Pa. study proves single payer will save $17 billion annually and cover everybody in state

By Chuck Pennacchio
OpEd News, March 11, 2013

A single-payer health care plan will save Pennsylvania families, businesses and tax payers $17 billion annually while providing comprehensive health care to all, according to an economic impact study released today.

Commissioned by Health Care for All PA, a statewide non-profit organization, the study was conducted by University of Massachusetts - Amherst professor of economics Gerald Friedman, Ph.D.

It compares the cost of the current for-profit health insurance model in Pennsylvania under which provider choice is limited and health services are rationed by health insurance companies to that of a consumer-driven health care system which gives people freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals and health care providers.

The legislation to create this single-payer system will be re-introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate (Senate Bill 400) on March 19 by Senator Jim Ferlo. The name of this state-based, consumer-driven health care system will be The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan.

Some of the important advantages of The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan are:

* Comprehensive coverage for every resident of Pennsylvania, including dental, vision, mental health and prescription drug services;

* Eliminates the need for hospitals to absorb the cost of care for the uninsured;

* Reduces bureaucracy for private physicians resulting in reduced administrative costs and improved compensation for private physicians;

* Reduces or eliminates health insurance over-costs for small business, allowing for more job creation, greater reinvestment of profits, and reduced workers' compensation costs.

* Radically reduces the total cost of health care to levels more consistent with costs in the rest of the industrialized world.

A one-page Executive Summary along with the full text of the Economic Impact Study is available here.

Please spread the word. Contact your friends and legislators. Help us with donations for advertising and speaker transportation costs. Health care for all IS possible in Pennsylvania, but only if we demand it.

Read the entire study here.

Chuck Pennacchio is executive director of Health Care for ALL PA.