The Single Payer Movement Expands

Even as the Affordable Care Act is in its nascent stages, some states are already looking toward 2017 when they can request waivers to opt out of the healthcare exchanges. And a small, but persistent, movement has popped up toward a single payer system as an alternative to participating in the exchanges.

That grassroots movement is taking place in Pennsylvania.

In March, a report exploring the single payer system was created for the state by Gerald Friedman, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He found that a single payer system would cost $128 billion in 2014 as opposed to the current system, which costs $144 billion. It would save 11 percent ($16 billion) of healthcare costs in 2014, mainly by lowering spending on administration and reducing drug costs.

The biggest winners under a single payer system in Pennsylvania would be employers, said Friedman. Employer-provided insurance currently costs about 13 percent of payroll in Pennsylvania, he noted.

David Steil, president emeritus of HealthCare4AllPA, the nonprofit organization advocating for a single payer system in Pennsylvania, and a business owner, agrees with Friedman’s assessment of the benefits to employers. “Businesses shouldn’t be in healthcare,” he said.\

Full article here.

NOTE: Dr. Friedman will be speaking in Corvallis on May 16. More information here.