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Single Payer Health Care Is Anything But
The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) ^ | October 17, 2017 | Adam Barsouk

Posted on 10/17/2017 11:54:17 AM PDT by TBP

As the American health care system continues to spend more and get ranked lower than other developed countries, many progressives have suggested a shift to single-payer health care as a solution.

Such attitudes have been exacerbated by recent Republican attempts to reign in government health care spending, prompting 52% of Democrats to say that they support a government takeover of health care (this is up from 33% in March 2014).

The shortcomings of the US status quo (and any potential Republican reforms) are greatly exaggerated, and adopting a single-payer system is likely to only worsen our quality of care.

Who Actually Spends More

Under the guidance of politicians who have absolutely no background in health care, like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, the left wing has epitomized the “success stories” of Nordic nations, such as Sweden and Denmark (which US News ranks second and first, respectively, for Most Well-Developed Public Health Care Systems). Little do they realize, however, that following these nations examples would undercut the rest of their proposed domestic policies.

The reason Nordic countries can spend so little on health care and still score highly on health metrics is because they spend substantially more on social safety net services, like unemployment coverage, education, and foster care. When these are taken into consideration, Nordic countries actually spend more than the US per citizen. Keep in mind, all this spending falls on the government’s tab (i.e. the taxpayers), while in the US, the majority of health care spending is still paid by the individual.

Such high spending is only possible with proportionally higher taxation. However, to stay globally competitive, these nations must maintain low corporate tax rates. The tax burden is therefore shifted to individuals, who pay taxes as high as 60% (incidentally, the amount that the rich contribute is actually less than that of the US).

This social redistribution scheme, to which everyone eagerly pays in, is only possible because Scandinavian countries have small, homogenous populations, without any commitment to supporting historically impoverished and/or oppressed minorities. In fact, quite to the contrary, the Nordic countries have some of the most nativist and anti-immigrant policies in Europe, going so far as to build a wall to protect against illegal immigrants and Middle-Eastern refugees. Sound familiar?

American progressives can’t have it both ways: you either have a strong social safety net along with border protection and homogeneity, or neither.

Single Payer Doesn’t Work for a Growing, Diverse Population

A single-payer system has never been attempted in any country as populous and diverse as the US. Those European nations, like the UK or Germany, that did implement some ‘softer’ version of universal health care have seen mixed results: the UK is often ranked no better than the US, while Germany has a rampant two-tier system, with those able to afford private care receiving far better service than those on the public option.

The health care spending is supplemented, once again, by extensive social spending.

These countries are currently struggling with an unsustainable influx of immigrants and refugees (thanks to the Schengen area visa-free travel), which adds an even more unmanageable burden onto their already strained safety nets. Combine that with the obligations that Germany has towards sustaining the rest of the European Union, who are themselves mired in their own debt crises, and the big picture becomes clear: Europe’s spending is not sustainable for a growing, diverse population.

The increased taxation and debt that European nations are facing in order to take in these immigrants have fomented nativist sentiments, leading to far-right political victories, more walls and fences, and even aggression towards refugees.

This, in turn, has only fanned the flames towards the already ostracized populations of Muslims, resulting in the horrific acts of terrorism that have become nearly synonymous with European daily news.

Strained social relations and opposing political agendas, goaded in some part by single-payer health care, are not just endangering national finances – they’re costing lives. The dangers of single-payer medicine in Europe should leave us wary of adopting similar measures in our own country. We have likewise witnessed a rise in racism and xenophobia, which is often justified and exacerbated by the belief that minority populations drain a nation of its resources.

In expanding our social safety spending, the US would further these nativist sentiments to retreat back into its shell, abandoning the embrace of immigration and economic competitiveness that our nation was founded upon. In the short term, our poor may be lifted up, but in the long term, such an ‘Elysium’ would not be competitive globally and would eventually collapse under its own weight.

Sustainable Change Must Come from the Free Market

The strong social safety net necessary to improve our national health metrics would also perpetuate poverty by disincentivizing work, thus emboldening negative stereotypes about “lazy minorities.”

To be lasting and self-sustaining, economic mobility – and the subsequent improvement of lifestyles and health outcomes of the impoverished – must come from the free market.

Considering the plethora of options that businesses have around the globe for where to conduct business, the US must lower taxes if it is to remain competitive and augment said growth. The American public must, in fact, look to Europe, not as the “city upon a hill” which some progressive politicians paint it, but as a case study in what not to do.

Single-payer is deceptive in theory and in name: although supporters like Bernie Sanders would have you believe that the rich would be the “single-payers,” in reality, all of us (and our posterity) would pay dearly.

There is nothing singular about the suffering that would be brought on by single-payer health care.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: singlepayer
Obamacare was designed to be a gateway to single payer. Single payer would be an even bigger disaster.
1 posted on 10/17/2017 11:54:18 AM PDT by TBP
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"The American public must, in fact, look to Europe, not as the 'city upon a hill' which some progressive politicians paint it, but as a case study in what not to do.'" - Adam Barsouk

Have we come so far in our decline from the ideas of liberty laid out in our Declaration of Independence and structured into a strictly limited form of self government that we voluntarily submit ourselves into slavery to government under the ideas of tyranny of Progressives?

We are in another "time for truth," as laid out by President Reagan

2 posted on 10/17/2017 12:06:45 PM PDT by loveliberty2
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There’s never been a Democrat sourced disaster that wasn’t meant to be the gateway to a bigger Democrat sourced disaster.

The DNC: creating problems and (their) job security along with Arbitrary government since the 1930s.

3 posted on 10/17/2017 12:09:34 PM PDT by Rurudyne (Standup Philosopher)
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This article is not clear and focused. It should be much shorter and concentrate specifically on what Single Payer is, what its positive aspects are, what its negative aspects are.

Nor does it address these issues in an educational way and kind spins off into immigration policies. There is not any doubt that Illegalism will raise havoc with ANY health care system.

But that is another discussion. First we need to know WHAT the system is before describing how to bring it down.

4 posted on 10/17/2017 12:11:59 PM PDT by arrogantsob (Check out "Chaos and Mayhem" at
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Single payer would probably cost the same as what we are paying now with private insurance. It is just the quality would be different, worse.

5 posted on 10/17/2017 12:16:37 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

If the NHS in Britain is a representative example, it should actually be called Single Non-Payer. Wait forever to finally get nothing.

6 posted on 10/17/2017 12:44:11 PM PDT by JustaTech (A mind is a terrible thing)
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To: sauropod


7 posted on 10/17/2017 1:09:17 PM PDT by sauropod (I am His and He is Mine)
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To: JustaTech

Single-payer relies on payers. If 50% of citizens are not paying, you can’t afford Single Payer. The only way we can afford Single-Payer is by taxing the poor.

8 posted on 10/17/2017 1:12:22 PM PDT by AppyPappy (Don't mistake your dorm political discussions with the desires of the nation)
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To: AppyPappy

I think the idea is that the money paid in insurance premiums would then go to taxes instead. So overall the amount paid out of pocket would be the same.

9 posted on 10/17/2017 1:16:53 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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Its one thing to have the government cover catastrophic health care costs for older people.

Young healthy people should be able to buy health insurance for preventive health care.

Makes a lot of sense for us.

10 posted on 10/17/2017 1:18:19 PM PDT by goldstategop ((In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever))
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To: central_va

It won’t be enough money. Granted, Tort Reform to limit Malpractice is the first thing the government will pass since it is paying. But now you have everyone using the “free” system for everything instead of people avoiding the system because it costs money.

11 posted on 10/17/2017 1:29:16 PM PDT by AppyPappy (Don't mistake your dorm political discussions with the desires of the nation)
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To: AppyPappy

There will still be co pays and deductibles.

12 posted on 10/17/2017 1:32:27 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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Communist Redistribution.

13 posted on 10/17/2017 2:02:08 PM PDT by YogicCowboy ("I am not entirely on anyonse's side, because no one is entirely on mine." - J. R. R. Tolkien)
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