Health system payment controversy

In a communication to JAMA a group of physicians,including a couple of former surgeons general, have come out in favor of a single-payer national health insurance system. They cite shortcomings of the current system and say they think an overhaul is needed.

Others don’t agree. The AMA has come out against single-payer as have the health plans. They say single-payer is not the solution.

Pro single-payer assertions:

In our market-driven system, insurers and providers compete not so much by increasing quality or lowering costs, but by avoiding unprofitable patients and shifting costs back to patients or to other payers.

The world’s richest health care system is unable to ensure basics like prenatal care and immunizations, and we trail most of the developed world on such indicators as infant mortality and life expectancy.

Their website:

The antis respond:

A solution to the problem of the uninsured is desperately needed — but a single-payer health care system is not the answer.

Long waits for health care services, a slowness to adopt new technologies and maintain facilities, and development of a large bureaucracy that can cause a decline in the authority of patients and their physicians over clinical decision-making are all hallmarks of the single-payer system.