Skip to comments.Single-Payer Is Not Dead
Posted on 01/14/2014 10:11:01 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
The prospects for single-payer health care -- adored by many liberals, despised by private health insurers and looking better all the time to others -- did not die in the Affordable Care Act. It was thrown a lifeline through a little-known provision tucked in the famously long legislation. Single-payer groups in several states are now lining up to make use of Section 1332.
Vermont is way ahead of the pack, but Hawaii, Oregon, New York, Washington, California, Colorado and Maryland have strong single-payer movements.
First, some definitions. Single-payer is a system where the government pays all medical bills. Canada has a single-payer system. By the way, Canada's system is not socialized medicine but socialized insurance (like Medicare). In Canada, the doctors work for themselves.
Under Section 1332, states may apply for "innovation waivers" starting in 2017. They would let states try paths to health care reform different from those mapped out by the Affordable Care Act -- as long as they meet certain of its goals. States must cover as many people and offer coverage as comprehensive and affordable. And they can't increase the federal deficit. Qualifying states would receive the same federal funding that would have been available under Obamacare.
My conservative friends complain that the innovation waiver requirements would rule out everything but single-payer. No doubt they are diligently working on a more privatized alternative that would cover less, cost more and raise the federal deficit.
"Vermont is the only state where they're thinking very concretely about using (the waiver) as part of their plan," Judy Solomon, health care expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told me.
Hawaii got close. Its Legislature passed a single-payer bill in 2009, which was vetoed by then-Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican. Lawmakers overrode the veto, but Lingle refused to implement the law.
The quest remains rocky, Dr. Stephen Kemble, a single-payer advocate and past president of the Hawaii Medical Association, told me. "If Vermont can get things going, that would make things easier for others."
In Washington state, "our focus is to work on grass-roots support," says Dr. David McLanahan, Washington coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program. "We're laying the groundwork" for legislation and a request for an innovation waiver.
Problems in the Obamacare rollout have energized fans of single-payer. Computer glitches aside, the troubles stem chiefly from the law's complexity. Single-payer is all about simplicity.
Under the Vermont plan, employers and individuals would no longer have to buy private health coverage. They would instead pay a tax. The state-run system would also cover more things, like dental. And oh, yes, Vermonters could choose their hospitals and doctors.
William Hsiao, an economist at the Harvard School of Public Health, has projected that Vermont's annual health care spending could fall 25 percent. The savings would more than pay for the new benefits.
How? Fewer dollars would go to advertising, executive windfalls and payouts to investors. Doctors dealing with one insurer would save on office staff. Fraud and abuse would shrink as a comprehensive database makes crooks easier to spot.
It's too bad that some liberals have turned single-payer into a religion and are whacking the Vermont plan for not being pure enough. Vermont is permitting continued private coverage for very practical reasons.
Bear in mind that the most acclaimed health care systems -- in Germany, in France and our Medicare -- combine single-payer for basics with private coverage for the extras.
Vermont intends to use its state health insurance exchange as the structure on which to build its single-payer system. By 2017, the road to an innovation waiver should be clear.
Go forth, Green Mountain State. Show us what you can do.
Single-payer is a system where the government pays all medical billsFalse definition. First, the government generates no wealth, so it takes from others to pay anything; second, such systems do anything but pay all bills, but only the ones they approve arbitrarily, thus putting themselves in the role of god-king (a totalitarian aspect).
>> My conservative friends complain that the innovation waiver requirements would rule out everything but single-payer. No doubt they are diligently working on a more privatized alternative that would cover less, cost more and raise the federal deficit.
The author is a moron.
“Vermont is way ahead of the pack, but Hawaii, Oregon, New York, Washington, California, Colorado and Maryland have strong single-payer movements.”
Ok? Let them. They will go bankrupt and their sorry ass population of losers will likely have shorter life spans.
Just dont ask the sane states to pay for their mess.
I see nowhere in the article the fact that single payer raises Fed taxes 10%. Did I miss something?
And government then gets to decide who gets treatment and who does not. Death panels rule. No longer useful to the regime? Go off somewhere and die!
Personally I am all for letting the states experiment.
Let Vermont do Single Payer. They’ll go broke within two years.
Will serve as a powerful lesson to all the rest of us.
Who said it was dead?
Isn’t Froma the ding dong that was humiliated on the Colbert Report?
That’s funny, I thought it was McCain at first instead of the VP, which fits just as well
Just another law to steal your money, your freedom; and any thing else good you can think of.
If the RNC puts up Jeb against Hillary, BLAMMO! Single payer.
Communism ain’t dead either. Neither are worth championing.
How? Fewer dollars would go to advertising, executive windfalls and payouts to investors.
Please. How many hundreds of millions have been spent to promote ObamaCare, after it was passed? It is a mandate, it has no competition. They still advertise food stamps in this country.
Yes, the author really is a moron