Healthcare

Single-payer health care system is inevitable 𗀼

I have been investigating the issue for many years including talking to people in many countries about their health care systems. I am well aware of the costs, limitations, restrictions even forms of rationing involved. I also know that it’s hard to find people in European countries who do not like their systems. 

I also know Americans do not understand health care issues, they have high expectations that are not affordable, they overuse health care and they do not see paying for health care expenses as a personal responsibility which should be part of the family budget. 

We have a dysfunctional, uncoordinated system for delivering health care. 

Despite all the limitations and faults, a single-payer, universal system in the US is inevitable…because we cannot agree on a viable alternative covering all Americans. 

What’s your opinion?

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4 replies »

  1. As Dick mentioned, wants exceed needs which both exceed everyday American’s ability to pay.

    So, as it is today, it becomes a question of who pays, how much. When the majority can force the minority to shoulder more medical costs than they are willing to pay voluntarily, as someone must pay in more than they are going to receive in such a Social Insurance system, we will get single payer. I don’t believe it will ever be a voluntary decision by those who will shoulder the majority of the burden.

    Americans currently ration health care based on cost. In a single payer system, Americans will struggle with the change to rationing based on other factors – such as CARE in England. So, lower costs may be possible if Americans are willing to accept reduced access – that is true in every country with single payer. It is why people of means come to America for specialized medical services. It is why various Rx are not readily available in other countries.

    However, I think we will struggle because no one is ready to accept less, and a majority are ready to accept whatever they want/need, with someone else shouldering the cost. How that challenge is reconciled … will be interesting, and not in my lifetime….

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  2. Single payer = Happy Days – VAT on everything you buy to pay for healthcare, that is not as good as the current system. Long wait times for appointments, higher co-pays, less testing because of costs, service just like the DMV. I can’t wait, NOT!

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  3. I agree that we are headed to a single payer system. Health insurance is no longer insurance but a reimbursement plan. We also have a health system and a drug system that advertise that they can cure you, that you can live a longer life even if it’s an average of only 120 days more even if its not true. TV ads are telling you to talk to your doctor about this drug or that test for stuff you didn’t even knew existed. I am all for awareness but it must be in context. There is too much information out there with the Internet and some of it wrong helping to drive up costs.

    In the USA, the HIPAA law has basically made hospitals give every patient a private room which I do not believe is fully adopted overseas yet but has added extra costs to the system here.

    Another reason I believe that we are headed to a single payer system is because of the cost.
    You have repeatedly stated that health care expenses should be part of the family budget. I agree, but what percentage should health care be? 25%, 50%, 100%? Let say a family spends $15-20K for medical per year including all co-pays, deductibles, and premiums. If the family earns $50k a year, which in 2014 only 37.6% made more than $50k. Spending $20k a year is 40% of their gross income. An online search has revealed that the recommend percentage of a family medical budget is somewhere between 2% to 10% which is unrealistic. My guess these people would not have health insurance which will drive costs up for everybody.

    For the 16% of families who make more than $100k, they’ll see their percentage of costs go down to a budgetable expense or just a necessary evil until they need it. My family is one of those 16% and my percentage is 18.5% of my budget. It is important to note that my employer pays 80% of my premiums and for most of my drugs costs and is not included in my 18.5% budget-costs. The dollar amount I pay is the same amount that the newest entry level employee pays and if he had to pay all of his high deductible amount in one year that could be 63% of his income. How do you budget for that?

    Another thing, what does a family do when they don’t have employer coverage?

    Since bills are not based on income but on the medical condition, a broken leg costs the same for a low-income person as it does for a millionaire and since the less than $50k/yr voters make up the majority in this fight there will be a single payer system before I die.

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