Expect to hear more about single-payer healthcare as Republicans debate health insurance reform.
Single-payer healthcare, also referred to as “universal” healthcare, isn’t a new idea. But Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) brought it to more people’s attention during his campaign for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, describing it as the “only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis.”
The idea from Sanders and others is that single-payer would lower administrative costs and do away with the headaches of enrollment periods, premiums, deductibles, and plans that cover one thing but not another. Organizations including Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) say single-payer creates a single-tiered system that improves quality and covers all people equally, regardless of age, income, employment, or diagnosis.
Health economist Devon Herrick, Ph.D. thinks it’s inevitable that more politicians and people talk about this system. “But I don’t think it’s a better way to go, by any means,” he quickly adds. “I think it’s actually a much worse way to go.”
Like many critics of single-payer healthcare, Herrick – a health policy analyst – points to the hefty price tag of California’s recent push for single-payer and a failed referendum in Colorado to create a single-payer system. California’s plan would have reportedly cost $400 billion, or twice the state’s entire budget. Meanwhile, ColoradoCare involved a $36 billion budget that The Denver Post said would “dwarf” the state government’s spending.
“What’s going to happen, I’m afraid – and this is the prediction others are making now, too – is that [in the next five to fifteen years] ObamaCare will have crashed and the markets will have deteriorated so badly that people will be more accepting of just letting the government do it,” he continues.
“But the government can’t give us all Medicare,” he says – adding that if that does happen: “It’ll be a paltry health plan where doctors don’t want to see you.”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.