ObamaCare dying but 'single payer' still lurks

Thursday, March 23, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Healthcare.gov header 2015 620x300It was seven years ago this week that President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law.

While people differ on whether Republican bills are the solution, the same can be said about a single payer system.

Single-payer, or universal health care, is a system in which providers are paid for their services by the government rather than private insurance companies.

The idea is not new but it gained steam after Bernie Sanders' run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Progressives in California are now pushing the idea. A referendum in Colorado failed to get enough votes in November 2016. 

Small Business ObamaCare page 620x300Sanders and other proponents of single-payer still believe it would save on administrative costs, give everyone access to the same comprehensive coverage without having to worry about enrollment periods, out-of-pocket costs, and whether a doctor or hospital is “in-network.”

Even so, critics remain. 

"I don't think single-payer is the solution and I think there are a couple reasons for that," says Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute: "One is, if you're in a single-payer system, you don't have any choice. You are essentially relying on the government to provide your health care, and you'd better hope that they do a good job." 

To see what that looks like, Cass points to what's been happening with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

"All of those V.A. scandals are actually an illustration of exactly the kind of thing you'd worry about with a single-payer system where you would only have one place to get your care," Cass says. "It's from the government, and you have to trust a bunch of bureaucrats to do it right. People say No, no, no, it's like Medicare, but that's wrong because with Medicare, the government provides your insurance, but you still have a private health care system out there that you get your care from."

Cass believes the important thing is to preserve the private health care system that's going to deliver a lot more innovation and deliver a lot more choice to all Americans. 

"The question then becomes how to make it affordable for Americans to access the health care system when they need to," he concludes. "That's what reform should really focus on."

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