Debt Solution?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mist425, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Huh... So I read this article and it kind of made me give more thought to the idea that a single-payer health care system could be a great way to reform entitlements in a way that cuts cost without reducing service quality.

    If U.S. is serious about debt, there's a single-payer solution -

    I mean... Nobody in congress on either side of the aisle is seriously talking about dismantling Medicare as such a move is just so unpopular, but why not get insurance companies out of the game entirely? It sounds like the bureaucracy associated with these companies is just as bad if not worse than that associated with the government.

    ***Political philosophy about "the ideal is no federal programs" aside, given the fact that we have Medicare now and that is simply not going to go away unless some other palatable alternative becomes available, why not switch to a single payer system? Insurance companies would still exist but they would also have less lobbying power, and fewer lobbyists in D.C would certainly not be a bad thing...
  2. In what industry do public services cost less than private? :confused:

    I have a hard time believing that the government would be able to provide services more efficiently than the private sector, but I would still prefer nationalization or full privatization over our current system where the taxpayers are forced to pay the private corporations.
  3. Why should I trust the government with my health? They allow poisonous Prescription drugs to thrive while one of the healthiest drugs ever is illegal. :)
  4. I can't pretend to know all about the cost dynamics of Medicare + Obamacare vs. a single-payer system, but all the voices I've heard speak of a single-payer system seem to be united in that it's a far more sustainable, lower-cost plan that what we have presently.

    People are afraid of "socialism" (e.g that death panel bullshit), though it's quite ironic considering some of our most beloved social programs are in fact, socialist in that technical sense.

    I see no reason as to why someone couldn't opt into some non-government insurance plan just because those without insurance automatically received access to a basic federal package so I don't think it's necessary to trust the government with your health.
  5. The only people saying that a nationalized healthcare would be cheaper are the people advocating it.
  6. Here's some info that helps clear things up. If there were one private health insurer, it'd probably be just as efficient as a single-payer system if not more so. However, there being a shit-ton of insurers, all with their own particular way of handling billing, payment, coverage, etc. there's a great administrative need present to handle all of this bureaucracy. The costs of dealing with these multiple systems of doing things gets passed from the hospital to the insurer back to the patient.

    From an advocacy website but whatevs...


    Single-payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.” In the case of healthcare, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity-a government run organization-would collect all healthcare fees, and pay out all healthcare costs.
    In the current US system, there are literally tens of thousands of different healthcare organizations-HMOs, billing agencies, etc. By having so many different payers of healthcare fees, there is an enormous amount of administrative waste generated in the system. (Just imagine how complex billing must be in a doctor's office, when each insurance company requires a different form to be completed, has a different billing system, different billing contacts and phone numbers-it's very confusing.)
    In a single-payer system, all hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers would bill one entity for their services. This alone reduces administrative waste greatly, and saves money, which can be used to provide care and insurance to those who currently don't have it."

  7. The government always understates cost and overstates savings.

    I cannot think of a public/private industry where the public sector provides a cheaper service (without deficits). Can you?

    They're also all mismanaged, corrupt and insolvent... especially at the Federal level.

    Like with our failed public school system, people would have to pay taxes plus an inflated cost to receive private health care. In a private education industry schools would be cheaper for everybody, same thing with health.

    Although, not everybody would receive the same level of care.
  8. And the only people saying that it wouldn't be cheaper are those that are paid off by lobbyists ;) Generalizations are fun.

  9. thats why facts and data should be used instead of a shepard telling its flock it will be cheaper.
  10. #10 Arteezy, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011
    Power corrupts. If you give the government a monopoly, then costs will increase and/or quality will decrease unless you think the government is made up of angels. Why should an organization with a monopoly increase their quality at no extra cost and/or decrease their costs while maintaining their quality? Are government employees going to stop asking for raises and lifetime pensions? Are doctors going to start taking lower salaries?

    A single-payer solution MAY be more efficient than what we have now in the short-term (5-10 years), but, like most government programs, it will end up running a deficit in the long term due to increased bureacratic costs, inefficiency, fraud, etc.

    TL;DR: A single payer healthcare system will NOT solve the debt crisis. There is no such thing as a natural monopoly.
  11. I don't see how any of those concerns you mentioned are alleviated under the current scheme of things, even pre-Obama care. Why should I trust that private insurers are made up of angels? Why should my faith in insurance companies so far exceed my faith in government? In instances in which only one or two health insurers are available to states they've proven to be as bad as a government monopoly could possibly be.

    Wouldn't adding a basic government option while still allowing people to opt for more extensive plans with existing insurers function to increase competition in the health insurance market? Hell, if a large enough block of people were affiliated with a single-payer government plan would that not equate to a smaller administrative need at hospitals to deal with the other insurer protocols? Wouldn't this translate to lower health care costs across the board for both federal and private insurers?
  12. Hyperbole, you have no idea how bad a government monopoly can get. Arguably not as bad as a competitive industry.

    If there is only one or two health insurance providers in a state that is because they are granted exclusivity over the region. Even having two health insurance providers is better than one monopoly.

    No, the cost of competing with the state would lead to an insurance industry that caters to the rich, just like in primary education.

    You honestly don't think the market can solve the administrative issues? They're probably prohibited from doing so, but a private company could easily network all the data onto a single server. I haven't really looked into it tho.
  13. #17 Arteezy, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011
    I'm not advocating the current system. I'm simply pointing out why allowing one organization to have a monopoly is bound to be a stupid idea in the long run. Obviously a cartel can have the same issues as a monopoly. How do you think these evil cartels/monopolies maintain their stranglehold on a market?

    This exists already and it doesn't work very well.

    In the short-term, maybe. People are greedy though and the bureacracy will only get larger as time goes on. Government doesn't have an incentive to save money (in the long term) and if they do, it's been non-existent for the past 100 years. I wouldn't hold your breath.

    In the long-term, granting a monopoly would increase costs and/or decrease quality. I'm tired of putting a band-aid on these types of issues so the idiots can claim everything is all better. I'm a radical. Go to the root of the issue and fix it. The root is NOT administrative costs. That is a symptom. The root of the problem is government regulation. They restrict competition and fuck up incentives i.e. they increase costs while decreasing quality.
  14. I get where you're coming from in regards to certain government regulations increasing costs unnecessarily - like the fact that certain health insurance options do not carry over state lines, effectively creating a monopoly.

    However, when libertarians talk about things like eliminating the FDA I see the outcome as being much more ambiguous. Yes, costs on medicines would go down, new drugs would get to the market quicker, etc. but what about the safety of those drugs? Without an independent body evaluating the claims of drugmakers, consumers could be swayed simply by what firm has the best public relations department. It is not acceptable to simply throw the entire US prescription-needing public to the dogs, saying "oh, well that individual should have researched more about the company's reputation" if they fall victim to an uncommon bad reaction that the drug-maker did not highlight. For those elderly individuals that need a cocktail of prescriptions, what if that person took drugs from a variety of manufacturers? Why would those manufacturers have any incentive to publicize some list of harmful drug combinations that included those of its competition? There are a myriad of negatives that come with total deregulation that, as is often the case with libertarian schemes, hurts the most vulnerable.

    Why not take a course of action that would take the middle ground? Interstate regulations on insurance sales could be eliminated, decreasing costs associated with those plans, and a basic single-payer solution could be offered to the general public, ensuring that all Americans had access to some type of coverage. If such plans were enacted at the same time then costs on regular insurance would decrease significantly, making them more able to compete with a government option. More people would have access to coverage and prices would be lower across the board. Is that not a win-win? :cool:
  15. #19 Renaldo, Aug 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2011
    There are some people who are un-insurable medically. Some people have medical conditions that they cannot possibly afford to pay for treatment for and someone must make up the difference - or we just let those suffer/people die.

    An analogy:

    If you have car insurance that costs $100/month, and every month you make a $1000 claim, the insurance company is either going to raise your rates higher than $1000/month OR they are going to drop you.

    An insurance company is not going to take $100 a month and payout even $200 a month for very long. Profit motive dictates that. They aren't in the business to fix your car, they're in the business to make money.

    Health Insurance companies are no different. They're not in business to take care of you, they're in the business to make money. They can't magically take the $100/month you can afford to pay and magically turn it into the $2000/month that it will cost to keep you alive + make their profit.

    To increase their profit, they can put the squeeze on Doctors, they can dictate what a doctor can charge for a service. They can dictate what treatments they will cover for whatever given diagnosis. They can outright deny payment for certain treatments or patients.

    All the things that would be coercive and immoral for Government to do to providers or patients, Insurance companies do on the reg.

    A properly administered public option could be different. It could have the motives to save cost, it could have the same kinds of cost savings motivators for it's employees at all levels as a private insurance company, but it would take away the necessity to pay huge wages to administrators (analogs to CEOs) and dividends to shareholders.

    And private companies would have the option to figure out ways to compete with a not-for-profit business model, or risk losing customers.

    If they do everything so much better and cheaper than Government, then why don't we try a public option to allow them to prove it? If it's always the case that private enterprise does it better, then why are they afraid of competing with a Government system? They should be able to offer a better option with no problem and the public option should be unused - as the private company would offer better service at a lower cost.

    The false dichotomy promoted here (GC politic forum) is that there are ways to fix the private Health Insurance model, but the public model MUST look like Medicare and is unfixable.

  16. If there is a demand for something then there is an incentive for the market to provide it. I'm not going to sit here and explain to you all the details regarding how a free market healthcare system could operate. There is a lot of reading material on this. I will gladly share some of my research once I reach a computer (later tonight) if you're having trouble finding information on how a free market would improve the health care system.

    I support eliminating interstate regulations; however, I am not in favor of a single-payer solution and would not support some bill that accomplished both at the same time. Prices may be lower temporarily, but prices will continue to increase in the long run as a single payer solution doesn't address the root problems of the US health care system.

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