Monday, September 5, 2016

Closing in on a single payer system

There have been several news stories recently about the EpiPen and the huge increase in price (and huge increase in CEO pay) over the last few years. Egberto Willies of Daily Kos sees this as one of the signs that single payer health care will come.

This EpiPen mess. A company withdrawing from the health care marketplace because its merger was denied. A report that shows high drug prices are not necessary for the development of new meds. Increasing deductibles make standard policies seem like plans that handle only catastrophes. Many people would rather pay the Affordable Care Act penalty than actually get insurance. All these things are signs of serious flaws in the ACA and could bring about its end, even though the ACA was a great start in eliminating the immoral parts of our health care system.

Here are signs that Willies says mean single payer health care will come:

Each health insurance company has its own overhead – advertising, buildings, staff, expensive CEO, and shareholders looking for profit. From the view of the patient and taxpayer that is all duplication. It means 33% of every insurance premium goes to overhead (and profit) and not actual care. Yet, we're told this is cheaper than Medicare for All.

Americans pay substantially more for health care, getting outcomes no better, and in many cases worse, than citizens in other countries.

Health insurance companies, to maximize profit, work to attract the healthy (the young) while they work to fend off the sick (the old, infirm, and unfit). Our bizarre system works to avoid sick people.

These insurance companies are consolidating. We're already closing in on a single payer system, but one that demands a profit.

Health care (which I've said before) should not be subject to the whims of the market. It is incompatible with profit. Willies expands that idea. Normal market rules of supply and demand don't work. Since health care is required to keep living the patient is always at a disadvantage, health care for profit is extortion by definition.

Health care for profit or a government run system. We'll need to choose soon. And we need to be ready because those who get rich off the current system will lie and spread confusion to be able to continue their extortion.

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