An alternative health care option: single-payer

Bryant Fong

The health care system as we know it is out of control.

I wrote about the problem this past spring.   I called for action on Obama’s part during his crucial first 100 days in office. I suggested that the federal government would have to raise taxes if it were to start a public option to compete with private insurance corporations.

However, during a recession, no one wants higher taxes.

I now support single payer health care. Mad As Hell Doctors rallied for this option in D.C. on Sept. 30.

In short, the single payer option is where health care is paid by a large public body. Doctors and hospitals still remain private, but a governmental body would collect all funds and disperse them to the respective care providers.

There is no need for private health insurance programs, the root of the problem.

A Reuters poll shows that about 60 percent of American doctors support the single payer plan. Since doctors approve it, it must be in the public’s best interest. Doctors have personal interactions with patients and care, while insurance companies just want money.

This option would alleviate the bureaucracy of the health care system by eliminating the middleman in doctor-to-patient health care.

Insurance companies are the problem, and have made small procedures cost way more than necessary. Does it really cost 100 dollars to visit the doctor to find out you have a cold and obtain a prescription for codeine? It did for me last winter break. Under the single payer option, it won’t.

According to Allison Landes of the California Nurses Association, the universal health care option provides subsidies to reduce costs and premiums, and provides incentives for employers to decrease costs. This is the reform under much debate in Congress.

David Morris-Diaz of “The Vanguard” states, on the simplest terms single-payer health care takes the system out of the hands of the insurance companies and puts it into the hands of the public.

Consumer have power to decide on their health care, and in essence it creates competition to promote better health care: improving the quality and reducing prices.

According to HR 676, the conversion to a not-for-profit health care system would take place over 15 years, and would consult physicians to determine prices for different procedures.

Those against government control might say that the single payer option would create inefficient systems where there are long waiting lists in order to get surgery. However, will it be better than the system we have now?

Yes. The costs are out of control and people are avoiding care because they cannot pay for it. Insurance companies are rejecting people with preexisting conditions because they cannot profit from of them. Everyone should have access to health care.

Any change in healthcare is a step away from the system we have now. Many doctors, some congressmen and some of the public support a single payer system. I am behind them. The single payer option is the way to give everyone access to healthcare.