The lack of an insurance cover and underinsurance in healthcare is a challenge facing over thirty million Americans and could be solved by adopting a single payer healthcare system (Gaffney et al, 2016). According to Sanders (2016) a single payer system is a strategy in which the state caters for the healthcare costs of its citizens. The state is in a position to employ its own staff and resources in healthcare or contract private organizations to offer the services. The government is entitled to the collection of all medical and insurance fees from citizens and pay for all the healthcare costs. All citizens and legal residents are entitled to benefit from the single-payer system of insurance. There are instances in which consumers of healthcare may be allowed to get private health insurance in the single payer system. A pure single payer system has been adopted in Canada and Taiwan while a combination of single payer and private insurance system is embraced in the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and New Zealand (Oberlander, 2016).
The adoption of a single payer system will benefit me as an individual as I will not have to pay for an insurance cover from a private provider. The private providers in the United States have already made healthcare very expensive due to the various costs associated with private insurance. I believe that the amount that I pay as a contribution for my insurance cover will reduce if the government adopts the system. I will be able to obtain better quality healthcare above what my current insurance cover can cater for currently.
The nation should adopt a single payer system as it bears a lot of benefits for individuals and the nation at large by ensuring equitable distribution of healthcare for its citizens. The system is simple, efficient and cost effective and has high consumer satisfaction of many people (Oberlander, 2016). The fact that healthcare is a right to all citizens and not a privilege and that high-quality care is not just for the affluent in the society cannot be disputed. The single payer system ensures that all citizens regardless of their class and status can access the best quality of care in the nation. All citizens and legal residents are therefore entitled to getting high-quality care uniformly throughout the nation.
The single payer healthcare system encourages people to seek healthcare as often as needed and as a result, people will go to the hospital whenever ill. Seeking care whenever sick encourages early detection and treatment of diseases which could have otherwise been detected later in life due to lack of finances. Conditions like cancer could be diagnosed early when treatment options are more viable and before symptoms are severe in the single payer system unlike when an individual of low economic status has to wait for symptoms so as to seek medical attention. In a scenario where all residents can acquire care, strategies for preventive care will be viable and this will save dollars of administrative costs (Sanders, 2016).
The elimination of private insurance cover and the active implementation of preventive healthcare is estimated to cut down a lot of costs. Different studies have estimated that the adoption of a single payer system will save the nation over $300 billion annually. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has always reported lower costs associated with the single payer system, unlike other measures(Sanders, 2016).
The single provider system, however, has its own shortcomings. It strengthens the monopoly system of governance by letting the government control most of the critical sectors(Oberlander, 2016). The state might restrict the kind of services that an individual is entitled to receive in a bid to cut down on cost which may limit access to care contrast to what had been anticipated. People might fail to enjoy the benefits that they enjoy with the current insurance system.
The adoption of the single payer system can be met with challenges like increased healthcare demand in relation to available resources and higher taxation. The system might increase healthcare demand and strain the available resources(Gaffney et al, 2016). Individuals might have to wait for longer periods of time before being attended to if the system is implemented. The challenge can be overcome by increasing the number of healthcare facilities and staff so as to cater for the higher number of clients. Individuals fear that taxation will increase with the implementation of the single payer system to cater for the needs of the poor. People could feel that the systems will call upon them to pay for others through increased taxes(Oberlander, 2016). It is, however, incorrect to say so since the strategy has been witnessed to cost less in Canada and Singapore. The system is estimated to cut down costs thus no tax increase for the system will be witnessed.
A single payer healthcare system involves the government collecting all insurance fees and paying for the expenses singly. The system is in use in Canada and Taiwan which have embraced a pure system while the United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain have a hybrid of the practice. Adoption of a single payer system will relieve me of the burden of contributing high amounts and not getting the best quality of care. I will be able to access the high quality of care regardless of the amount I afford to contribute. The system has a lot of benefits in that all citizens will access high-quality care despite their income. A lot of cost savings will be realized by adopting the system. The single payer system, however, strengthens the monopoly government which may predispose to exploitation. Overuse of the system may result from a single payer system and overcrowding may ensue. The challenge can be resolved by the creation of more healthcare facilities and recruitment of more staff to cater for the higher number of clients.
Gaffney, A., Woolhandler, S., Angell, M., & Himmelstein, D. U. (2016). Moving forward from the Affordable Care Act to a single-payer system.
Oberlander, J. (2016). The virtues and vices of single-payer health care. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(15), 1401-1403.
Sanders, B. (2016). Medicare for All: leaving no one behind.