Books by Members
Books by Anna Baltzer
- Andy Worthington Discusses the Guantánamo Hunger Strike on the BBC
- The Real Impact of U.S. Policy Towards Syria
- Strength Though Adversity
- The fundamental human rights are universal: Dr. Fai
- Child Victims of Israeli Violence
- The U.S. Recession: What's In It For You?
- American Exceptionalism Rears Its Ugly Head Again
- Abolishing War: One Last Step
- The Man Who Seeks Transparency
- Health law upheld, but health needs still unmet’: national doctors group
|Resources For A Defense of Single Payer Universal Health Insurance|
|Tuesday, 14 July 2009 09:54|
The following is reprinted from Physicians For A National Health Program:
Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 45.7 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.
The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead,
underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.
Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.
Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.
Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.
A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.
The links below will lead you to more specific information on the details of single-payer:
The Physicians Proposal for National Health Insurance
“Proposal of the Physicians’’ Working Group for Single-Payer National Health Insurance,” JAMA 290(6): Aug 30, 2003Key Features of Single-Payer
A useful handout detailing the main features of single-payer.
Statement of Dr. Marcia Angell introducing the U.S. National Health Insurance Act
A great overview of the need for and logic of a single-payer system. Perfect as an introductory handout.
Liberal Benefits, Conservative Spending
Another great introductory handout.
The case for eliminating the private health insurance industry
By Don McCanne, MD and Leonard Rodberg, PhD
Public Citizen's Response to the Citizens' Health Care Working Groups Interim Recommendations (En Español)
A great overview on the benefits of a single-payer system by Public Citizen.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich Tackles Health Care
Rep. Kucinich talks with Truthdig about the health care crisis in America.
Financing single-payer national health insurance: Myths and facts
Download PNHP's Brochure
Single Payer: Facts and Myths
Single Payer FAQ
A frequently-updated catalog of the most-asked questions about single-payer.
Myths as Barriers to Health Care Reform
A paper refuting many of the myths associated with single-payer.
“Mythbusters” by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation
A series of brief papers debunking the common misconceptions about the Canadian health system.
“Moral Hazard:” The Myth of the Need for Rationing
Rasell, E “Cost Sharing in Health Insurance – A Reexamination,” New Eng J Med., 332(7) 1995
Roos, et al “Does Comprehensive Insurance Encourage Unnecessary Use?” Can. Med. Assoc. J 170(2) Jan. 20, 2004
Gladwell, M. “The Moral Hazard Myth,” New Yorker Aug. 29, 2005Myths and Memes About Single-Payer Health Insurance in the United State: A Rebuttal to Conservative Claims
Geyman, John; International Journal of Health Services, Volume 35, Number 1, Pages 63–90, 2005
Health Economics and Financing
Introduction: How Much Would a Single-Payer System Cost?
A review of government and independent studies of the cost of single-payer system.
Administrative Waste Consumes 31 Percent of Health Spending
Woolhandler, et al “Costs of Health Administration in the U.S. and Canada,” NEJM 349(8) Sept. 21, 2003
Woolhandler, et al “Administrative Costs in U.S. Hosptials,” NEJM 329, Aug. 5, 199360 Percent of Health Spending is Already Publicly Financed, Enough to Cover Everyone
Woolhandler, et al. “Paying for National Health Insurance – And Not Getting It,” Health Affairs 21(4); July / Aug. 2002A Proposal for Financing National Health Insurance
Rasell, Edith “An Equitable Way to Pay for Universal Coverage,” International Journal of Health Services. 29(1); 1999
"Liberal Benefits, Conservative Spending"
"Markets and Medical Care: The United States, 1993-2005"
"Single Payer—Fifty Players: Alternative Payers for Universal Health Insurance"
Paying More, Getting Less: How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you?
Canadian Health Insurance: Lessons for the United States
The Case Against For-Profit Care
Overview: The High Costs of For-Profit Care
Editorial by David Himmelstein, MD and Steffie Woolhandler, MD in the Canadian Medical Association JournalFor-Profit Hospitals Cost More and Have Higher Death Rates
Devereaux, PJ “Payments at For-Profit and Non-Profit Hospitals,” Can. Med. Assoc. J., Jun 2004; 170
Devereaux, PJ “Mortality Rates of For-Profit and Non-Profit Hospitals,” Can. Med. Assoc. J, May 2002; 166For-Profit Hospitals Cost More and Have Higher Administration Expenses
Himmelstein, et al “Costs of Care and Admin. At For-Profit and Other Hospitals in the U.S.” NEJM 336, 1997For-Profit HMOs Provide Worse Quality Care
Himmelstein, et al “Quality of Care at Investor-Owned vs. Not-for-Profit HMOs” JAMA 282(2); July 14, 1999
MedPac Report, Jun 9, 2006
Quality and Malpractice
Introduction: Medical Malpractice, Health Care Quality and Health Care Reform (pdf)
How Single-Payer Improves Health Care Quality (pdf)
Schiff, et al “A Better Quality Alternative” JAMA, 272(10); Sept. 12 1994Comprehensive Quality Improvement Requires Comprehensive Reform (pdf)
Schiff, et al “You Can’t Leap a Chasm in Two Jumps,” Public Health Reports 116, Sept / Oct 2001
The Failures of Other Reform Options
Comparison between Schwarzenegger Health Plan and Single Payer for California
State Single-Payer Bills
Issues for State Single-Payer Legislation
Key Features of Single-Payer
Health Spending By State Of Residence, 1991—2004
International Health Systems
International Health Systems for Single Payer Advocates
International Resources on National Health Insurance
Health Care Systems - Four Basic Models
A bibliography of single-payer studies and papers
Books We Recommend
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The questions are, 'What is my life standing for?' What has it stood for?' 'What is the deepest call for my life to stand for?' All you have to do is be really willing to look very carefully and see." - Gangaji