What single-payer healthcare would mean to doctors

By Liz Seegert
Medical Economics, May 25, 2016

Health insurance is again in the political spotlight as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders promotes his version of single-payer that he calls “Medicare for all.” He says it will improve care, reduce administrative burdens and allow physicians to focus just on practicing medicine. Dissenters say it’s a pipe dream that will only lead to rationed care, lower reimbursement rates and long waiting lists.

Single payer is held up by supporters as the ideal egalitarian healthcare model. If other nations can provide expansive medical care for their citizens, they ask, why can’t the U.S.? Opponents disparage the idea as anti-choice; they predict the implosion of the healthcare system and demise of physician autonomy.

Could single payer be the boon to medical practice its supporters insist? Or would we end up with a system that limits care and ignores best practices in favor of the bottom line? Who’s right?

The short answer is, both sides are.

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