- More than 2,000 doctors have endorsed a proposal for a single-payer health system in the U.S., Morning Consult reported.
- Under the plan, published in Thursday’s American Journal of Public Health, patients could choose any physician or hospital they want without being constrained by provider networks.
- A single-payer system would do away with copays and deductibles and extend coverage to the millions of people still not insured under Obamacare.
“A single-payer NHP offers a salutary alternative, one that would at long last take the right to healthcare from the realm of political rhetoric to that of reality,” four physicians wrote in an accompanying editorial. The authors co-chaired the 39-member Working Group on Single-Payer Program Design that drafted the proposal.
The system, which would replace the Affordable Care Act, would cover all medical care for Americans. In addition, the plan would seek to lower "costs by eliminating the profit-driven private insurance industry with its massive overhead" and hospitals and other provider facilities, which would be nonprofit, would be paid global operating budgets rather than on a per-service basis.
Doctors would either be paid salaries out of facilities’ global budgets or on a fee-for-service basis adjusted to incentivize primary care.
The U.S. could save $500 billion a year by getting rid of profit-driven carriers and their high overheads, the proposal stated. New taxes to fund the program would be offset by reduced premiums and out-of-pocket spending.
Presidential contender Bernie Sanders has made single-payer healthcare a priority in his campaign for the Democratic nomination.
However, as many have noted, moving to a single-payer system would be very hard.