Single Payer Healthcare

Medicare for all.

Single payer healthcare, universal healthcare, Medicare for all. It doesn’t matter what you call it. This is a concept that is way past due in the United States of America. I mean how can you argue with a system that has been shown to be cheaper (on a national basis), is associated with increased quality and length of life, increased productivity for industry, and improved financial health for the whole country? Lets look at each of those things and see if you agree.

On a national basis Single Payer Healthcare would be less expensive for the country than the current insurance paradigm.

Wait, how can that be? Math. It comes down to this. While it is estimated that over 10 years Medicare for all would cost $32.6 TRILLION dollars (it should be noted that this study was done by a think tank funded by the Koch Brothers trying to defame single payer healthcare), Americans over the same time period are paying $33 Trillion.

This article (Think Progress) goes further, and demonstrates how streamlining of systems, and reductions in drug costs (which are inflated by the insurance industry and big pharma) will result in Americans saving another 1.6 trillion dollars of the same period.

Two trillion dollars. it is hard to think in those terms. So lets take a look at that number.

$2,000,000,000,000

That’s how much we will save over 10 years by switching to a single payer system.

Single Payer Healthcare is associated with a higher quality and length of life.

Lets start with life expectancy. According to InfoPlease.com The US is ranked 43rd in the world with a life expectancy of 79.68 years. Almost every country above ours has a variation of universal healthcare.

Overall quality of life: This US News article puts the US at #17. Every nation above us has universal healthcare. (most also have nationalized schools systems funded through undergraduate university studies, but that is another article.)

General Health rankings. Wikipedia put together a page of a 2000 World Health Organization study, graphing various medical goals. The only one that the United States placed well in is the first place for the highest health expenditure per capita. Our system costs more and underperforms. Here are the other areas:

Attainment of goals/Health Level – 24

Attainment of goals/Health distribution – 32

Attainment of  goals/ Over all health – 15 (they attributed this to availability of nutrition)

Expenditure for Health (per capita) – 1

Level of health performance – 72

Overall health system performance – 37

Once again, almost every nation that outperformed us, did so with universal healthcare system.

Increased productivity for industry.

I would go on about my views, but given my decided lefty views, it is probably best to point you to a report that is from a decidedly conservative outlet. The US Chamber of Commerce. Their report (here) states “It shows that the costs related to lost productivity due to ill health are significant and rising,”

Given that we have already demonstrated that universal healthcare provides a healthier population at a reduced cost…I think that the recognition that to be commercially competitive in the world we need a healthy workforce makes the truth of this category abundantly clear.

Improved Financial Health

As I have found that most people arguing against universal healthcare don’t care about anything but money….lets look at that. I am sure that we can all agree that bankruptcy and debt load are huge drags on our overall economy. What would you say if I told you that year over year medical bills cause 46% of all bankruptcies?

They do. Every single year. When we consider that around 800,000 bankruptcies are filed per year, that means some 368,000 people might be paying their debts instead of writing them off.

I couldn’t find any data on how much money that actually represents, but I cannot imagine a scenario where 368,000 people paying their bills rather than writing them off is a bad thing.

Can you?

Summary

So in summary, single payer healthcare is a proven model for improving health, standard of living, industrial, and personal economics. The only negative I can find anywhere, even on the internet is that it is a practice used by scary word countries. Call it whatever you want….it is beyond time for us to adopt this system.

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About Robb

A husband, Dad to 5, and Grandpa to 9. US Navy Vet. 18 Year Postal Employee turned full time Realtor. I enjoy a wide variety of things, but you will find that here I mostly write about Indianapolis, government/politics, recent news, and whatever book I am reading or have just finished at the moment.
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