NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Liberals Pining for (Single-Payer) Universal Medicaid-for-All

May 3, 2017

NCPA Senior Fellow Devon Herrick writes in Townhall:

If you talk to an aging hippy or a young hipster about health reform, you no doubt have heard them sing the praise of the simpleton idea described simply as single-payer health insurance. It is currently in vogue for these faux enlightened folks to matter-of-factly announce 

single-payer should replace Obamacare. Even socialist Bernie Sanders famously campaigned on replacing Obamacare with single-payer health insurance similar to universal Medicaid.

Single-payer is the ultimate government control of the health care system. Most Liberal politicians quietly support the idea, but many are afraid to voice their opinions. During her campaign, Hillary Clinton criticized Bernie Sanders' health proposal likely because she did not want to lose support from doctors, hospitals, drug companies and constituents with good employee health coverage.

Disciples attribute near mythical status to a single-payer health insurer. Single-payer would supposedly provide universal coverage -- ensuring universal access to medical care. In theory, the poor would enjoy quality health care paid for by rich people. Absent the marketing expense, executive salaries, administrative tasks and profits that enrich capitalists, medicine would magically be cheap. Absent the profit motive, hospitals would just about give away patient care. (For the record, most hospitals are nonprofit organizations and earn huge profits off their exorbitant fees, which they use to pay high executive salaries and for marketing.) Yet, people who fanatically support single-payer health insurance do not really understand how it is supposed to work. Medicare is sometimes touted as a single payer for the elderly but it is increasingly run by private firms.

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