinic without paying a cent. No copays, no deductibles, no cost-sharing, and no referrals — health care is “free” at the point of service.
In reality, health care doesn’t magically become free; people just pay for it outside the doctor’s office, in the form of higher taxes.
Many Democrats have walked back their enthusiasm for single-payer after getting a look at the just how much public money they’d have to come up with.
Last month in North Carolina, Democratic State Representative Verla Insko moved to kill her own pro-single-payer bill. An assessment from the state legislature’s Fiscal Research Division pegged the cost of single-payer at $70 billion, $42 billion of which would have to come from the state. That latter figure is almost twice the state budget.
Sanders’ last ‘Medicare for all’ plan cost nearly $1.4 trillion
Tami Luhby put things in perspective in her article last year. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is not giving up on his desire to extend Medicare to all Americans. He is set to unveil legislation on Wednesday that would likely jettison private health insurance and create a government-run program.
Bernie Sanders has long pushed for the United States to adopt a single-payer system, similar to those found in Canada and Europe. The most recent iteration came in amid his unexpectedly strong bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. But that proposal came with an eye-popping price tag and a slew of new taxes.
Though Sanders has yet to reveal the details of his current plan, it will be unveiled with at least a half-dozen Democratic senators, including some potential 2020 presidential hopefuls, as cosponsors. Here’s what he outlined during the 2016 campaign:
Under the ‘Medicare for all’ initiative, Americans would have comprehensive coverage, which would include doctors’ visits, hospital stays, preventative care, mental health services and prescription drugs. It would also pay for vision, dental, long-term care, and hospice needs. All doctors would be in the network.
What’s more, patients would no longer have to pay private insurance premiums, deductibles or co-pays.
How much would all this cost? Nearly $1.4 trillion a year. Gulp!! That is per year. Remember what our National debt is already. How do we pay for it??
To pay for it, all Americans and employers would see a tax hike. Sanders called for a new 2.2% income tax on all Americans and a 6.2% levy on employers. He would also increase taxes on the wealthy.
But, he argues, people would save money since they would no longer have to pay monthly premiums or deductibles. A family of four earning $50,000 would save more than $5,800 each year.
“As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card,” his campaign proposal said.
Businesses, meanwhile, would save more than $9,400 annually since they would no longer have to pick up their share of workers’ health insurance premiums.
Sanders’ plan relies on more than $6 trillion in savings over the next decade — largely stemming from lowering the rates paid to doctors, hospitals, and drug manufacturers. He maintains that simplifying the payment structure and eliminating private insurers will make it easier for providers to absorb the cuts.
The senator has yet to provide details on just how the nation would shift to ‘Medicare for all’ and how the program would actually work. Among the unanswered questions are whether providers would accept steep cuts in payments and how medical costs would be contained if more people have access to health care.
‘Medicare for all’ faces some steep hurdles, but the idea is gaining traction among the public. Some 53% of Americans support a national health care plan, according to a June poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s up from 50% last year and from 40% between 1998 and 2000.
Is there a difference in a Medicare for All and other Single Payer systems? And can a Medicare for All health care system work and have Republican backing? More to come.