Single-payer health care: What it is, what it isn't

  • Article by: Bonnie Blodgett
  • Updated: March 16, 2013 - 6:23 PM

Step back and look at it with clear eyes. You’ll see that it’s practical.

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jimjimjimjimMar. 16, 13 6:38 PM

"We are spending twice as much as other wealthy democracies" --- Another liberal lie. We have the lowest out of pocket costs for health care than any other democracy and therefore it appears we are spending more. Add in the out of pocket expenses in the other countries and they are not much less than us.

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goferfanzMar. 16, 13 6:44 PM

I will sleep easy tonite knowing a St Paul writer with zero medical credentials and one doctor's opinion has solved our country's health problems. As to the polling that wants single payer, I would suggest that most people dont know about it..... because no such valid polling data exist. Again, America HAS a single payer education system-->yet that system also vastly outspends the world with very mediocre results. Hmmmm, why is that the case....... Why would it be any different for healthcare?

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pumiceMar. 16, 13 6:45 PM

From the article: "Conservatives who like taking power from the feds and liberals who see health care as a human right might just see eye-to-eye and enact the first single-payer system right here in Minnesota." Laboratories of democracy, Ms. Blodgett, just like the Founders intended. And another Minnesota Miracle to lead the way: single-payer health care!

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hermajestyMar. 16, 13 8:38 PM

jimjimjim:"We have the lowest out of pocket costs for health care than any other democracy and therefore it appears we are spending more."===Lower than Canada or the UK, where the out-of-pocket is ZERO? Lower than almost the entire rest of the industrialized world, where the word "deductible" is unknown? Pull the other one.

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FrankLMar. 16, 13 8:59 PM

These other countries health systems are great if you have a routine item, ie. a broken leg or a cold. As soon as you have something more complicated, you end up waiting months or years for treatment. Why do you think Canadians come here for health care? Further, as far as access, ask retirees about how many doctors won't take new Medicare patients.

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jimjimjimjimMar. 16, 13 9:06 PM

hermajesty: If it is not approved by the government you pay for it yourself. Get it?

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jimjimjimjimMar. 16, 13 9:20 PM

hermajesty: Did you also know that most Canadians buy supplemental insurance policies for things the government won't cover? They bought 45 billion worth of coverage in 2005. Tell us again they don't pay for anything.

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hermajestyMar. 16, 13 9:54 PM

jimjimhjim: In the U.S., you don't get treatment if the insurance company refuses to pay for it, and such cases are more common than you might think. The other day, I talked to a pediatrician who has a young patient with severe asthma. He's on a medication with serious side effects, and there's one with fewer side effects, but the insurance company refuses to cover that drug. My brother, who's a doctor, spends hours on the phone each week trying to get insurance companies to cover treatments.

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hermajestyMar. 16, 13 9:58 PM

FrankL:"These other countries health systems are great if you have a routine item, ie. a broken leg or a cold. As soon as you have something more complicated, you end up waiting months or years for treatment."---Oh, so you think that if you have a stroke or heart attack, you end up waiting months or years? It's *elective surgery* that you end up waiting months or years for, and since I know a lot of people who've had joint replacements here in the U.S., I can tell you that they have to wait months for their surgery.

Here's the difference between the U.S. and single payer systems: In our country, if you have a lot of money and/or good insurance, you get taken care of right away. If you're too poor to buy good insurance and too rich for Medicaid, your waiting period may be forever.

In a single payer system, it's first-come, first-served. That means (and I know that nothing horrifies a conservative more) that rich and poor people have an equal chance of being first in line.

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chuckdancerMar. 16, 1311:30 PM

I think that it becomes more clear to people how goofy our system is when articles are printed that point out wide spreads in the price of exactly the same service in our system. Then people get it that our system for an essential need, health care, is composed of thousands of different groups focused primarily on their own little space in the system and their own self interests. What they all have in common is money. Each one is concerned about their golden goose. The doctors? Money. The insurance companies? Money. Hospitals? Money. Consultants and the myriad others? Money. Their incomes might suffer if the system is changed. They don't want that to happen. As long as the system places control in the hands of the self interested providers there can be no real change in cost. At some point if it takes the fat incomes of today to play the game then we are just going to have to do without you.

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