Top Ten Reasons for Single Payer
(Source: California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee.)
1. Everybody in,nobody out. Universal means access to healthcare for everyone, period — the desire of 81% of all Californians, as reported in a January, 2007 Field Poll.
2. Portability. Even if you are unemployed, or lose or change your job, your health coverage goes with you.
3. Uniform benefits. No Cadillac plans for the wealthy and Moped plans for everyone else, with high deductibles, limited services, caps on payments for care, and no protection in the event of a catastrophe. One level of comprehensive care no matter what size your wallet.
4. Prevention. By removing financial roadblocks, a single payer system encourages preventive care that lowers an individual’s ultimate cost and pain and suffering when problems are neglected, and societal cost in the over utilization of emergency rooms or the spread of communicable diseases.
5. Choice of physician. Most private plans restrict what doctors, other caregivers, or hospital you can use. Under a single payer system, patients have a choice, and the provider is assured a fair reimbursement.
6. Ending insurance industry interference with care. Caregivers and patients regain the autonomy to make decisions on what’s best for a patient’s health, not what’s dictated by the billing department or the bean counters. No denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions or cancellation of policies for “unreported” minor health problems.
7. Reducing administrative waste. One third of every health care dollar in California goes for paperwork, such as denying care, and profits, compared to about 3% under Medicare, a single-payer, universal system.
8. Cost savings. A single payer system would produce the savings needed to cover everyone, largely by using existing resources without the waste. Taiwan, shifting from a U.S. healthcare model, adopted a single-payer system in 1995, boosting health coverage from 57% to 97% with little if any increase in overall healthcare spending.
9. Common sense budgeting. The public system sets fair reimbursements applied equally to all providers while assuring all comprehensive and appropriate health care is delivered, and uses its clout to negotiate volume discounts for prescription drugs and medical equipment.
10. Public oversight. The public sets the policies and administers the system, not high priced CEOs meeting in secret and making decisions based on what inflates their compensation packages or stock wealth or company profits.