Single-payer makes ACA more palatable

Even though Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” health-care bill has no near-term chance of advancing with Republicans in power, it has something in common with the Republican agenda — it aims to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“BernieCare” goes farther down the path toward socialized medicine than “Obamacare” ever did, seeking to turn the nation’s health-care system into federally run health insurance.

Whether this idea has legs, Sanders has upped the ante on the defining domestic policy issue of our times. Until now, Democrats presented a united front on preserving Obamacare while Republicans have been divided on how, or even whether, to repeal and replace it.

Now, the single-payer issue has the power to unite Republicans and divide Democrats with mid-term elections on the horizon that will determine control of the U.S. House and Senate.

Political implications aside, we shouldn’t hope for Medicare writ large. We should hope for a solution that preserves some free market forces to encourage innovation, drug development and some dynamic community health tools from private insurers.

True, the U.S. healthcare system is mediocre compared to contemporary democracies, but the level of health care on this planet would not approach what it is today were it not for the forces within our free-market system driving innovation.

The incentives to innovate are greatly diminished under a health-care system solely controlled by the government. It’s easy to demonize insurance companies, but they have developed remarkably effective systems for caring for large chunks of people.

The U.S. healthcare system is very good at “exotic” medicine, but it’s not no great at delivering ordinary care. We can fix that, but first we have to preserve the framework of Obamacare, which suddenly represents the middle-ground solution to the health-care conundrum. Abandoning it for socialized medicine or a purely free-market system poses tremendous downsides for consumers.

But without a bipartisan commitment to stabilize Obamacare and lower costs on the individual health-care market, it can’t work as intended. That will only heighten calls for a single-payer system. Socialized medicine should be a last resort if we can’t fix the system we have. We don’t have long, though.

A coalition of eight governors, led by our own John Hickenlooper and Ohio’s John Kasich, have provided a blueprint to make Obamacare more functional. The plan focuses on how to keep and fix the current law, rather than repeal and replace it.

It preserves the individual mandate, which is a key component to holding down costs. The economies of any plan break down without it.

Last month, Kasich and Hickenlooper unveiled 18 recommendations to maintain the stability of the individual market, which will “almost certainly” reduce premiums expand coverage, Hickenlooper said.

The plan had a lukewarm reception, but that may change. By introducing “BernieCare” as an alternative to the existing law, Sanders may have made the best case yet that Obamacare is worth fixing.


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It’s obvious whoever wrote this is shielded from having to deal with the independent market for health insurance. Those who must deal with it are faced with tasks like finding an appropriate insurance policy for which you are eligible, applying for to get it, applying for help paying for it, re-qualifying for that financial assistance every year, then once you get it, figuring out co-insurance- co-pays, deductibles, all the different tiers of coverage, which doctors and facilities are in your network and which aren’t, where you can go for your health care and where you can’t, what insurance will cover and what it won’t, what your maximum out of pocket is, what out of pocket costs are applied to your deductible and which aren’t. Need I go on?

The hassles and confusion presented by our private health insurance system are endless. In developed countries with single payer health care, if you need medical help, you ask for it, get it and never get a bill for it. What could be simpler than that?

I don’t care how many arguments you present to try and preserve the current broken health care system in this country. Obamacare has helped, but has also complicated it further.  Please just face up to the fact that the current system is insanely complicated, burdensome and ridiculous.

Single payer not only saves us the huge administrative costs presented by private insurance, but is the only system that makes sense, as the rest of the world has already discovered.

Recommended reading:

What good is having “exotic” treatments and advanced medicine if we can’t afford it under the current system! Sky-high premiums and deductibles keep many out of the doctor’s office. I have a colleague who needed a fairly simple skin procedure on his chin. Long story short: He ended up cauterizing the wound himself in his garage. He has insurance and he works full-time at a great job, but couldn’t stomach paying $800 to do a 2-minute outpatient procedure. For those curious, the outcome was fantastic with no scarring.

(Disclaimer: Please don’t attempt the procedure you read here. If you cauterize your own face and it goes tragically wrong, we will not be responsible.)

I don’t know who writes this garbage, but the very bases of their assumptions are ill stated.
“BernieCareā€ goes farther down the path toward socialized medicine,,,”  Socialized medicine is what the Veterans Administration represents.  All facilities are owned and staff are financed by the one entity, the Veterans Administration (the US gov’t).  Care satisfaction rates given at the VA remains consistently high, nationally.  Satisfaction rates outside the VA have NEVER consistently reached and maintained such high rates.  Sanders is touting a “SINGLE-PAYER” system, administered similarly as Medicare and Medicaid.  Both Medicare and Medicaid are highly efficient programs when money vs care vs outcomes are used as comparisons, without emotional involvement.
Why should we “HOPE” for free market solution?  When has the “free” market covered all citizens’ health needs?  We have ALWAYS had a ILLNESS care NOT Healthcare!
As an RN, I have had the opportunity to work in TWO (2) socialized medicine systems, one at the VA and one in Saudi Arabia under ARAMCO, the oil company.  Both systems were highly efficient, cost effective and had active preventative healthcare programs.  Insurance companies are loathe to pay for issues causing severe illness let alone to pay for programs that would promote health and reduce costs.  Primary care is not expensive and is cost effective.  Specialization of medicine is a much higher cost vs care and outcome ratios.
It is time to let Nurses and Primary Physicians to write Healthcare policy for this country.  One example of such a policy is already available:
Physicians for a National Health program.  Legislators have NO IDEA what they are doing when it comes to illness care.
There so NO way the system as is, will survive.  Chipping and changing a little at a time will not work.  This has to be a TOTAL re-work.  It will take 3-5 years to make a total turnabout, but it can be done.  Where there is a will there is a way.

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