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Cost of Single-Payer Healthcare ‘Astonishing’


The Washington Post said calls for a single-payer healthcare system are not taking into account the plan’s astonishingly high price tag.

“Obamacare looks shaky, mostly because Republicans are sabotaging it,” the newspaper claimed in an editorial.

“This, in turn, has rekindled calls on the left to create a European-style ‘single-payer’ system, in which the government directly pays for every American’s healthcare. California lawmakers, for example, are considering such a plan for their state.

“The single-payer model has some strong advantages. It is much simpler for most people — no more insurance forms or related hassles. Employers would no longer be mixed up in providing healthcare benefits, and taxpayers would no longer subsidize that form of private compensation.

“Government experts could conduct research on treatments and use that information to directly cut costs across the system.

“But the government’s price tag would be astonishing.”

The newspaper noted Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had proposed a “Medicare for all” health plan during his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. The nonpartisan Urban Institute estimated it would increase government spending by $32 trillion over 10 years.

And the Post added: “To realize the single-payer dream of coverage for all and big savings, medical industry players, including doctors, would likely have to get paid less and patients would have to accept different standards of access and comfort. There is little evidence most Americans are willing to accept such tradeoffs”

But the newspaper said there are other ideas worth considering.

“There are many options short of a disruptive takeover: the government can change how care is delivered, determine which treatments should be covered, control quality at hospitals, drive down drug costs and discourage high-cost healthcare plans even while making the Obamacare system better at filling coverage gaps,” it said.


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