Health care is deeper and wider than most of us probably realize. That came home to me after reading a fantastic article on single-payer healthcare from Jacobin, one of my faves. It’s also a concise and critical review of the Bernie Sanders single-payer plan. Single-payer is shaping up to be the major political game-changer in the coming years. All of the major potential Democratic Presidential candidates have already lined up behind Bernie on single-payer. So, I’m passing this fine article along to my readers.
At the core of the problem is a basic fact: it’s not profitable to insure people who are sick or likely to get sick.
“Without massive government subsidization (or, in the case of Medicare or Medicaid, government financing and cost regulation), profit-seeking insurers, with relatively small pools of customers among whom to spread costs, are compelled to restrict coverage, increase premiums, illegally coerce sick people to drop their plans, or abdicate their responsibility entirely and push the costs of care onto their customers.”
The United States may be a country where Saudi princes can fly to get a heart transplant, but it remains a place where poor men die fourteen years earlier than rich men.
“In a land of resplendence, the powerful condemn the marginalized to chronic illness, because it’s not profitable to provide nutritious food or adequate shelter.”
Included in the article is a discussion on “how do we pay for this?” As well as a critique of its possible shortcomings.