We know that Obamacare is not worki...ng--and it's not working because the insurance companies are still in charge of our healthcare decisions and premium costs. High deductibles are fulfilling their function for the insurance companies. Folks are still not seeking out medical care when they need it, except in dire emergencies, because of the out of pocket costs.
group of more than 2,000 physicians is calling for the establishment of a universal government-run health system in the US, in a paper in the American Journal of Public Health.
According to the proposal released Thursday, the Affordable Care Act did not go far enough in removing barriers to healthcare access. The physicians’ bold plan calls for implementing a single-payer system similar to Canada’s, called the National Health Program, that would guarantee all residents healthcare.
The new single-payer system would be funded mostly by existing US government funding. The physicians point out that the US government already pays for two-thirds of all healthcare spending in the US, and a single-payer system would cut down on administrative costs, so a transition to a single-payer system would not require significant additional spending.
“Our patients can’t afford care and don’t have access to the care they need, while the system is ever more wasteful, throwing away money on bureaucratic expenses and absurd prices from the drug companies,” said David Himmelstein, a professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and lecturer on medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Himmelstein, one of the authors of the plan, said the proposal is meant as a rallying cry for physicians and other healthcare professionals around the cause of a single-payer model. According to the paper, even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act many patients “face rising co-payments and deductibles that compromise access to care and leave them vulnerable to ruinous medical bills”. Despite the current high healthcare spending levels in the US, healthcare outcomes are worse than in comparable well-funded countries.
“There has been a conviction that we can approach this incrementally and get there in small steps and one of the advantages of having passed the ACA is that modest steps can’t do the job, and in a way make it easier to make arguments that we need more fundamental changes,” said Himmelstein.