By Gerald Friedman
Dollars and Sense, March/April 2012
“The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act” (HR 676) would establish a single authority responsible for paying for health care for all Americans.
Providing universal coverage with a “single-payer” system would change many aspects of American health care. While it would raise some costs by providing access to care for those currently uninsured or under-insured, it would save much larger sums by eliminating insurance middlemen and radically simplifying payment to doctors and hospitals.
While providing superior health care, a single-payer system would save as much as $570 billion now wasted on administrative overhead and monopoly profits. A single-payer system would also make health care financing dramatically more progressive by replacing fixed, income-invariant health care expenditures with progressive taxes. This series of charts and graphs shows why we need a single-payer system and how it could be funded.
Click here to view the charts and graphs.
Gerald Friedman is a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.