What is a single-payer system?
At its core, single-payer is a system in which all Americans are insured by the federal government. The government, by collecting taxes, pays providers on behalf of citizens, and the citizens have no out of pocket costs. Many developed countries throughout the world currently have some sort of single-payer system for their healthcare delivery.
Many candidates for president in 2020 have already begun discussing single-payer, most notably Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Sanders has introduced a Medicare For All bill in the Senate, which would completely revamp the United States’ health system into a true single-payer system where all Americans are insured by the federal government. A companion bill has also been introduced in the House.
Single-payer is getting significant attention again after its last stint in the spotlight during the debates around the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. This can be expected to increase if Democrats win the House or the Senate in November.
Single-payer has traditionally faced stiff opposition from the right in the US, but if the composition of Congress changes next year, we can expect this debate to come back to the forefront. The likelihood that any progress will be made is slim to none, though the debate is sure to rage on for at least the next election cycle.
For more information on single-payer and Medicare for All, join us for a webinar on October 4!