Listen to 'single payer' experts
There is much talk these days about health care, especially on the Democratic debate stage. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are right. Here is what Drs. James Binder and Ed Weisbart, both members of the group Physicians for a National Health Program have to tell you:
“According to most arguments, America cannot afford universal health care. How can it be that the richest nation in history cannot afford it if practically every other civilized nation has health care for all? The fact is, it will not cost as much as the U.S. pays now. Medicare has an overhead of 2%. Private insurers have a 15% to 20% overhead.
“The only way that enemies of single payer can argue against this basic factual information is to use scare tactics and false information. Were single payer enacted, there would be only a 2% increase in taxes on each individual. The naysayers forget to tell you that there would be no insurance premiums, deductibles or co-pays. The net result would be that 95% of the people would pay less for health care, even after paying 2% more in taxes than they now pay, yet get comprehensive care including dental, hearing, and eye care.
“Prescription drug costs would also go down as there would be negotiations with the pharmaceutical manufacturers as the Department of Veterans Affairs does. Only the very wealthy would pay more than they pay now.
“There are many other proven myths about universal health care, including one of the biggest cons, ‘public option,’ or ‘Medicare for those who want it.’ The very fact that the insurance industry is lobbying hard for this approach should tell you all you need to know. Public Option is missing nearly all the savings of single payer. Insurers operate with up to 20% overhead as opposed to Medicare’s 2%. Medicare’s efficiency could never be reached by keeping today’s complex insurance industry in the mix. Plus the insurance companies inefficiency, as high as it is, is dwarfed by the untold time and money patients and doctors waste in dealing with these companies.
“Hospitals employ one insurance-related clerk for each bed they operate. Physicians spend half their day fighting insurance company barriers. Doctors are heartsick over seeing patients that skip dosages or decline essential testing because they cannot afford them. None of the waste disappears by adding a ‘public option.’ It would do nothing to bring down costs.
“With single payer health care no longer would loss or change of job cause anyone to lose their employee funded health care. No longer would a person lose their health care if they could not find a job or were unable to work. No doctor bills, no drug bills, no surprise bills and a choice of physicians and hospitals.”