Healthcare for all, for free!

Congress and the president have gone to extreme lengths to ignore “single payer” healthcare plans and to exclude the many strong advocates for a “single payer” system from Congressional hearings.

Why?

Because it’s a debate they can’t win. And talking about it just shows people our “representatives” care far more about health insurance companies — who give them cash — than their uninsured constituents — who don’t.

Here are some conclusions from a 90-page June 1991 General Accounting Office (GAO) study:

If the universal coverage and single-payer features of the Canadian system were applied in the United States, the savings in administrative costs alone would be more than enough to finance insurance coverage for the millions of Americans who are currently uninsured. There would even be enough left over to permit a reduction, or possibly even the elimination, of copayments and deductibles, if that were deemed appropriate.

If the single payer also had the authority and responsibility to oversee the system as a whole, as in Canada, it could potentially constrain the growth in long-run health care costs. …[H]ealth care costs have risen at a dramatically slower pace in Canada than in the United States. The difference reflects Canada’s low administrative costs, controls on hospital budgets and on the acquisition of high-technology equipment, and fee controls for physician services.

Canadians have few problems with access to primary care services. There are more physicians per person in Canada than in the United States, and Canadians use more physician services per person than do US. citizens. Yet the cost of physician services per person in Canada was one-third less than in the United States.

It’s especially ironic that the GAO report says single-payer would constrain growth in health care costs. The Obama administration says (and most experts agree) controlling health care costs is essential to reducing government deficits in the future. We have a wonderful solution that would simultaneously lower government spending and provide universal health care.

Self-interested Washingtonians won’t even allow a debate precisely because it’s such a wonderful solution… for everyone except the powerful pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

Physicians for a National Health Program provide excerpts from many similar studies, many showing that single payer can do even better than provide universal healthcare at no additional cost. Many studies show single payer would cover everyone AND save money.

Our “representatives” are forcing Americans to continue wildly overpaying for health insurance while completely unnecessarily keeping nearly 50 million Americans uninsured. Here’s proof:

Three months ago, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) told single payer supporters that he would seek to get the CBO to score [calculate the cost of] single payer legislation (HR 676).

But Steny Hoyer backed off his pledge.

He never did get the CBO to score single payer.

Why?

Because it would show that under single payer, we’d pay what we are paying now – or less – and it would cover everyone.

Congress refuses even to present the facts honestly.

Posted by James on Friday, June 19, 2009