The biggest objection to single-payer I have heard from Democrats is not that single-payer is not a good system, or even the best system, but that it will be attacked as socialized medicine and therefore is not politically viable. Of course, a single-payer system is not socialized medicine.
Medicare is a single-payer system — a very popular one, by the way — and single-payer systems such as Medicare do not employ any doctors or own any hospitals or medical facilities, let alone create bureaucracies approximating the bloated, inefficient bureaucracy the private insurance model has created in America.
Rather than hundreds of payers (insurance companies) and thousands of different forms, regulations and procedures, there would be one payer and one set of forms and procedures. Single-payer also would offer more choice of medical providers; unlike the current system, where patients are limited to panels of providers, in a single-payer system, patients go to any doctor they want, submit a national health insurance card and the government pays — just like Medicare.
Single-payer is the simplest, most efficient, system of all. While single-payer is a government-paid program, American taxpayers already pay more than 60 percent of healthcare costs in America (including tax subsidies). With that much money invested, can’t we demand a system that covers everyone at reasonable cost and with improved performance? Why should we continue to allow 22 percent to 31 percent of healthcare costs to be swallowed by bureaucratic inefficiencies, marketing and profit?…
To get involved in making the vision for a truly reformed health care system a reality, check out the national organizing project HealthCare-Now! and on the state level in Mass. the Alliance to Defend Health Care and MassCare. Thanks.