❝ In an editorial and proposal published recently in the American Journal of Public Health, 2,231 physicians called for a single-payer national health program to replace the current private insurance model of financing healthcare.
❝ While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has increased access to healthcare services for millions of people, many physicians still have grave concerns over patients’ ability to get the care they need, said Steffie Woolhandler, MD, a co-author of the editorial and proposal…
Physicians are supporting a single-payer system, Woolhandler said, because they know that “lives are literally at stake.”
“I think doctors are seeing lots of patients who can’t get the care they need despite improvements that have come from the ACA. There are still 26 million to 30 million uninsured people, depending on the source, and there is no prospect of that going down because the ACA is almost fully implemented. Many patients will die because they can’t get the preventive or primary care they need,” she said. “Doctors see this in their practice. They also see patients all the time who are underinsured. They have insurance but still can’t afford the care they need … Many doctors feel the ACA has not solved the problems around access to care.”
❝ Among the main points outlined in the national health program are:
Patients could choose to go to any doctor and hospital.
Most hospitals and clinics would remain privately owned and operated, receiving a budget from the NHP to cover all operating costs.
Physicians could continue to practice on a fee-for-service basis, or receive salaries from group practices, hospitals, or clinics.
The program would be paid for by combining current sources of government health spending into a single fund with modest new taxes that would be fully offset by reductions in premiums and out-of-pocket spending.
Co-pays and deductibles would be eliminated…
❝ “Once you have a single-payer system, you have to decide how much you are willing to spend. Our group would say, at least initially, to spend what we are spending now for the first few years to avoid disruption, but over time there would be huge administrative savings,” she said.
RTFA for some discussion and debate. Most industrial, educated nations have some sort of single-payer national health service. Many provide better care than that received by most Americans. They all cost taxpayers and consumers less than our current system.
So-called administrative costs are where insurance companies hide their biggest lies. They claim to need 14-24% of costs for administration. Social Security and Medicare function well with less than 3% charged off to admin.