American health care - what next?

Interview with Adam Gaffney, M.D. and Saurabh Jha, M.D.
The BMJ Podcast, March 29, 2017

Excerpt from Dr. Gaffney, responding to Dr. Jha's charge that a single-payer national health program would provide overly generous benefits:

I agree that health care is not one size fits all. Health care is unique to the individual. We all have unique wishes, we all have unique wants, we all have unique medical problems, we all would want different things at the end of life, we all have different thoughts about various reproductive health care issues, and so on and so forth.

So health care is unique, but health coverage should be universal, and I think differentiating between those two things is fundamentally important.

Yes, we all have our own wishes and maybe someone who has different life experiences is going to seek out different care than someone who has another set of life experiences. But coverage should be universal. The full spectrum of comprehensive care should be covered.

[Opponents] might say that's sort of a regressive tax on people who don't use that much health care, but that is only true if the health care system is being funded in a regressive manner.

If we fund the health care system through progressive taxation, then people people pay in what they can afford to pay in on the basis of their income, and then they use the health care services that they need on the basis of their needs and of their wishes.

full interview:

The BMJ Podcast is hosted by Peter Doshi. He was joined by Dr. Adam Gaffney, from Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Saurabh Jha, from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.