United States Should Implement Single-Payer Health Care System, Opinion Piece States
The best way for the United States to ameliorate the "double standard of health care that has evolved in our country" would be to create a system of mandatory universal health insurance, Dr. Alex Gerber, a University of Southern California clinical professor of surgery and former health care consultant to the White House and HHS, writes in a Washington Times opinion piece. Gerber writes that the "most efficient and cheapest" way of creating such a single-payer system would be to expand Medicare incrementally over a period of years to cover all age groups. According to Gerber, the cost of such an expansion would be less than many assume because the United States is already largely paying for the health care of the uninsured through emergency room, hospital and clinic care; covering the healthier, younger age groups would be cheaper than covering the over-65 population currently covered under Medicare; and studies indicate that savings from administrative costs that would result from adopting a single-payer system would be enough to provide care to all 42.6 million uninsured U.S. residents. Although adopting a single-payer system "is not the cure for all of our health care problems," it would ensure that the "economic considerations are not paramount at the time of illness or accident" (Gerber, Washington Times, 11/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.