HCAC Foundation provides education and research regarding a national single-payer, comprehensive healthcare system for all.
Our research has brought the Foundation to the conclusion that the way to provide the U.S population with the most comprehensive, equitable, cost effective and economical health care is through a national public single-payer health care insurance system with the following characteristics:
Key Features of Single-Payer:
- Universal, nation-wide comprehensive coverage.
- Prohibition against private insurers offering competing plans so that they do not siphon off the healthiest portion of the population and skew the risk pool. Private insurers could offer plans for such things as elective or cosmetic surgery and other elective or luxury procedures and accommodations.
- An actuarially-sound single insurance plan for pre-retirement US residents administered by an experienced public agency similar to Medicare.
- Free choice of providers—ability to select any competent doctor or medical facility desired.
- Mandate for the insurer to place the care and welfare of the patients ahead of profits.
- The right of the single insurer to negotiate both provider and drug prices for beneficiaries.
- Fair and financially sustainable financing, funded by all who benefit including public and private employers and citizens, with all revenues sequestered in a separate trust fund.
- A board of trustees that is reasonably free from political pressures or machinations.
- Coverage should supplant the need for medical insurance in other insurance products like auto and workman’s comp insurance.
- All legal US residents should be required to be covered by the insurance because no one is free from the risk of medical needs and everyone relies on the existence of the medical infrastructure to be there in time of need whether for social or other disease, epidemic, accident, pregnancy, etc.
- The system should provide for subsidies for insurance for those in financial need.
One of the questions we are most often asked at HCACF is to explain the difference between what we support -- a single standard of high quality care for all without financial barrier as financed by a universal, public, single-payer system -- and other plans for reforming Colorado's health care system. The plan we support could be best described as improved or enhanced Medicare-for-All -- minimizing administrative overhead and thereby maximizing funds for the direct provision of healthcare. As mentioned above, we support a fiscally responsible and sustainable system for funding the single-payer achieved by requiring universal participation and financial contributions from all those who are financially able and who benefit from the system—individuals, businesses, non-profits and governments. Universal participation is important because no one knows when a medical issue will occur and we all benefit from having the medical infrastructure in place when needed—similar to fire and police services. This follows the same logic that requires all drivers to carry auto insurance.
WHY A NATIONAL SYSTEM RATHER THAN STATE-BASED SYSTEMS
We believe the state-based systems can be inefficient and unfair. They might duplicate coverage for seniors on existing Medicare. A single national insurance administrator like Medicare is far more efficient than 50 state-administered health insurance systems and can co-exist with traditional Medicare. A national single insurer can negotiate rates with all providers across the country-- particularly important in our mobile society—leading to lower taxes or premiums. Differences in state-based systems might even encourage migrations to states with more generous plans. Furthermore, states with smaller populations will lack the economies of scale to negotiate with large providers and drug companies and will likely require higher taxes and/or premiums than larger states to maintain the same administrative structure.
- Universal Health Care: Universal coverage of health care means that everyone in the population has access to appropriate preventive, curative and rehabilitative health care when they need it, at an affordable cost. Universal coverage thus implies equity of access and financial risk protection.
- Public: Public financing is defined as a health care system which utilizes public entities (government) for collecting premiums and/or taxes to pay providers. There is no private or quasi-private or quasi-public "middle man" such as private insurers either collecting the premiums/taxes or paying the claims to providers. Thus, this could be called a social insurance system that relies on private enterprise to deliver care. It would be similar to system we use to build our transportation systems--the government raises money to pay private contractors to build and maintain our roads.
- Single-Payer: Single-payer refers to creation of a government monopoly to supply health care insurance, efficiently spreading costs across a single massive risk pool of beneficiaries, maximizing the ability of the insurer to negotiate low but fair prices with providers, thereby minimizing premiums: i.e. a single entity acts as the administrator (payer). The single payer insurer will collect all fees (premiums, taxes, etc.) and pay out all health care costs.
For questions or comments, please email us at [email protected].