Deliberation between single payer and privatized healthcare is heating up as the Democratic party prepares for its 2020 presidential debates this summer. Back in 2016, Bernie Sanders brought what he refers to as ‘Medicare-for-All’ back into the mainstream consciousness. Despite losing the nomination to Hilary Clinton, the idea of not having to pay for healthcare has not faded at all. As the United States becomes more liberal at least on the political spectrum, every presidential hopeful will be required to comment on the state of this country’s healthcare. Healthcare professionals such as Harry Stylli are engaged in these discussions as a single payer system can revolutionize many industries in the United States.
Financing Single Payer
Individuals who enjoy the current healthcare system often ask how this country would be able to afford a single-payer system. There are many variable costs associated with this industry that are difficult to account for on a national scale. Proponents of single-payer express to citizens that the government will foot the bill for the entire nation’s medical expenses. To remain faithful with these broad claims, legislators would undoubtedly have to raise taxes across the board. When assessing these tax increases, pro-forma statements should be created to compare previous data with new findings. As a population, Americans are already struggling to make ends meet and often forgo possessing health insurance for this reason. If subsequent tax hikes do not offset family budgets too much, this could be a viable option moving forward.
Diminishing Insurance Companies
Insurance companies have a vested interest in the current healthcare system as they have positioned themselves as healthcare brokers. Aside from very few circumstances, it is illegal to not have health insurance as a citizen of the United States. While your door will not be kicked down for this infraction, you could potentially face tax penalties at the end of each year if you are not insured. If you are fortunate enough to have a position that provides medical insurance, you can receive coverage from your employer. With a single payer system, insurance companies would either begin going out of business or would have to restructure how they function in the marketplace. Health insurance providers are scrambling as these conversations slowly start to lean toward a single-payer system.
Providing Cheaper Care and Medicine
One of the main points supporting a single-payer structure involves the declining costs for medical expenses. Many assume that medical costs would be next to nothing because there would be no incentive to upcharge any longer. Medical expenses would begin to reflect those found in other nations with single-payer systems. While this is true, there are still certain aspects that need to be ironed out. For those who own private practices and are licensed professionals, it will be interesting to see how they perform in a single-payer system. Many nations with single-payer systems structured the society around free healthcare provided by the government. The United States, on the other hand, would be attempting to change the domestic marketplace overnight drastically.