Reasons Why a Single-Payer Healthcare System SAVES Money
Insurance Companies Greatly Inflate the Cost of our Healthcare
Insurance Companies inflate the cost of our health care dramatically, spending tens of millions of dollars on Non-healthcare-related items needlessly. That is an enormous amount of money we could be saving and investing in better care and preventative services, rather than paying overly-generous salaries to people who cannot work efficiently. Proof of inefficient Administrators is seen in the exponential growth of administrators (basically, people in the back office and their managers) when compared to the minuscule growth of physicians (those providing the actual healthcare) over the same period of time. [See graph on right.]
Administrative costs under a Single-Payer system (like Medicare) are about 2%, whereas for Private Insurance companies the ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS RISE TO 12% (6-times more in cost). Plus, Private Insurers spend about 15% of their total gross revenue on advertising. Fifteen percent of the TOTAL REVENUES they collect. This means from ALL THE INSURANCE PREMIUMS combined, they take 15% off the top for ads. Rather than spending this 15% on Healthcare, we pay millions to ad execs and corporate media companies along with the Health Care Administrators.
I mentioned this as a common-sense anecdote a few months ago, and then the NY Times wrote an article on the topic just last week. Not to mention organizations such as Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) which has been promoting a Single-Payer solution for years, while also providing resources for better understanding. And of course, Bernie Sanders has become outspoken on this issue as well, providing his concept of how a single-payer system could work in America.
Single-Payer is NOT Socialized Medicine
As frustrating as it is, there really is nothing we can do about those who spread misinformation (as we must protect everyone’s Right to Free Speech). However, we sure as hell can point them out and label them for everyone to see. What does this have to do with Single-Payer not being socialized medicine?
Certain people are spreading MISINFORMATION that Single-Payer is a “Communist plot” to move America to Socialized Medicine. The truth of the matter is that a government-run Single-Payer System does Not deliver the Healthcare Services. The government does Not take-over the healthcare industry. This is NOT a government-run medical services program. Thus, this is NOT Socialized Medicine. (In a Socialized Medicine System, the government also runs the Healthcare Service Providers, as Healthcare is delivered directly from the government. This is Not the case with a Single-Payer System.)
In a Single-Payer system, Healthcare Services remain as they currently are. So whether your health care services come from a non-profit organization or a for-profit practice or a medical services company, these services will remain the same and be provided by the same organizations. Single-Payer is like “Medicare for all” in which Healthcare Service Providers continue as they do now, but the Administration of our healthcare costs and the payments to the Service Providers are handled by the Federal Government (just as it does now with Medicare).
PNHP has a great list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding Single-Payer Healthcare, make sure to check it out. This is where the real learning can begin. (Though, over the coming weeks, we will be posting several more Blog Posts about Single-Payer Healthcare.)
Better Healthcare with Costs Kept in Check
Just as Medicare has to keep control on the costs of Administering health care to tens of millions of seniors across the US, so too will a Single-Payer Healthcare System. There are so many half-truths, misconceptions, and outright lies being spread around about Single-Payer (from those with a vested monetary interest in keeping the current Insurance-based system). What’s worse is that a few studies that have been commissioned in recent months incorrectly estimated costs for such a system, due to basing their estimates on our current system’s healthcare costs and the current exponentially rising rates. As the NY Times pointed out, this is Not an accurate evaluation (as our current system’s increasing costs cannot be used for evaluating a Single-Payer system).
A blatant lie that is often mentioned is that a Single-Payer system will lead to “Healthcare Rationing” as happened in places like Canada (or so we hear). Yet, the exact opposite is true. This rumor started due to the Wait Times experienced in Canada back in the 1990’s. However, due to their Healthcare System being held to public accountability, this information was broadcast throughout their News Media.
In a Single-Payer system the healthcare is handled (administered) as an open or transparent government agency. And thus, News Reporters may openly question the government in regard to how things are handled. This form of Healthcare has been proven superior to our current American system which utilizes “for profit” Insurance Companies for administration.
The point being that because they are held to account publicly, the Canadian Parliament passed regulations to publish the Wait Times on the Internet (almost as a “public shaming” of the healthcare providers that were experiencing the long Wait Times). Ultimately, this led to a great reduction in Wait Times across Canada, as public accountability led to new procedures being enacted that corrected the problems.
This type of public accountability happens in part with our current Medicare system (as organizations such as AARP keep the government in check through activating their members to call Representatives and actively vote). With a Single-Payer Healthcare System, this could happen for everyone in America, less expensively than our current or past Healthcare systems provided care. More about this topic here.
Learn More About a Single-Payer Healthcare System
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