Why Single-payer? | FAQ | Economic Benefits
Why single-payer? Americans are spending over twice as much per person on healthcare as the average of developed countries in the world. Despite that, we still have millions without coverage, millions more that can’t afford to use the coverage they have, and are ranked last amongst developed countries on avoidable deaths according to the World Health Organization. We need a fundamental shift in the way we finance healthcare. A Single Payer system would prioritize the health and well being of our patients, families, and economy over the profitability of insurance companies.
The so called unfettered free market will never deliver the healthcare system we need if we are to remain an economic superpower.
— Richard Master
Is single-payer too expensive to implement in the US?
Currently, we have the world’s most expensive healthcare system. It’s immensely complicated, and difficult to use, with huge amounts of administrative overhead and advertising budgets. While private insurers use upwards of 15% of their resources on these costs, Medicare only uses 2-3% of their budget for administration.
This wastefulness creates a huge strain on the healthcare system. It requires doctors to spend staff time and resources going back and forth with insurance companies on whether a treatment is “medically necessary”, it pays for insurance companies to advertise directly to consumers, it creates large out of pocket payments for patients, and enormous premium costs for businesses.
The system we have now is to expensive. Creating a Single Payer system for financing healthcare would eliminate many of these costs, and would also give the government better leverage to negotiate the price of care and pharmaceuticals. It could save over $504 billion a year in the United States.
Will I have to pay more in taxes?
There are many ways that a Single Payer system could be financed, but no matter which model you use, there is no denying that it would save workers, families, and businesses money. Medical debt is currently the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and businesses are spending thousands of dollars per employee to keep them insured. Even the modest increases in payroll taxes on businesses that would be required would save huge amounts on the bottom line.
Is this Socialized Medicine, or a “Government takeover” of healthcare?
The simple answer is “No”. A Single Payer system would simply make the government the primary financier of healthcare. Providers would still deliver care independently, and simply charge the government for the cost of care instead of a private insurance company. The biggest difference in the delivery of care is that you’d never have to worry about whether or not a doctor or provider is “in-network”.
A Single Payer system does more than just help patients and families. It is also a huge boon to businesses, workers, and our economy.
Currently, it can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars annually to insure a single employee with a family, and the costs are increasing year after year. This is money that could go into investing in new technologies, expanding to new markets, or increasing wages, which have been stagnant.
Between rising wages and the alleviated burden of healthcare costs, workers would have more money to spend on goods and services in our economy that is 70% consumer driven.
Businesses would be able to hire more full time workers without worrying about the cost of insuring them.
International companies would not be deterred from expanding into the US by the cost of health insurance.
People would be free to start new businesses and chase their dream jobs without the fear of losing their health insurance.
Warren Buffett called medical costs the “tapeworm of American economic competitiveness” and we believe he’s right, and that a Single Payer system is the best way to get them under control.