America has been having a complicated healthcare debate for as long as I’ve been interested in politics. Its tough as a young voter to really make heads or tails of this issue, because it’s easy to get bogged down in all the minutia. Healthcare companies and pharmaceutical companies use their lobbying power to sway our elected representatives. Information, and misinformation are being spread like wildfire. The truth is this, if we knew that a single-payer healthcare system can bring down healthcare costs, while also saving more lives, then people would overwhelmingly support it. If it would, in fact, burry America in a mountain of debt that it can’t afford, then people wont support it. It all comes down to what the truth actually is!
Let’s get one thing straight, the United States currently pays more for healthcare than any country on the planet. According to HealthSystemTracker.org the U.S pays $10,224 per capita on healthcare. Powerful developed countries like France, Canada, and the UK, pay under $5,000 per capita. This means that the United States is paying DOUBLE what other countries are paying to go to the doctor. The embarrassing thing for the United States, is that these countries have some form of government sponsored healthcare system like the one Bernie Sanders is proposing. Healthcare in countries that have a single payer system costs HALF as much as what we are paying now. The argument that Medicare-For-All would raise costs is completely debunked when looking at what countries spend on health care per person.
How would a single payer system lower healthcare costs?
First, drug prices would go down dramatically because the government would be the only buyer in the market. Part of the reason drug prices are so high is because private health insurance companies bid up the prices of drugs by competing against each other. Large pharmaceutical companies will no longer be able to price gauge their customers.
Second, we will no longer have to pay for a lot of the costs that are associated with running a large health insurance company. Health insurance companies must pay for advertising, a sales team, a legal team, dividends to share holders, and many other costs. A single payer system stipulates that the government will be acting as an insurance company, thus eliminating the need for private insurance. This means no more deductibles, premiums, and copays, that were burning large holes into people pockets.
Third, administrative costs will be a lot lower. Estimates show, switching to a single-payer system, we can save billions in administrative costs as hospitals and doctors will no longer have to communicate with hundreds of health insurance companies.
I can’t deny that taxes will most likely go up. The thing Bernie Sanders want people to understand is, an increase in taxes will be offset by the cost savings. People will no longer be paying premiums, deductibles, co- pays, and out of pocket expenses, because insurance companies won’t exist as we know them today. Medicare-for-All will put money back in people’s pockets. The tax increases will be targeted more towards the top 1% rather than the bottom 99%.
According to a study funded by top conservative donors, Bernie’s Medicare-for-All plan would save us $2 trillion dollars over a ten-year period. Yes, even the Koch brothers can’t buy a study supporting any evidence of a cost increase under Bernie’s plan. Despite that, Bernie’s plan would provide health insurance for 30 MILLION PEOPLE who don’t have insurance right now! His plan costs LESS while insuring MORE people! Yet the wave of misinformation continues, unabated.
The powerful pharmaceutical and health insurance lobbies are the only things holding the United States back from a better healthcare system. Our job as average citizens of this great country is to be informed. We can’t let the lawyers at Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Health wipe their asses with the truth. The World Health Organization, which is funded by the United Nations, agrees that Bernie Sanders’ proposed Medicare-for-All system is vastly superior to our own current system.