Single-payer health care is when the government acts as the only payer of health care costs in the economy. Rather than individuals purchasing insurance for payment of medical expenses through their employer or on the open market, the federal government typically covers all such costs.
Timothy Taylor, the Conversable Economist, posted today on some highlights from the late Uwe Reinhardt’s last book, Priced Out: The Economic and Ethical Costs of American Health Care. He, following the lead of the Milken Institute Review in its excerpt of the book, shows charts comparing the cost of various health care goods and services in the United States to the cost in other countries.
The right-wing Mercatus Center found in 2018 that the Sanders plan reduces overall health spending by $2 trillion in the first 10 years. The nonpartisan Rand Corporation has constructed a similar single-payer plan, with pay-fors, for New York State that would result in health-care savings for all families making less than 1,000 percent of the poverty line ($276,100 for a family of four).
More patient control over health care spending will lead to more price visibility and lower costs. But contrary to popular belief, legislation isn’t necessary to make prices more visible in the health care system. The most compelling reason for doctors and hospitals to post their prices would be because they are competing for patients’ money.
The Working Group on Health Care Policy devises public policies that enable more Americans to get better value for their health care dollar and foster appropriate innovations that will extend and improve life.