This was originally published on Liberal America on April 18, 2017.
We have been struggling with our healthcare system since the Orange Menace, President Donald Trump, was elected into power. We are one of the only first-world nations that doesn’t have single-payer healthcare. This would be the equivalent of having Medicare for everyone in our country instead of having to deal with private insurance companies.
Under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, over 20 million people have gotten insurance who did not have it before. Former Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said:
“When it comes to the key metrics of affordability, access, and quality, the evidence shows that the Affordable Care Act is working, and families, businesses and taxpayers are better off as a result.”
What Is It And How Would It Differ From Our Current System?
Single-payer healthcare is a system in which one entity finances all of the healthcare costs for a country. Usually, it’s the government, but that is not always the case.
Currently, we have a hugely complicated healthcare system. There are various networks of doctors and hospitals and pharmacies. Most of us have to go through middlemen insurance companies to get coverage. There are high premiums for care, then you still have to pay copays when you actually go to the doctor. We have some public programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
A single-payer system would make this easier by disconnecting our coverage from our jobs or our parents’ jobs or our partners’ jobs. If we implemented it here, it would be covered under the federal budget that is earmarked for Medicare and Medicaid.
Could It Happen Here?
We currently have a single-payer legislation in Congress. It would: