What Is Single Payer?
The term “single payer” refers to a way of financing health care. In a single payer system, health care is financed by the public whose money is managed by the government or by a government sanctioned agency. Unlike “socialized medicine,” the delivery of health care in a single payer system may be handled by private health care providers. The U.S. Medicare system uses this model, as do 30 to 40 countries around the world.
Single payer financing has several key advantages over private health insurance:
Single payer is nonprofit. There are no private shareholders and overpaid CEOs making fortunes from the financing of health services
Single payer is efficient. Doctors and hospitals deal with one payment entity, rather than with a multitude of insurance companies.
Single payer is fair. The funding for health care is raised through taxes, which can be set according to ability to pay.
Single payer controls costs. A public process determines the level of health spending, and providers are reimbursed at uniform, negotiated rates.
Single payer allows free choice of doctor or hospital.
Single payer savings are used to provide health care to all people as a human right. Patients no longer have to worry if they will be able to afford health care.
Single payer financing in Vermont would preserve our health delivery system, which is known for high quality.
- Federal support for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration would continue.
- State revenues derived from taxes would replace private insurance premiums.
- Corporate “stakeholders” would no longer be able to take enormous profits from the financing of health care, in the process bankrupting individuals, and draining the economy.
- Single payer would put health care financing where it belongs—in the hands of the people, and our democratically elected representatives.