Single Payer Health Care Gains Support
Single payer health care, paying doctors and hospitals out of one fund managed by the government, and paid to health care providers by either a government agency or insurance company, is gaining support. Single payer health care groups are pushing for streamlined payments that would result from single payer health care. This is another way of delivering universal health insurance, which aims to make the coverage more affordable.
Head of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus seems to be moving Congress toward single payer health care, something President Obama has said simply will not happen. At this point, Baucus told reporters at the National Press Club, that single payer health care is "on the table", saying there are many ways to accomplish the goal of health care reform.
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) claims, “private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $350 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans”. The PNHP says that private insurers waste health care dollars and that single payer health care is one of the only ways to stop that waste. (1)
The premise of single payer health care is that everyone gets access to needed care. Many people have watched as health care in the US has declined, in part due to administrative waste, an issue that should disappear with implementation of a single payer health care system.
Healthcare reform has taken center stage. Everyone wants affordable and accessible health care. Congress is pushing for developing a single payer healthcare plan, and support seems to be increasing. No one knows how insurance companies will fare in the end. Insurance groups fear our government may insure the public.
Proponents of single payer health care include PNHP, Health Care for America NOW!, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, as well as many state groups.
Nader contends, “With a single-payer system - everybody in, nobody out - you don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out who’s in and who’s out”, also saying that single payer health care decreases deaths in countries who insure their population.