You know how to do the math on this? Ok, time to show your work, because the evidence is pretty overwhelming.
Sure, if you’re totally ignorant about how the US “system” runs. It’s just a matter of simple arithmetic, then. Who cares if senior citizens have their premiums go up by 10X, and that the poor can’t afford their deductibles. :-)
The Washington Post is no enemy of large government spending programs. Yet, they quote the nonpartisan Urban League as follows:
When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed a “Medicare for all” health plan in his presidential campaign, the nonpartisan Urban Institute figured that it would raise government spending by $32 trillion over 10 years, requiring a tax increase so huge that even the democratic socialist Mr. Sanders did not propose anything close to it.
Here’s part of the reason why:
The public piece of the American health-care system has not proven itself to be particularly cost-efficient. On a per capita basis, U.S. government health programs alone spend more than Canada, Australia, France and Britain each do on their entire health systems. That means the U.S. government spends more per American to cover a slice of the population than other governments spend per citizen to cover all of theirs. Simply expanding Medicare to all would not automatically result in a radically more efficient health-care system.
Let’s summarize that for the attention-challenged. The assumption Sanders makes is that the government managed programs are more efficient than the privately managed programs, so we should expand the government managed program (Medicare) to cover everyone. The problem is that in the US, the government managed programs are LESS efficient (using normalized metrics, not the made up ones sitting out there for polemical purposes) than the privately managed programs. So, he’s expanding the expensive route to coverage and getting rid of the cheaper one. Unwise.
IOW, we cannot get to the economies enjoyed by other nations because our intrinsic costs are already inflated. Thus, if you expand “Medicare to all” all you’re doing is expanding a system that’s more costly than the current mess we have.
(I told you that things here were fucked up far worse than you can imagine. You really have to dig in to figure out how fucked up they really are.) :-)
So, why is that, you say? Well, intrinsic costs of services, of course. To actually lower costs in the US, you have to convince (a) the providers, and (b) the patients to accept lower wages, profits, and standards of care than they currently enjoy.
IOW, political suicide, if you just try to put caps on payments.
To realize the single-payer dream of coverage for all and big savings, medical industry players, including doctors, would likely have to get paid less and patients would have to accept different standards of access and comfort. There is little evidence most Americans are willing to accept such tradeoffs.
At the end of the day, the only way that the US gets out of its health care jam is by lowering the cost inflation of services relative to core inflation. Otherwise, all “single payer” is doing is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while it sinks.
Now, the good news is that there IS a way out of this mess…….but it’s not single payer.
Hope that helps.
Opinion | Single-payer health care would have an astonishingly high price tag
OBAMACARE LOOKS shaky, mostly because Republicans are sabotaging it. This, in turn, has rekindled calls on the left to…
I live in Canada, BTW, which had a system similar to the US before we in instituted national health coverage, administered by the provinces, and that has been a roaring success.
I’m a U of Toronto grad. I had a lot of friends in the nursing school up there while I was taking my degree, which was a pre-med curriculum. The one thing I recall vividly is how the nurses were going to make around 50% of what they make in the States….. which is why somewhere around 10%-20% of that graduating class eventually migrated down to work in the States. Same was true for the potential doctors, although they did a little better than 50%, if I recall.
Yes, you can have single payer in the US. Just convince everyone to screw themselves financially. :-)
Good luck with it.