i posted the link to this program because i thought it was important to have a reasonably informed starting point for discussion about this issue. i sincerely hoped that there would be an effort to watch the program and think about ways to improve the health insurance system of the us. i think that there is a real tendency to view health insurance and health care as a commodity instead of a mutually shared societal responsibility. access to health care is not charity as witnessed by the large number of uninsureds with ft working spouses.
dr. hamburgs arguments for single payer (which have yet to be debated on this thread.):
cost shifting to pay for the uninsured care costs is an unsustainable spiral and harmful to the economy.
16-26% profit/administration costs for current system vs. 1-2% overhead for a medicare for all model.
us spends double per capita on health insurance than france and other oecd countries with markedly worse outcomes on infant mortality and decreased life expectancy.
current system places responsible businesses that offer insurance to employees at a competitive disadvantage with irresponsible businesses.
of the uninured live in a household with a full time worker
uniform benefits prevent adverse selection and cherry picking by insurers.
consumers benefit by bulk buying power of the larger group.
public accountability for health care expenditures.
tinkering on the edges makes things worse.
provider and clinic choice is assured
consumers benefit by predictable and reliable coverage.
everyone is covered.
simplified and streamlined reimbursement processes for providers.
public accountability for quality and cost of health care.
evidenced base health care is emphasized.
this is not socialized medicine but it is a streamlined reimbursement process.
massachusetts physicians endorsed single payer with a 64% plurality.
56% of americans prefer a nhi model in recent polls.
i have yet to see anyone offer an alternative model for fixing the current system that delivers universal coverage with decreased administrative costs.
the health system in france is regarded as delivering high quality services, with freedom of choice and generally no waiting lists for treatments.
--page 69, sourced to a 2000 study by a trio of academics
and: in germany, "waiting lists and explicit rationing decisions are virtually unknown."
--page 70, citing a world health organization study.
a 2002 health affairs paper examined hospitals near the border, as well as national surveys to tease out how many canadians actually visit the u.s. to receive elective procedures.
in terms of hospitals along the border offering advanced treatments or special diagnostic technology (i.e. ct scans and mris), about 640 canadians were seen, along with 270 for procedures like cataract surgery. they compare this to about 375,000 and 44,000 similar procedures in the region of quebec alone during the same period. if you divide the total
number of canadians seeking those treatments in the us, divided by the number in quebec alone
that's about 0.09%. not even a tenth of a percent.
but the most striking stats come from the canadian national population health survey (nphs). from the article:
only 90 of 18,000 respondents to the 1996 canadian nphs indicated that they had received care in the united states during the previous twelve months, and only twenty had indicated that they had gone to the united states expressly for the purpose of getting that care.
only 20 of 18,000 sought care in the united states. i can't believe how many people are coming over here! their system but be truly