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Single-payer system gaining adherents

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This Medscape report suggests that more and more U.S. physicians, and Americans in general, are warming to the idea of single-payer health system — aka, “Medicare for all” — to succeed the convoluted Affordable Care Act.

While many still oppose it, many other experts see it as a way to increase efficiency and cut waste and costs by dramatically reducing the many-layered complexity and confusion of America’s current hybrid healthcare “system” — which it far and away the most expensive in the world on a per-capita basis and yet produces remarkably mediocre medical outcomes in world rankings.

As Medscape noted, eliminating the current private-sector-public-sector arrangement and making the  federal government the main payer “would virtually eliminate the entire commercial insurance industry—with $730 billion in revenues and a workforce of 470,000. And those who favor single-payer say that for all practices, administrative costs would plummet because there would be only one set of payment rules. Prior authorizations, narrow networks, and out-of-pocket payments would be eliminated, proponents of a single-payer system maintain.”

Single-payer proponents also assert that it would restore more authority to physicians, more and more of whom are health system employees and must often follow the dictates of insurance companies.

But we  at CMG, having lived in single-payer nations, would suggest that the elimination of the entire commercial-health-insurance industry would be highly unlikely since presumably individuals would still be able to buy extra insurance from private insurance companies as one can do in most single-payer nations.


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