Single-payer in Penn. and beyond

Panel featuring Dr. William Davidson

WITF, Smart Talk, October 2, 2017

The Senate's third attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, failed last week before the vote made it to the floor. It was the third attempt since the inauguration of Donald Trump, who campaigned with the promise to overturn the ACA, saying on many occasions the plan " unaffordable and it's a disaster."

Earlier in September, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a "Medicare-for-all" bill that, according to Sanders' own website, would "...create a federally administered single-payer health care program." The plan would cover all aspects of healthcare; preventative and emergency care, primary, specialized, vision, dental, mental - everything for everyone. People could choose any doctor and prescriptions would be covered.

Supporters of universal single-payer healthcare are thrilled that the bill brings the topic to the national narrative, though it has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled congress. Critics contend that further government involvement in the healthcare process would only take choices away from consumers and cost would skyrocket.

On the Monday edition of Smart Talk, we will spend the hour discussing the merits and drawbacks of a single-payer healthcare system.  Pennsylvania State Representative Pamela DeLissio (D - 194th) will discuss her proposal - the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan - a single payer plan administered by the state.

We'll also speak with Dr. William Davidson, a cardiologist who has served Central Pennsylvania for 30 years and is a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of doctors advocating for a universal single-payer system.

We'll also speak with critics of the single-payer concept; Vince Phillips is a retired lobbyist who advocated for the Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters and Eric Beittel, a financial planner and the former President of the Board of the Central Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters. We'll also hear from Elizabeth Stelle, the Director of Policy Analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation.