‘Single-payer’ would include harsh trade-offs

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fairmont played host to a gathering this week at which a speaker — Glen Peterson, a professor emeritus at Minnesota State-Mankato — offered praise for the idea of a single-payer health care system in this country. He believes more coverage, for everyone, can be provided at less cost by creating efficiencies compared to the current insurance-based model.

Under single-payer, the federal government would be the payer, with funding coming from taxes on everyone. Single-payer is not a new concept, as every other industrialized nation uses single-payer to provide health care to citizens. They view health care, as does Peterson, as a basic human right, not a commodity to be bought and paid for on the open market.

Proponents of single-payer will only tell you about its reputed good qualities, i.e. that everyone is covered. They probably won’t mention the problems.

Like the economic reality that when you give people something for “free,” they will use it. For every little ache, pain and minor sore throat. No one will hesitate or question whether a trip to the doctor is necessary. Single-payer can and does create long waits for access to care. That’s not good if you really need it.

What’s more, single-payer means government control of health care. These systems are highly bureaucratic and utilize rationing of care, with the government dictating prices and limiting services. With its price-setting, single-payer pushes medical providers out of the profession, and it hurts those companies that utilize return on their investment to come up with the life-saving and life-improving drugs and technology that we all cherish.

Anytime the government deems a commodity or service a “right”and then aims to deliver it, expect serious problems that take the place of the “problem” the government was trying to solve.

This article originally appeared in the Fairmont Sentinel. To view the original article, please click here