Should the United States go for single-payer?

By Jay Brock, M.D.
The Washington Post, Letters, September 18, 2017

Eugene Robinson was correct that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) proposal for a “Medicare for All” health insurance system is the “right thing to do” [“An idea no longer on the fringe,” op-ed, Sept. 15]. It would cover everyone with first-dollar coverage for all medically necessary care.

But “Medicare for All” is not socialized medicine, in which the government would own medical facilities and health-care providers would be government employees. Rather, this is socialized insurance, and it is enormously popular among conservatives and liberals already covered by Medicare. The excellent medical system we have now wouldn’t change; how we pay for it would.

Also, regarding those projected 10-year costs: We already spend a “staggering” $3.4 trillion each year on health care and still manage to leave 28 million people without any health insurance and tens of millions more greatly underinsured. An improved “Medicare for All” single-payer system would fix that, with a cost-effective system based on competition among providers that would be the continuing envy of the world. (That $3.4 trillion is enough to cover everyone. We just don’t spend it wisely because we waste as much as $500 billion on administrative costs to accommodate our multiple-payer system.)

It’s only a matter of time before the politicians catch up with the majority of Americans who already want a single-payer system.