Is Single Payer Our Health Salvation?

By Anne Scheetz, M.D.
The New York Times, Letters, May 23, 2016

Re: “Why a Single-Payer Plan Would Still Be Really Costly” (The Upshot, May 17):

Our health care costs more because our administrative costs, a result of a financing system that relies on for-profit insurance companies, are so high. Some of those costs are borne by physicians, who must pay for complex billing systems, denial management, preauthorization requirements, collections management and bad debt, as well as devoting patient time to discussing insurance coverage rather than medical issues.

If we substantially decrease those costs to physicians, as a single-payer system would do, we could decrease insurance payments to physicians and still give all of them a raise. No economic miracle involved; just a matter of the people who do the work, rather than a wasteful middleman, taking home the money.

The writer, a retired internist, resides in Chicago.