Monday, July 17, 2017

What Is Single-Payer?

Single-payer is health care paid for by the federal government. Insurance companies take 20% of every health care dollar for overhead (CEO salaries etc.). Most other western industrialized countries have universal healthcare (single-payer covering every citizen). We have a profit-driven system that is much more expensive and that does not cover everyone. Single-payer is Medicare without the 20% co-pay. The cost is covered usually by taxes that everyone pays. If I move to Canada and want to be covered by their healthcare system, I have to pay a 15% tax on income. In this country, medical expenses are the number one cause of personal bankruptcies. I would rather pay 15% than have a medical bill I could never pay off. (My last MRI had a price tag of $8000.) I would like to be able to go to the doctor and not get a bill. Even Cuba and France have universal healthcare. Medicaid (government paying for poor people's health care) is sometimes called single-payer but in actuality, the funding comes from both the individual states and the federal government.

Republican-led states that rejected Medicaid expansion (paid for by the federal government) have people who are uninsured because they make too little to qualify for the ACA (Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare) health insurance exchange (insurance with premium subsidies), but who make too much to qualify for that state's Medicaid program. The Medicaid expansion was supposed to cover every citizen who did not qualify for the ACA, but Republicans sued for the right of individual states to reject the expansion.

Single-payer would be a form of universal healthcare for U.S. citizens.

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