Has the time for 'single payer' arrived?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

U.S. Capitol and healthcare 1A former senator and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has expressed support for single-payer healthcare, but that idea continues to have its critics.

During a speech last week at Montana State University, former Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) said his personal view is that America needs to start looking at single payer. "I think we should have hearings," he added. "We're getting there. It's going to happen."

Baucus joins a list of Democrats in favor of a healthcare system run and paid for by the government. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has been pushing the idea of a single-payer plan, one he calls "Medicare for All." But what makes Baucus' support significant is the fact that he opposed single payer in the drafting of the Affordable Care Act, during which time he was the Senate Finance Committee chairman – and he even voted against language that would have created a public option or government-backed insurance plan to compete against private plans.

Pelosi not backing Bernie's plan

While former Senator Max Baucus now favors single payer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declines to endorse Sanders' plan. The liberal California Democrat says that while she has long supported the idea the bill captures – i.e., of everybody getting health coverage – "Right now I’m protecting the Affordable Care Act."

Pelosi also disputes the idea that the "Medicare for All" plan has become a litmus test for Democrats, forcing them to prove their ideological purity by getting onboard.

But that was 2009 – and Baucus told NBC News on Friday that at that time "we were not ready to address it [single payer]."

Even so, Dr. Roger Stark, a retired physician working for the Washington Policy Center, says a single-payer system discourages innovation.

"Canada has had a single-payer healthcare system for over 30 years," Stark points out in a new paper on single payer. "Healthcare costs have skyrocketed in Canada and now represent the largest expense for every province's budget."

Canada's single-payer system does have its problems, says Canadian healthcare broker Rick Baker. He helps people in his country get healthcare in the U.S., so as to avoid waiting for weeks if not months for surgery.

In an earlier interview with OneNewsNow, he explained: "When ObamaCare was first proposed and before it had been passed into law, the Republican national healthcare committee held hearings in the Capitol in Washington and I spoke to them telling them how disastrous it would be if the U.S. followed the Canadian model that simply does not work."

American health economist Devon Herrick also has concerns about cost and quality of care.

"We all can agree that our current system is too bureaucratic. It's cumbersome and we'd all love to make it more administratively simple, but the math just doesn't work out," says Herrick, co-author of Lives At Risk: Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around The World. "It actually would cost more than our current system."

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

How would you respond if a basketball player continued to warm-up during the national anthem?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

U.S. puts Palestinians on notice: DC office may be shuttered
California's legal pot countdown: What's coming by Jan. 1
Nevada wants to use untried execution drugs that pose risks
Aaron Boone interviews for New York Yankees manager
Wife of Alabama Senate candidate Moore says he won't quit
In Minnesota, no broad calls for Franken to quit
Democrat running for Ohio governor boasts of sexual past

LATEST FROM THE WEB

'Enormous number' of parasites in N. Korean defector's body, doctors say
Al Franken falls from 'Democratic darling to dirty old man'
Team USA gymnasts, including an abuse victim, clash over the role of clothing in sexual abuse
Shooters see 'gun-free' churches as 'soft targets'
400 students turn out to pray at Georgia high school after atheists silence their coach

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
A new report about unchanging Washington

Burning moneyA new report about government waste offers hundreds of budget recommendations for the federal government.